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Build Your Village to Grow Your Club

By Emily Hawthorne, Junior Volleyball Association, 12/12/18, 12:00PM CST

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We have parents sign up for an email distribution list at any point during the year, so we have a good base of workers ready and willing to help when we need them.

Club directors are crazy busy preparing for the upcoming club season. Days can be quickly filled with submitting uniform orders, registering teams for tournaments, creating practice schedules and organizing coaches. This season, we added a third location to our Academy Family, making December even busier.

So how do I keep my head on straight amidst the growth?
Surround yourself with talented, capable and passionate people. Spend time throughout the year "Building your Village," so that you know that during these busy times, you don't have to do it all by yourself.

Our club now includes three locations, over 1,000 athletes and 100 club teams ... which breaks down to close to 3,000 jerseys arriving all at once! The only way we can keep up with everything and continue to run smoothly as we grow, is the outstanding team of people we have compiled.

Who Should Be Included in My Village?
Your Village can be comprised of a variety of people, including coaches, parents, volunteers and even players. They just have to be available and willing to help make your club a success. 

  • Reduce Club Dues: At The Academy, we have a great group of parents and players who help us sort uniforms and assemble player packs, in return for money off their club dues.
  • Pay Coaches Hourly: We also pay a couple of our coaches hourly to assist with some of our office projects, as all of the rosters, paperwork and registrations need to be entered before the tournament season begins in January! 
  • Outsource: We also occasionally outsource design projects to some local freelancers, to make sure we are staying on top of web and logo design needs.

Plan Ahead.
Make sure your team is ready for the busy season; build your village before you need it.

  • We have parents sign up for an email distribution list at any point during the year, so we have a good base of workers ready and willing to help when we need them.
  • We also recruit and train six or eight coaches and part-time staff members in the fall to help site direct tournaments.

By spending time finding and organizing these workers well before we need them, we are able to hit the ground running when the busy times strike.

"Building your Village" is a great way to manage the growth in your program, but also a way to help continue this growth. By keeping customer service levels high, remaining efficient and continuing to provide an excellent experience for your families, you can continue to grow and expand your reach. I've also found that these helpers become great advocates for your business and programs. Our coaches, parents and players help spread the word about all of the amazing things happening at the club, through social media and word of mouth.... making this a win-win.

If you are interested in learning more ways to help grow your program, please join me at the AVCA Convention for "The Top Ten Ways to Grow Your Program at the High School and Club Level." This session will be held on Saturday, December 15th at 9am MCC Level 1 Auditorium Room 3. I hope to see you there!

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About the JVA

The JVA is an association of Junior Club Directors and Coaches who are dedicated to all facets of junior volleyball and have a desire to offer the best programming possible to their members. We are the leaders and forward thinkers in Junior Volleyball Programs and we are a voice for junior clubs. Our number one goal is to help club programs and events thrive.