How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. The same is true of managing an event as large as a youth sports tournament.
Sorting out details begin with the basis of management.While kids, parents, friends and family never think twice about the organization of events, you are thinking twice, thrice and many more times.
It’s easy for the athletes to excitedly run onto the field. They don’t have to give a thought about how the fields or courts were reserved, how the number of players on each roster was determined, how the equipment was purchased, how the schedule was set, or even how the coaches, administrators and referees were hired.
Revealing the magic behind the curtain may sometimes look hectic, but there are key elements to every tournament planning to support management.
Start With Strong Communication
Communication is the first key to success. Opening strong channels of communication allows access to information, updates, program planning and more. You must communicate not only with your tournament team but with the teams who will be playing, the sponsors of the event, the volunteers, parents, and athletes as well.
Promotional communication is a key element to planning a tournament. Consider not just promoting the event, but the entire program. Each event you run is a reflection of your organization, so the better your communications, the better the reflection on your program. Your website should be easy to navigate and prepared to answer clients general questions while giving detailed information.
Use every channel of communication available. There are many social media platforms now, each with a specific function and design to promote information.
Facebook, Twitter, emails and one on one meetings are the best lines for organizations. However, it is important to match the communication channel to the audience, as well-for parents and coaches, email, text messaging and Facebook are the media of choice. Consider creating a Facebook page for the tournament itself and a separate Facebook Group for players. Create a hashtag. This hashtag will be used by your staff, your sponsors, the players and their parents.
Hire the Right People
Coaches, volunteers, referees, umpires and everyone in between all make the gears turn. Everyone working together is the real magic when the curtain is pulled back.
The right individuals with similar goals in mind will work hard and efficiently to realize the same goal. Communication between everyone may be the most important key. Making sure you have the right people to communicate with is a top priority right along with communication.
The Right Traits
The success of an event may depend on one thing to parents and kids, but you know the truth. The right people doing the teamwork make the dream work. Choosing focused, goal-oriented individuals for the event will lead to success.
Setting Rules and Sticking to Them
Rules and safety are not just for the athletic participants. Safety for every attendant is the most important priority and a main key to success. Having first aid equipment on hand and trained personnel at the ready will minimize risks and escalated situations. Be sure all staff is trained in basic CPR and AED. Prepare for worst case scenarios while hoping for the best!
Set a Budget
Don’t be Blindsided
Setting a budget is a professional safety. Leagues need to track player fees and payment schedules, payroll for employees, cost of fees for fields, equipment and travel expenses, insurance and more. The budget should be kept in an accessible file, keeping transparency, opening information as to how the money is being used and helping you and your team stay on track.
Many factors and finances go into planning any youth sport event. While the athletes and the parents take in the magic, you’re busy working hard to make it happen. The right equipment and the sharpest referees may not always be enough for the most successful events. Keep it simple and break it down: Communication, Individuals and Safety First-for your participants and for yourself!