One of the biggest problems facing most youth sports leagues across the country is finding enough volunteers to act as coaches, officials, coordinators and so forth to help keep the league’s wheels turning. Some sports parents have a hard enough time remembering when it’s their turn to bring half-time snacks, so finding enough parents with the time, knowledge and passion for youth sports can be extra tricky, especially for smaller communities. But parents aren’t the only ones who can volunteer for your youth sports organization! Here are 3 more places to look for new volunteers:
1. The local high school or community college.
Who says teens and young 20-somethings can’t make great coaches? Reach out to the local high school or community college in your town and see if you can connect with some of their athletes. Chances are these kids played multiple sports in their own youth sports days, so even though they might mainly focus on their basketball skills these days, they probably know enough about the fundamentals of soccer or baseball to be a good youth sports coach. High school and collegiate athletes are definitely passionate about sports, which can take a youth sports coach a long way! They also have the benefit of being active athletes themselves, so they can take the drills/lessons they learn from their own coaches and apply it to their own teams.
Think about all the college programs were possible volunteers might be hanging out: sports physiology, physical therapy, physical education, early child development, social work…the list could go on and on. Colleges also have a lot of intramural sports team for their students, a great place to look for volunteers with the love and knowledge of the sport but who might have more time than a full-time athlete.
2. Other local organizations.
Chances are your league isn’t the only organization in town that is on the hunt for volunteers. Call up other local organizations and community associations and see if any of their members would be interested in volunteering for the season. You might be able to send a few sports parents or even the athletes themselves over to their organization in return! Maybe you could even team up to co-host a fundraising event. These kinds of community partnerships are a great way to not only find more volunteers, but also get the word out about your league!
3. Adult sports leagues.
Does your sports organization also have adult teams? These teams are a great place to put out the word that you are looking for volunteers! Adults that still love their given sport enough to belong to a community league clearly have the skills and passion that makes a great sports coach, so maybe a few of them wouldn’t mind coaching for a season or two. You might find volunteers in their mid-twenties all the way to the over-50 leagues—but a great volunteer is a great volunteer no matter what age!
Keep in mind that all your sports volunteers, no matter where they come from, should undergo a volunteer background check before being allowed to work with the youth athletes in your organization. No matter how short your volunteer roster may be you need to ensure the safety of your athletes first and foremost.