Eight unique ideas to promote non-core sports
Dr. Carol R. Chory, CMAA, the director of athletics at Kempsville High School (Virginia Beach, Virginia) shared these eight unique ways to make the non-core sports athletes and coaches feel important at her school.
1. Rainy day practices. Make sure there is a plan in place for inclement weather conditions. Do not allow one sport simply to take over the gym when it’s raining outside.2. Senior game. The last home game of the season, for all sports, is the Senior Game. Senior players are provided invitations to invite his or her parents to the contest. After the game, the senior receives a flower and a souvenir pen.
3. Senior recognition night. This is sponsored by the booster club. All seniors in all sports are recognized. Plus, any rookie coaches on staff receive a plaque with the date of his or her first win engraved on it. There also is a team grade-point-average award to the team with the best grades during the course of the season.
4. Signing day. Any athlete that is receiving an athletic scholarship is invited (along with his or her parents and coaches) to the principal’s office. In the office, a picture of the athlete is taken signing with that college, then a larger group picture is taken of the athlete, parents, coach and principal. One of the pictures is selected and placed in a Kempsville High School frame with the remaining pictures given to the athlete.
“This was developed after our football team did a big reception for the senior football players signing a letter of intent one year. Other teams felt like something should be done for their players as well,” says Chory.
5. Pack the place. Get items to raffle to encourage attendance at a sporting event. Do this for at least one non-core sports team during the season.
6. Coaches meeting. Conduct seasonal coaching meetings. Do not allow coaches to be excused and be sure the bigger sports coaches, like football and basketball, are on hand to set an example for everyone.
7. Parent-athlete information night. Have one of these nights for each sports season. Review general information as a large group, then have parents meet with the individual coaches. All coaches are required to attend and must have written rules to view with the parents at this event.
8. Team pages. Find a program that allows you to host team sports webpages. Upload a team picture and post the squads win-loss record on the page. Allow coaches access to post important information about their specific team.
“The programs you put in place are a way to touch base with all teams and coaches to make them feel important,” Chory explains. “I do not do anything special for a smaller team that I do not do for a bigger team.”