Running a Badminton Club

Below are a few ideas and tips for running a badminton club that I have come across within my club or been passed on by other club members.  I hope that you find them helpful.

Basics

1)      Do the simple things well, for example make sure that you can open up on time.  When club night starts at 7pm ensure that the doors are open at 7pm not 7:10.  This gives the impression that club night is always on and people won’t give up after 10 minutes of waiting

2)      Another simple thing is to make sure that everyone knows if club night is on or if there are dates when club night is not on.  For example many clubs meet in school sports halls and club night is only held during term time.  Make sure people know the term time dates.  There are many ways to do this for example a printed sheet with dates on, or an announcement during club night or put the dates on your website page (if you have one) and make sure that your club members know where to find the information

3)      Meet and greet, should new members arrive during a club night they will first be looking for someone to greet them, other members of the club may not be prepared to introduce themselves to new members and so you should have someone nominated to look out for and welcome new members when they walk through the door.  This is a skill and their first impression of your club may be the most important one so try to get it right

Administration

1)      There are a number of activities involved in running a club for example, treasurer, chairman, welcomer, team captains, key holder to open up etc.  If you find members of the club who are interested in this and enjoy doing it then embrace their willingness to help.  Some clubs operate a rota and make rules that individuals cannot perform the same ‘job’ for more than a number of years.  This may work, however don’t let it kill the club, if the rota does not work and people are forced to do jobs they don’t want, or like, to do then don’t enforce it

2)      Annual General Meeting, can be a bore especially if you are a young club where people just want to play and not vote or second the chairman and treasurer in. However it’s good to do this as it gives members the opportunity to put themselves forward officially for a particularly  job

Current Members

3)      Keeping club members happy, this has got to be a hard one.  People leave clubs for all sorts of reasons and trying to keep them is not easy.  So one of the things to realise is why do people leave, you may not be able to resolve them but knowing about them may help,  here is a list of reasons that I have seen

a.       Not getting good quality games

b.      Not speaking to anyone between games

c.       Not being involved in the club

d.      Not being picked for the team

e.      No one listening to my ideas

f.        Falling out with the club chairman, treasurer, team captain

g.       Waiting too long between games

h.      No one helping me to improve my game

4)      Keeping club members happy, on the flip side there are some things that you can do to keep the members that you have, here is a list of ways to do that

a.       If members have a talent (other than badminton) try to get them to use it for example if you have budding photographers then why not get them to take photos of matches or club nights or even just a team photo

b.      If you have members with IT skills then why not get them to set up a website or facebook page.  Facebook is very useful for getting information to people quickly for example if club night was cancelled due to poor weather

c.       try to socialise between games to different people in the club

d.      if players are not good enough for the team then organise a few friendlies with other local clubs and try to match the levels so that the matches are not too one sided

e.      match reports a useful tool, they may seem like a bore to write but if members are interested then they can be a good talking point especially if published in the local paper

f.        sitting off is no fun especially if you see other players getting more games than you. If you don’t already have one then you need a system for allocating players to the next game/court. Many clubs use a ‘peg board’ system if you do then do your best to make sure that everyone knows how to use it and that it is used.

g.       there will always be a a difference of ability between the worse and best players in the club and this can be a problem when arranging games.  The better players may not like being paired or playing some of the worse players.  It may help to explain that there will always be games like this and perhaps they could provide some coaching to the poorer players.  Providing coaching can be quite a rewarding and enjoyable activity

 

New Members

5)      New club players, you must accept that players will leave your club and finding new players is needed otherwise eventually the club will close.  Here are a few ways of attracting new players

a.       Create a website,  this seems to be the most effective way of attracting new players, make sure that your club is listed on the local district badminton website and links to your website are in as many places as you can find

b.      Posters, if your finances allow print some posters and display them in the most useful places, strangely supermarket notice boards have not been very successful in finding players, try local businesses, post offices and if possible local sports halls

c.       If your club meeting in a school sports hall investigate the possibility of going into partnership with the school and use the school pupils to feed the club with more / younger players

Running Costs

6)      Reduce costs where possible, the most significant costs are likely to be

a.       the hire of the badminton hall. If there are several local halls or school sports halls then try them all, you may be able to play one off against the other

b.      shuttlecocks,