By Athletes' Acceleration | February 8th, 2010
How to staff your sports camps?
Through the polls and surveys I have been sending out the past couple weeks, I have found out something very surprising. Half of the coaches and trainers on the Sports Camp Empire email list have not run a camp before. Now this isn’t a problem at all, we all have to start from somewhere but the surprising thing is most of the coaches that haven’t started a camp yet, have been wanting to do it for years. Each year, they have the intention of putting on their first camp and then something gets in the way. I am finding that these coaches and trainers are lacking ACTION.
The reason for not taking action is different for each person but the ‘reasons’ are fairly simple to overcome. Well, the real reason is the lack of confidence to take the leap and actually put it on the line and just run the camp. Taking a leap of faith and doing something new, that you haven’t done before is difficult but very rewarding once you pull the trigger.
My goal is to try and help you overcome the obstacles for running your very first sports camp. I will let you know everything you need to know so you will have no more excuses.
And if you are already running sports camps and clinics, you can take these tips and techniques to grow your camps even bigger and take over your local area.
Alright, let’s get started.
Finding staff to help support you to run your sports camps is a very common question that came up in the survey.
This is a pretty easy fix and shouldn’t be used to hold you back and shouldn’t be your excuse that prevents you from putting on your first camp. But I will show you ways to staff your camps.
A quick note before hiring staff, don’t give technical skills to any inexperienced staff. The training of staff will come in a different post as it is a completely separate topic.
TOP 7 Ways to Staff Your Sports Camps
1). Former Athletes
A great way to staff your camps is to hire former athletes that you have trained or have been to many of your previous camps. The great benefit of this is that they already know your system. And it takes less time to train them on what they need to go.
2). Local Stars
If you are running a sports camp for high school track sprinters, find previous state champions that are in college. These are your local celebrities. The athletes going to your camp will know who these past state champions are so it helps build the ‘perceived value’ of your camp.
Plus these past state champions are in college so if you catch them during their school breaks they are going to be extremely happy to make a little bit of money on something that doesn’t take much time or effort for them.
You don’t need a state champion. You can get league champions, MVP’s, all-stars, members of a championship team, etc.
If your camp is working with younger athletes, you can hire some of the parents to help you out. You would have to spend some time training them and you wouldn’t have them in charge of anything technical but most parents are more than happy to help out. Most will even volunteer to help out for free.
Another cool idea is to talk to the local parent organizations, give them a donation and see if any of the parents would like to be a part of the camp and help out. I think you’ll be surprised of the support you get. Think about it, parents who are already volunteering their time for free to aid in helping own children, other children and their school, is the type of person that would love to be apart to helping even more youth athletes out. (think of all the parents that coach their own child’s youth sports team).
If you know any physical education teachers, ask them. If you do not know any, contact the school district of where your camp is going to be located and see if any of their physical education teachers would want to help out your camp. Many teachers pick up different types of jobs (like painting, landscaping, etc) during their school breaks and I am positive that they would rather help out running a sports camp then getting a physical labor type of job.
5). Sports Professionals
Hire an ex-professional athlete for the specific sports camp you are running. I hired an ex-New England Patriot for a camp and it was great. You could also look around for a pro that is in their off season and is willing to help out - a current pro will be more expensive though.
Interns and mentorships are great ways to staff your camps for free. I started out interning for the best local coach that was running strength & conditioning camps – and I worked for free so I could learn from the best.
If you are already known in your area as being a top coach or trainer it will be easy for you to get people lining up at the doors to be a part of your camps.
If you have a strong internet presence and a lot of people on your email/newsletter list that trust your information and want to learn more from you it will be easy for you. Just send out an email stating that you are looking for a few qualified and motivated individuals that would want to learn your system. You will have people applying for that internship immediately and have a waiting list of people that want to learn directly from you.
7). Local Sports Coaches
If you are running a soccer camp, contact the soccer coaches from surrounding towns that would like to join your camp.
First, you create a relationship with these coaches. Most coaches want to put on a camp or clinic but never really pull the trigger and actually run one so the next best thing is to be involved with someone else’s. They already know the sport, all you have to do is let them know the structure and let them know what you expect from them.
The best reason for hiring local sports coaches is that they are already in front of a lot of targeted potential campers. If you were on a soccer team and your coach told you that this summer she is going to be on staff at a soccer camp and that you would really benefit going to it. Then she handed you a brochure for you to sign up with, the odds are very good that you would go to that camp, right?
For extra incentive, you can even give a coach a small percentage of every kid on his team that he/she brings in. It is possible that you could completely sell out your camp by just hiring these local coaches.
To your success,
Sports Camp Empire
I hope this helps and you completely fill all of your staffing needs for your camps. I would love to hear your comments and please share any ideas that you have found that work for you.
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