How to Increase Youth Sports Participation in Your Community (2022)

Is participation in your recreational league declining? If so, you’re not alone. Studies show that the numbers of children that participate in youth sports on a regular basis have been going down in recent years. And that leaves many league officials wondering how to increase youth sports participation.

Just how big is the problem? Approximately ten years ago, 45 percent of youth between the ages of six and 12 regularly played team sports. That number has dropped to 37 percent.

The sharp decline is alarming, but don’t despair. You can use these 5 smart strategies to address downward sports participation trends.

#1: Keep Costs Down

A recent article from ESPN asserts that cost is a top barrier to youth sports participation. A recent study found family spends $692 per sport, per child, each year. Those estimated fees include registration, uniforms, and equipment. Families with multiple children in different sports programs can easily spend thousands of dollars each year on youth sports. If parents choose to enroll kids in competitive or travel leagues, their expenditures are even higher.

How can you respond to this trend? Take steps to keep league costs down and make enrollment fees as low as possible. Pursue fundraising, grants, and seek donations from your local community.

It’s no surprise that the high cost of youth sports makes participation a hardship for many economically-disadvantaged families. Young people from lower-income families are approximately 50 percent less likely to play sports than peers from higher-income families.

(Video) Increasing youth participation in sport

Having a scholarship fund is an excellent way to ensure youth from disadvantaged backgrounds can participate in your league. You can also establish payment plans to help families afford enrollment fees. And you can have equipment sharing or donation programs to make sports affordable for all.

#2: Recruit Quality Coaches

Fun, teamwork, and growth are key goals of many recreational sports leagues. Many leagues emphasize the joy of playing over winning. Even so, young athletes want to get a solid foundation in the basics of the sport. This is especially true for any young people who may want to play in a competitive league or on a high school sports team.

In many leagues, parent volunteers often form the core of the coaching staff. Aim to have at least one lead coach for each team with strong experience in the sport. Adults who played sports in high school or college are ideal. Assistant coaches can have less knowledge or skill but should know the basics of the game and be able to take direction from the head coach.

Even if you have a solid base of parent volunteers, you may find it helpful to broaden your reach. Consider inviting back former coaches whose kids have graduated from your league. Reach out to former players. If you have a university nearby, you can connect with athletes there. Both team and intramural athletes can be exceptional youth sports coaches. And current high school players are often very willing to assist with coaching and help young athletes grow.

How to Increase Youth Sports Participation in Your Community (1)

Recruiting a reliable coaching staff can build consistent participation at your organization each year. To get more coaches interested next year be sure to promote the benefits of coaching youth sports.

#3: Emphasize Safety

Safety is a top concern for many parents. And statistics from Stanford University validate that parents have a reason to be cautious. Over 3.5 million young people sustain sports injuries each year. That’s more than 10 percent of the 30 million youth athletes in the U.S.

(Video) How to Empower Youth and Grow Community | Sean Smith | TEDxYouth@Bunbury

The good news is that many of those youth sports injuries are mild strains or sprains. However, parents are well-aware of the risk of a traumatic brain injury (TBI)–which can have life-long consequences. Twenty-one percent (21%) of all TBIs occur during participation in sports or recreation activities.

Of course, sports injury rates vary. And higher-contact sports carry the most risk of severe injury.

Alleviating parent fears about injuries can help boost league participation. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), every sports program should have plans and policies in place to promote safety. Always ensure that athletes use proper gear–such as helmets, mouth-guards, and protecting padding. A quick equipment check before practices and games can spot big issues such as worn or broken gear or a simple matter of a missed buckle.

The CDC also recommends paying careful attention to temperature during practices or games. Avoid play during extremely hot temperatures and make sure athletes stay well hydrated.

You can also take part in the CDC’s HEADS UP initiative, which focuses on concussion safety. HEADS UP focuses on tips to prevent brain injury in sports such as football, baseball, cheerleading, and others. Be sure to promote your participation to let parents know about your commitment to athlete safety!

How to Increase Youth Sports Participation in Your Community (2)

Keeping kids safe before and during games helps build a quality reputation for your youth sports organization.

(Video) Strategies to Increase Community Participation of Unaccompanied Minors

#4: Grow Your Presence Online

Today, many people turn to the Internet to research everything–including youth sports leagues for their kids. You need to have a top-quality website and social media presence that answers all their key questions and makes registration easy.

