Creative Ways to Attract Athletes To Your Event

Youth Sports •
Creative Ways to Attract Athletes To Your Event

Athletes have many options for events and tryouts to attend in their athletic career. Offering a program that has great training programs, reputable coaches, and a proven track record is a sure way to continue the health of a program. In addition to this, there are other ways to impact the quality and quantity of athletes that come to your events. When setting up an event, there are many ideas that can be easily implemented to expand the reach. We outline our favorite creative ways to attract athletes to your next tryout, evaluation, or scored sporting event.

1) Say NO to boring pre event emails

It is easy to fall down an administrative rabbit hole of Plain Jane emails built from templates or a “copy and paste” approach of last years material. Think outside this communication box and challenge yourself to understand what people paying for your event would like to see. Some examples are:

  • Video links of drills or skills to prepare with

Send over links of drills or skills to work on leading up to the event. These might be the actual drills you will be running the athletes through, or just tips for certain skills to get them ready for the day. Parents will be impressed with the forethought put into these links and athletes will show up feeling confident and ready to put their best food forward! 

  • Send a checklist of what to bring

This could be as simple as equipment required, or maybe something different like requesting an athletic resume to be created. Having participants show up feeling organized will prove validity and professionalism of your organization.

  • A list of skills that will be tested

Similarly to providing links to sample videos or drills, consider sending a complete list of skills that will be tested to the athletes. This does not require you to spill your secrets, and you may even choose to include things that will not be tested but make sense to have prepared. Showing a complex, granular list indicates that the tryout will be well rounded and allow athletes to properly prepare and visualize the event.

Picture showing two athletes

2) Make it easy for families to attend

When an athlete is attending an evaluation or tryout, there is often a sibling or two that is dragged along to these events. By taking some time to show parents how easily these other kids could be entertained, the attractiveness of the whole event will increase. Examples are:

  • Provide links to local attractions

Send activities to families that are attractive to all ages! Draft up a separate email that focuses on the family appeal. If most participants will be local, share fun things to do that you know of or have heard from friends. Maybe you are in a sporting complex that has other sports or options for camps or daily passes. Taking a personal approach will go a long way with athletes and their families who decide to attend your event.

  • Email options for accommodations or restaurants in the area

Allow families to make plans easily by providing them with a list of hotels and good food spots prior to the event. If discounts are possible, send out codes or refer them to businesses websites right from your email. Understand that there are a lot of moving parts to bring a family into an event, and ensure that they feel all of their needs are met.

3) Use technology

Athletes and parents have been to many sport tryouts and recognize that pen and paper evaluations have always been the status quo. Join the trendsetter and early adopters in using an athlete evaluation software. Among having many benefits for both your organization and parents, it also lends itself to the creative aspect of an evaluation that can be visible by all. 

Administrator setting SkillShark up for his athlete evaluations

  • Take head shots upon check in (or anytime!)

Having the ability to take athlete head shot photos not only help the administrative process of an evaluation, but also offers a level of professionalism not seen before. It will add to the hype of the event and portray new age and energy even before athletes step into their zone.

  • Record scores with mobile or tablet devices

The generation that you will be evaluating likely uses pen and paper for very few things in their life. When they see other sessions or events taking place where the evaluators and coaches are using technology to record scores, videos and notes, it will show them that the program is forward thinking and adaptable to trends.

  • Show player progress reports

Using an athlete evaluation software, you can dynamically track and show a players progress over time. This level of data reporting at a tryout or evaluation level is sure to add hype and excitement to your organization and event.

4) Send Reports

Sending instant, professional reports is possible with the help of an evaluation software. These reports can be used to instantly send the customized scores that were collected in the event.

  • Include videos of the athletes

Never before have athletes been able to see actual video footage that is tied to a score that they received. By using the SkillShark software, you can upload and attach unlimited video to athlete reports.

  • Include links to videos for drills

If there are certain skills that are lacking, send a link to a video that could be seen as the “perfect” output of the skill, or attach a video for a drill that will help get the athlete where they need to be.

  • Send customized reports to the whole tryout in the click of a button

After scores have been uploaded, select which content you want to share with each individual athlete, and send an emailed link to a PDF report. Imagine the response from a parent that sees such fast results in a professional matter!

Player progression graphing chart

5) Check in regularly

Just because the evaluation or event is over doesn’t mean you should stop communicating with your participants. How can you continue regular communication?

  • Send out links to performance drills or videos

If there is a particular drill or skill that seems to be lacking from the group as a whole, send drills, tips or videos to the group as a whole.

  • Send stretches or performance based articles

Partner with a local physiotherapist or personal trainer and send out links to age and sport appropriate stretches, exercises and weight training resources.

  • Let them know about upcoming events!

Be sure to communicate on a regular basis with current athletes or ones that have attended your events in the past. Be sure they have calendar dates well in advance and that they can plan to show you how they improved since tryouts past.

There are many ways to think outside the box when it comes to running a unique tryout or evaluation event. Using an evaluation software is a great place to start. SkillShark offers free web demos, affordable options, and many incredible features for both parents and players alike. Come join us and see what we are about!

Elanne Krainyk

Elanne is SkillShark’s marketing aficionado who is equal parts passionate about sports, marketing and sports marketing. She can usually be found with a golf ball or three in her purse, and her favorite way to spend downtime is out on the course with friends and family.