How do we attract new people to sport and give them the ‘bug’ to keep them coming back for more? The answer lies in how successful they feel afterwards. Below are some tips to ensure those who are trying sport for the first time leave feeling satisfied, successful and ready to play again.

Before – The best place to meet new people is at the front door (or equivalent). Have someone from the club dedicate five minutes before they start to talk to the new member and ask them questions. Find out what their goals are and let them know how your club can help achieve these. Ask other members to share how they felt the first time they played and how they feel now. When new members hear that others have felt the same way, they will feel more comfortable.

The playing area – If you don’t get a chance to meet your new members before they start, and you are already in a group situation, ask “is anyone trying this for the first time?” by raising your hand. This is a less intimidating way of saying ‘who’s new?’ Quickly go and introduce yourself and welcome them. Try to get their name and shake their hand. Let them know that if something doesn’t feel right, they can ask you about it. Let them know you’re in this together and you look forward to hearing how they went at the end.

During the session – Who do you think needs more coaching? The six existing members who are fully involved with the programme or the new participant hiding in the back corner? The more contact you make with your newer participants, the more likely they will leave feeling successful. 

Afterwards – Congratulate everyone for their efforts as they leave. Thank them by name if you know it and ask when you’ll see them again. Ask your new members to hang around for a couple of minutes and ask them how they went. Answer any questions and invite them to come early next time to learn some more tips. Let them know they can invite a friend along too.

By using these simple strategies, you will start to see more new people playing more often and for longer.

More information

For other ways that you can find coaches and keep them click here.