Make sure your organization has an active Facebook page. Parents often do research on Facebook for local activities, so Facebook can be a great way to build credibility for organization. Creating an Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter account can also be effective in promoting your league or club. Just be sure that any account you create is active and post at least once per month. Don’t overdo it, otherwise you’ll wind up with dead pages.

It’s also critical to establish a website for your organization so that community members can find information about your organization year round. What should you include on your website? You should provide basic details about your program, along with a list of board members and contacts. Include registration and payment functionality on your site so that you can collect athlete information and payments quickly.

Also, during the playing season, house team details and the league schedule on your website. Include maps to playing locations to make it easy for parents and coaches to find their way. And post game results and team standings to keep everyone informed.

How to Increase Youth Sports Participation in Your Community (3)

A well-designed website will send the message that your league is organized and focused on family communication.

#5: Use Proven Outreach Approaches

Even if your teams only play a few months per year, you need to stay active year-round to keep your community engaged. Consider these other proven tactics to get the word out to your league:

(Video) Community Sports Workshop Series: #1 Participation

    • Emails to Past Participants: Keep email addresses for prior league participants on file. Send out reminders about registration dates and fees well in advance of deadlines to help families plan. And stay in touch with all athletes in your league age range. Sometimes, athletes who haven’t participated in a season or two will want to sign up again.
    • Promotional Flyers: You can design and print flyers inexpensively and hang them at key locations in your community. Consider hotspots such as grocery stores and coffee shops. And don’t forget places that kids and families frequent, such as community centers, libraries, and churches. Also, some schools will let leagues send flyers home with students.
    • Signs: Outdoor signs are another great way to advertise your league. Get permission to place them near schools or at the entrances to neighborhoods. Ask league members to put signs in their yards too.
    • Social Media: Every youth sports league should have a Facebook page. Although you’ll have the most posting activity during the season, appoint a volunteer to share posts year-round. Sharing motivational saying, tip, or fun fact about your sport once a week can help people keep your league in mind even during the offseason.

Stay Focused on the Long Term to Grow Your Sports Program

Your league doesn’t have to succumb to the downward trend in youth sports enrollment. Our five tips can help you increase the percent of children playing sports in your local area.

Good league management practices, like keeping costs low, attracting quality coaches, and emphasizing safety are always good ideas. Focusing on these areas can help you draw more kids to your league too. And some low-effort marketing is just as important. A solid website, coupled with targeted outreach efforts, can help you grow enrollment.

As a league leader, you’re able to share the positive impact of youth sports with your community. Don’t be discouraged if your participation numbers go down for a season or two. Instead, take steps like the five we’ve outlined here and build a stronger youth sports program for the years to come.

Jersey Watch is a simple software to manage your sports organization’s registration, scheduling, and communication throughout the year.

Looking to save time on registering players, sending messages to participants, and managing background checks for volunteers?Stop by our websiteto learn more or create a free account.

FAQs

How will you promote team sport in your community? ›

Ways To Promote Athletic Programs
  • Have A Relationship With Your Local Media. ...
  • Elementary & Middle School Relationships. ...
  • Volunteer Work. ...
  • Social Media Presence. ...
  • “Warriors Helping Warriors” ...
  • Monthly Newsletters. ...
  • Sports Clinics. ...
  • Preseason Meetings.

Why is increasing participation in sport important? ›

It has been long recognised that sport and physical activity can contribute to enjoyment and happiness. Increased social interaction can lead to greater life satisfaction with an enhanced sense of purpose and pride, as individuals' self-esteem and confidence increase, while symptoms of anxiety and depression reduce.

How does youth sports help the community? ›

Youth sports provide a place for the community to connect.

People build bonds with other people in their community, forming meaningful relationships. Kids find mentors and mentorship benefits everyone involved, as positive examples are modeled, and connections are formed.

What is the importance of youth involvement in sports? ›

Team sports participation promotes health and wellbeing, builds confidence, and can help maintain mental health. Studies also show a reduced risk for substance use in young people who play sports versus those who do not, including alcohol use, smoking, vaping, and illicit drug use.

