Sports are usually a great attraction to young people and children. And it’s not only them who fancy sports and are willing to be involved for the fun aspect of it. It’s also guardians who are more than supportive in their children’s participation in any sports activities, as they not only recognize the undeniable physical and mental benefits of them, but also acknowledge the educational aspect of sports and the social skills that their beloved children would gain. Since they appear to have a positive approach towards involvement in the sports world for their kids, why are they so hesitant to be involved in it themselves? What keeps them away and how could we overcome this distant attitude? Let’s take a look:

  • Build an effective communication strategy – Let’s not fake it: catching one’s attention is the beginning of any effort to attract and persuade them to join your idea. So, how could you do this towards guardians of your young athletes? Well, since you have built their profile in the previous steps, then you probably know their habits, their do’s and don’ts, the way they like to communicate, interact and socialize. That’s it then! You have everything you need to build an effective communication strategy. Make sure the message reaches your recipients by using any available means. Yes, social media, websites, emails, texting and any other communication tool is a must-have. But, look around you! The most valuable tool is…alive! Your young athletes, your guardians’ own children, are the best messengers you could ever wish for! Let them be part of your communication strategy as the living transmitters of your idea! But don’t limit yourself there! Use every available opportunity to grab your new target group’s attention by sharing information in any formal and informal occasion, by organizing entertainment events to celebrate this new initiative, by holding info days, by taking the chance to talk to them individually before or after the regular training sessions of their children. Use their language, make them familiar with the idea, convince them!
  • Promote the benefits – Yes, it is likely that they will be hesitant in the beginning. It is your task to blow away these clouds! Take a moment to get in their shoes and feel how they feel. What are they afraid of? It is probably an unknown concept and they might need some time to feel comfortable with it. Take a look at the challenges we mentioned previously in this guide and try to balance them with the benefits they will gain instead (both them and their children). Explain the advantages, present the positive influence that an FFS activity will definitely have in their family and talk them through it. And remember: you can always ask them to think back to their past, when they themselves were children, and remind them of how they felt when they spent some quality time with their own families or when they jointly delivered a task. Oh, those sweet memories will definitely be an asset in your effort!

  • Offer a “test drive” – Your effort might bring them to the point to think about it, but they might need some final push to dive into this journey! What could be best for them to overcome their restraints, than a “test drive” from a safe…distance? In case you have already implemented some similar activities with other FFS groups, then ask your new candidates to visit one of the sessions and observe as spectators. If you don’t, then ask them to follow some similar event of other sports clubs, where they would also feel more free to react while being in an unknown environment. If neither of those are realistic, then it’s all up to you! Collect your colleagues and take the role of the adults in a shared game with your young athletes. Show your guardians how it’s done and let them be sweeped away by the enthusiasm of their children in their interaction with adults (who they sometimes look up to as family!). Lead by example and make them want to replace you the next time!

Follow these tips and feel confident that they won’t last long! Their reservations will stay in the past, and they will be your brand new team members!