Tip #1 – QR Codes on flyers.
Hand out flyers with a QR code to your teams GroupMe, Discord or whatever app your team uses to communicate. Handing these out to students will make it more likely they will join and come to a practice and stick around. (If you need help with flyers ask the Content Team to help you make one!)
Tip #2 – Talk to students!
Have conversations with interested students. Ask them about themselves but also try to give them some information about the club. Getting to know them and telling them about the club will create a connection with them and make it more likely they will choose dodgeball at the end of the day.
Tip #3 – Build your own women’s team!
Let them know there is an open pinch division as well as a women’s no sting division and encourage them to try both. Get them in your group chats. Learn personal info and encourage them to bring a friend with them to practice. Make sure to create an inclusive, welcoming environment with your teammates for all new recruits.
Tip #4 – Collect student emails.
Have a computer (or multiple) where students can put their name and email into a spreadsheet. Collecting student emails will allow for an easy way to communicate more information about the club and practice times. It’s not easy to get a lot of information out to students as they are walking by, so an email is very helpful.
Tip #5 – Host a practice the night of your school’s involvement fair.
It is more likely a student will remember to come to a practice if it is that night rather than a few days from now. Also allows you to grab a student’s interest before another club steals them.
Tip #6 – Outdoor practices!
If your typical gym space is busy, don’t forget to also look at outdoor options on campus that might be available. Outdoor practices can also give you an opportunity to convince students walking by to hop in.
Hopefully these tips will help you recruit many players to your practices. If your school’s involvement fair has already passed, look into putting a table up on campus where it is busy and follow the same steps. If you’re the only table out there you can get more eyes on your club.
Step 2: Practice
Tip #1 – Don’t teach new players every rule.
Only teach them the rules necessary to play some matches. At the first practice there’s no need to confuse them with complicated rules like the LAZ or shot clocks. Just tell them the basic rules and let them play for fun.
Tip #2 – Use Jailbreaks!
Having players sit around for 10 minutes at a time is the easiest way to lose their interest. As much fun as watching a 1v1 battle, all it will do at a first practice is bore most of the students. Once a point starts slowing down, use a jailbreak to get everyone right back into action.
Tip #3 – Take it easy on the new recruits.
The first practice isn’t your time to show you’re better than students playing pinch for the first time. Give new players the ball and let them learn pinch. Make sure to help them with their form and remind them they’ll likely struggle for a little bit until they get used to it.
Tip #4 – Engage with new recruits.
Talk to students during the whole practice, learn names! Just like the involvement fair, making connections with students and caring about them is an easy way to make sure they will keep coming back.
Step 3: Host team bonding events!
Having a team dinner or meeting up somewhere off the court is an amazing way to build connections and keep players around.
Hopefully these tips will help your club have the most successful involvement fair and first practice in history. If you have any more tips leave them in #recruiting-tips in discord to help out other clubs.