What should be done to increase people's participation? ›

Let's get started with 10 popular tips.
  1. Create Urgency. People are far more likely to participate if they feel a sense of urgency. ...
  2. Be Hyper-Relevant. ...
  3. Solicit Earned Media. ...
  4. Leverage Social Media Strategically. ...
  5. Use Your Existing Contact List. ...
  6. Try Different Calls-to-Action. ...
  7. Offer Incentives. ...
  8. Leverage Community Groups.
11 Jun 2015

How do you increase participation in events? ›

Here are our 15 proven ways to make that happen:
  1. Offer Compelling Event Content. ...
  2. Leverage Quizzes to Hold Attention Spans. ...
  3. Promote Interactive Real-Time Sessions. ...
  4. Provide Easy Access to On-Demand Content. ...
  5. Keep Attendees Informed with Push Notifications. ...
  6. Use Gamification to Increase Engagement.
30 Mar 2021

How do you encourage participation? ›

Encouraging Participation
  1. Set the Stage. Explain How You Evaluate Participation. ...
  2. Help Students Prepare. Ask for Written Responses or Free-Writes. ...
  3. Promote Student Thinking. Avoid Programmed and Yes-or-No Questions. ...
  4. Demonstrate Your Interest. Give Nonverbal Support. ...
  5. Work with Everyone. Be Aware of Who You Are Calling On.

How can you encourage students to participate in sports by fun physical education? ›

How to Promote Physical Activity in Schools
  1. Inform Students of the Benefits. ...
  2. Inform Parents of the Benefits. ...
  3. Prioritize Physical Education Classes. ...
  4. Build Time in the Schedule for Recess. ...
  5. Upgrade Your Playground Equipment. ...
  6. Include Physical Movement in the Classroom. ...
  7. Host Sports Events. ...
  8. Lead by Example.
17 Oct 2019

What is an example of promoting a sports event? ›

4. Sports Contests. One example of a successful promotion is using contests. A contest can tap into fans' excitement for the game as they are motivated to feel like winners, although they might not be athletic.

How can you make your athletic program contribute to the positive growth and development? ›

The 7 C's of a successful athletic program
  • Culture. This drives your habits, expectations and beliefs. ...
  • Contagious. Share your vision with others and get them involved — it creates buy-in. ...
  • Consistent. If you are not consistent, you lose trust and you risk losing the locker room. ...
  • Communicate. ...
  • Connect. ...
  • Commitment. ...
  • Care.
6 Jul 2017

How do you promote a sport? ›

Best practices for marketing a sports event
  1. Social media. Few marketing tools are more effective than social media — as long as you keep your event goals and target audience in mind. ...
  2. Email marketing. Online tools other than social media can help you market your sports event. ...
  3. Websites. ...
  4. Offline marketing in a digital world.
14 Jan 2022

What is an example of a popular participation sport? ›

Basketball. The Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA) estimates that a minimum of 450 million people play the sport around the world, be it recreationally or through structured competitions.

What is the importance of sports in community? ›

Communities that participate in sport and recreation develop strong social bonds, are safer places and the people who live in them are generally healthier and happier than places where physical activity isn't a priority. Sport and recreation builds stronger, healthier, happier and safer communities.

What is the importance of sports in our society? ›

Sports are a telling reflection of a society's values, and they are a significant contributor as well, especially in the United States. Sports impact our culture, our other sources of entertainment and our economy.

How does an athlete contribute for the good of their community? ›

Sports is a great way of promoting community relations. Professional athletes have community-relation department which implies that they often perform services for the welfare of the community. They raise campaigns and funds to help needy people. Healthy socialization is good for the mental health of a person.

How do you increase participation in community activities? ›

7 Ways to More Efficiently Increase Community Participation
  1. Increase participation with online sign-ups. ...
  2. Increase participation with online facility booking. ...
  3. Increase participation with social sharing. ...
  4. Increase participation with data. ...
  5. Increase participation with memberships. ...
  6. Increase participation with email marketing.

What are the ways of community participation? ›

Community participation implies a number of other terms and concepts, such as consultation, involvement, citizenship, community action, empowerment and community organising. All these concepts make an important contribution to achieving a number of objectives, such as: - Increasing democracy.

How can you improve community members? ›

  1. 12 tips that will increase your community engagement. Going from lurking to participating is a big step for a lot of people. ...
  2. Build authentic connections. ...
  3. Give your community a place just for them. ...
  4. Be responsive. ...
  5. Encourage user-generated content. ...
  6. Create engaging content. ...
  7. Build trust. ...
  8. Welcome new members to your community.

How do you increase participation in school activities? ›

How do I encourage participation?
  1. Foster an ethos of participation. ...
  2. Teach students skills needed to participate. ...
  3. Devise activities that elicit participation. ...
  4. Consider your position in the room. ...
  5. Ask students to assess their own participation. ...
  6. Ensure that everyone's contributions are audible.

