By Dan Guttenplan, FNF Coaches Managing Editor
Coaches often spend some time each offseason looking to boost the participation numbers in their respective programs. Sometimes, the best strategy is to sell football the same way you would sell a retail product.
Academy High (Texas) coach Gus Beuershausen spent 10 years in the car business before becoming a football coach 2011. He’s found that experience helped in his current quest to attract new players to the program. He offered 10 tips for marketing a football program to prospective players.
Update the uniforms. “Spend time designing uniforms that are current and sharp. Getting off the bus looking sharp is important.”
Keep the facilities clean. This includes the fields, weight room, trainers’ room, etc. The players should feel safe and valued.
Choreograph the warmup routine. A fan’s first impression of your team should be positive – a feeling that he or she is watching an organized group of players.
Find an energetic announcer. Player introductions should be exciting for everyone in attendance. A public address announcer should also highlight the big plays.
Improve the fan experience. Don’t be afraid to play music during stoppages in play. Stress the importance of a good halftime show.
Develop a logo. This should be a logo that is unique to all other sports teams at the school. You want each player to feel like he’s not only an athlete at the school – he’s a member of the football
Choose a motto. What do you want your team to stand for? Make that a rallying cry before every game and practice.
Use social media. Promote the program on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Post photos; players love seeing themselves in action.
Treat players professionally. “Treat the sport and the players like they are important to you and the school,” Beuershausen said.
Show them you care. “Have an attention to detail, and never waiver from the things you believe in,” Beurshausen said.
Don’t Let Them Quit
Part of the challenge of increasing participation numbers each year is keeping all of the previous season’s players on the roster. Bill Moore has authored a book “On Character and Mental Toughness.” He shared three reasons players commonly quit high school sports teams and the ways in which coaches should counter those excuses.
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