For youth soccer, hockey, lacrosse or volleyball clubs to be successful, it’s important to outline goals and strategize around these initiatives. All successful businesses have strategic plans, and youth sports clubs should be no different. These plans can help clubs get organized around their goals for the next two to five years and develop plans to accomplish these.

When creating your organization’s strategic plan, consider adding the following elements to your documentation.

Mission

State the club’s mission statement. Why does your club exist? What ages and levels of athletes do you work with? How do you develop the players in your club? This is your opportunity to define answers to those questions.  

Vision

While your mission statement typically defines who your organization currently is, its vision states who the organization strives to be in the future. This is where your club can state its goals for where it wants to be in several years.

Athlete Development

Determine your vision and strategy around athlete development. This is one of the most important areas to strategize around, as it defines how you want to train athletes and help them develop into better players. This can define coaching decisions, training methods, what types of athletes you want in the club, and more.

In this section, your club should define which personnel roles are responsible for player development, and list ideas for how to help athletes take their skills to the next level.

Want to record and track player development digitally? There’s an app for that!

Administration

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Define the goals and strategy for the organizational structure of your administrative team. In this section you should define roles and each person’s responsibilities. These roles should include the president, vice president, coaching directors, administrative roles, and other key personnel.

Each person’s role should have set goals for the next two to five years. What does success look like? What responsibilities need to be completed to accomplish these goals? What support do they need to succeed? In what ways can they leave the organization better off than when they were elected?

Facilities

In this section, your club should determine what facilities it wants to play on in the coming years. This is where your organization can decide if you want to invest in a new facility, if you want to stay at the same place, if you want upgrades made, or if you want to look at other places to play. This should include both where the team plays its games and where it practices and trains.

Identify which personnel are responsible for heading up the effort to locate or improve the facility, what the timeline is for the improvements, and what requirements the space must meet.

Communication

This section gives organizations the opportunity to define what types of communication channels they want to maintain. Will they send newsletters? Will they launch a website or an app? What social media channels will be owned and maintained?

The club should identify which staff members are responsible for creating, sending and posting all communications. It should also strategize around what success looks like and how the club can use communication channels to boost membership.

Finances

It’s key for organizations to determine what financial success will look like for the club. This section provides organizations the opportunity to define what the budget will ideally look like in several years. Identify who in the club will be responsible for overseeing the budget and ideas for how to help the club achieve its financial goals.

Membership

Organizations need to define what their ideal membership numbers should be in the future. Clubs need to decide how many players they want in their club, and how many athletes should be on each roster. They also need to determine how many players they need in the organization to reach their financial goals.

In this section, the club should determine which staff members are tasked with improving membership numbers, and list ideas for how to attract new athletes.

Learn how to avoid losing players to neighboring clubs or associations

Fundraising

To help the club reach its financial goals, it’s important to strategize around fundraising needs and opportunities. Organizations should define which personnel is tasked with planning and executing fundraising opportunities and who is responsible for assisting with the efforts. Clubs can list goals for how many fundraising activities they should strive to execute and set a monetary goal for how much money they want to tally in fundraising efforts over the next several years.

Creating a strategic plan for your sports organization can take effort and planning upfront to create the documentation, but it can have long-term benefits for the club. Strategic planning can encourage organizations to develop goals for the next several years and a path for how to achieve these accomplishments.

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