What steps do you take to increase awareness about your event? ›

Let's go through them one by one.
  1. Define your brand. The first step to planning an event that will increase awareness is to define your brand clearly. ...
  2. Define your target audience. ...
  3. Choose an event theme. ...
  4. Pick a memorable venue. ...
  5. Tell a compelling story. ...
  6. Create an event website. ...
  7. Create engaging content. ...
  8. Get on social media.
12 May 2019

How do you increase participation in an organization? ›

4 ways to encourage event participation from employees
  1. Remove barriers to participation.
  2. Plan socials that appeal to employee lifestyles, hobbies, and interests.
  3. Celebrate personal wins.
  4. Create a social committee.
25 Jan 2019

How can you encourage people to engage in public participation? ›

4 Tips to Improve Public Participation
  1. 1 Using an engagement platform that is convenient and easy to use. ...
  2. 2 Promoting effective communication with citizens and developing better strategies. ...
  3. 3 Providing incentives to motivate people to participate. ...
  4. 4 Enhancing connections with citizens through community networking.
1 Sept 2020

How can you influence other students to participate in school community? ›

One of the best ways to help influence your students to be involved in the community is to bring the community to the classroom. Set up a project in which students are to pick a community organization or club to research.

What is the importance of promoting physical activity in school and the community? ›

Regular physical activity can help children and adolescents improve cardiorespiratory fitness, build strong bones and muscles, control weight, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and reduce the risk of developing health conditions such as: Heart disease.

How do schools promote sports? ›

Recruiting sport men and women and providing them relevant information on sport and physical education

education
Teacher education or teacher training refers to the policies, procedures, and provision designed to equip (prospective) teachers with the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, approaches, methodologies and skills they require to perform their tasks effectively in the classroom, school, and wider community.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Teacher_education
. Giving the training to the person provided by the school (volunteer). Teaching sport and physical education to the students 4 hours per week in each school.

How will promote sports to overcome stress? ›

Sports help you manage stress. Exercise causes your body to release endorphins, the chemicals in your brain that relieve pain and stress. It also reduces the levels of stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline. Studies have shown that 20 to 30 minutes of exercise each day can make people feel calmer.

How can you encourage kids and their parents to join up and participate in more school athletics programs? ›

Here are 7 ways parents can help support their kids in their sports activities:
  • Make Sure It's Fun. ...
  • Stress The Importance Of Safety. ...
  • Ensure That Your Child Is Healthy. ...
  • Maintain A Positive Environment. ...
  • Encourage a Healthy Competitive Attitude. ...
  • Build Their Self-Esteem. ...
  • Be A Supportive Parent—Not A Coach.
16 Apr 2018

How could you help a student or athlete in improving his performance? ›

7 Powerful Ways To Improve Athletic Performance
  1. Vary Your Workouts. ...
  2. Track & Measure Your Performance During Training. ...
  3. Make Proper Hydration a Priority. ...
  4. Dedicate Enough Time for Recovery. ...
  5. Train Your Brain. ...
  6. Fuel Your Body the Right Way. ...
  7. Consider Adding Some Supplements to Your Diet.
30 Oct 2019

How do you promote youth sports? ›

7 Top Tips for Marketing Your Youth Sports Club
  1. Tip #1: Know what you're marketing. ...
  2. Tip #2: Cross-promote between other leagues in the area. ...
  3. Tip #3: Offer flexible registration and payment options. ...
  4. Tip #4: Invest in advertising. ...
  5. Tip #5: Be present in the community. ...
  6. Tip #6: Create a website and social media accounts.
5 Jul 2018

How do you encourage the youth to engage in any sports related activities? ›

Some suggestions:
  • ​Talk with your child's doctor. Your child's doctor can help your child understand why physical activity is important. ...
  • Emphasize fun. ...
  • Choose an activity that is developmentally appropriate. ...
  • Plan ahead. ...
  • Provide a safe environment. ...
  • Provide active toys. ...
  • Be a role model. ...
  • Play with your children.
30 Dec 2020

How will you encourage everyone to engage themselves in a team sports? ›

5 Ways to Effectively Increase Participation at Sports Clubs
  • Trials. One of the most effective ways to get people through your doors is by offering free trials. ...
  • Social Media. It's highly recommended that your sport club has a presence on social media platforms. ...
  • Offers. ...
  • Coaching. ...
  • Smaller ways to retain customers. ...
  • Conclusion.
2 Mar 2018

What are the benefits of sport participation? ›

Clearly, sports can help you reach your fitness goals and maintain a healthy weight. However, they also encourage healthy decision-making such as not smoking and not drinking. Sports also have hidden health benefits such as lowering the chance of osteoporosis or breast cancer later in life.

What factors affect participation in sports? ›

Other factors affecting participation in sport
  • Opportunity and access. For people to participate in sport and physical activity, facilities, sessions and resources need to be available in the area. ...
  • Discrimination. ...
  • Environment and climate. ...
  • Role models.

Do you consider sports participation important? ›

Participating in sports has a positive influence in many areas. It supports positive mental health and improves social skills along with promoting physical health. Participating in sports develops healthy living habits that provide physical benefits such as developing coordination, physical fitness, and strength.

How can you encourage kids and their parents to join up and participate in more school athletics programs? ›

Here are 7 ways parents can help support their kids in their sports activities:
  • Make Sure It's Fun. ...
  • Stress The Importance Of Safety. ...
  • Ensure That Your Child Is Healthy. ...
  • Maintain A Positive Environment. ...
  • Encourage a Healthy Competitive Attitude. ...
  • Build Their Self-Esteem. ...
  • Be A Supportive Parent—Not A Coach.
16 Apr 2018

What can be done to improve increase the importance of sports give your suggestions ideas? ›

There should be adequate infrastructure, equipment and human resources in schools and colleges to guide and train students in sports. Awareness of sports should be given to children and young people. Sports are not just for winning medals.

How can schools improve sports? ›

Let's look at 10 strategies to increase physical activity in schools:
  • Inform Students of the Benefits. ...
  • Inform Parents of the Benefits. ...
  • Prioritize Physical Education Classes. ...
  • Build Time in the Schedule for Recess. ...
  • Upgrade Your Playground Equipment. ...
  • Include Physical Movement in the Classroom. ...
  • Host Sports Events. ...
  • Lead by Example.
17 Oct 2019

How can I improve my sports club? ›

So, with that being said, here's some professional advice on how to grow your sports club
  1. MAKE YOUR WEBSITE A PRIORITY. ...
  2. USE FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM & TWITTER. ...
  3. REGULARLY UPDATE SOCIAL MEDIA. ...
  4. SCHEDULE SOCIAL MEDIA IN ADVANCE. ...
  5. USE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS. ...
  6. LINK TO YOUR WEBSITE. ...
  7. MOTIVATE PEOPLE TO TALK ABOUT YOU. ...
  8. USE LOCAL PRESS.

How do you promote an event successfully? ›

Event Promotion Ideas
  1. Offer early bird registration.
  2. Place a sign outside your business.
  3. Produce a creative landing page.
  4. Participate in content marketing.
  5. Have event-specific branding.
  6. Use email marketing to reach your audience.
  7. Post pre-event behind-the-scenes posts.
  8. Retargeting ads on social media.
13 Apr 2021

How does sport benefit the community? ›

Communities that participate in sport and recreation develop strong social bonds, are safer places and the people who live in them are generally healthier and happier than places where physical activity isn't a priority. Sport and recreation builds stronger, healthier, happier and safer communities.

Why is it important for students to play sports everyday? ›

It helps in building skills.

Skills like teamwork, leadership, patience, discipline, learning from failure, Sportsmanship, etc., are developed only when children play sports regularly, and these skills are equally important when it comes to studies and management.

What is the purpose of sports development? ›

The main function of a sports development career is to encourage participation in sport. Not in the same way your parents did when they told you to, “go kick a ball around or something and stop playing on that stupid computer,” but by providing more opportunities for people to get involved.

Videos

1. Post Pandemic Importance of Community Youth Sports Programs
(AZTV7)
2. Youth Sports Marketing: How to Get Most Out of Your Teams Investment
(Creatitive)
3. Engaging Communities to Create Healthy and Safe Youth Sport Environments
(Physical Activity Alliance)
4. Youth in Sport - Keeping Kids in The Game | Hugh McDonald | TEDxLangleyED
(TEDx Talks)
5. A Must Watch For Parents,Coaches and Players in Sport !!!
(Sports JobFinder)
6. The Price of Youth Sports (Full Segment) | Real Sports w/ Bryant Gumbel | HBO
(HBO)

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