We know that every club has a unique set of circumstances and our guide sets out a framework to provoke discussion. There is no perfect approach and many ways for clubs to be successful, so it isn’t possible to provide one template to fit all.
Clubs are at the heart of this vision, providing opportunities for players across all backgrounds and levels of play.
Running a club takes vision and drive, and it can often be difficult for leaders to balance short-term priorities with longer-term objectives. Balancing the ambitions of different parties within the club and creating a vision that others buy into is critical to success; this was beautifully demonstrated by Martyn Reah and his U12 Havant Girls squad. Excellent leadership can encourage increased recruitment of the right people into the right roles on the committee to ensure the long term success of the club.
There are seven key strands and a brief overview of each is below, along with a few questions for clubs to consider and links to appropriate material to help you embed the strand at your club.
Want to find out more? An in-depth resource into the seven strands is available to download, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or please talk to your Club Development Manager. To find your local contact, please click here.
Great leadership is about having the right people in the decision-making positions. These people will have the good of the whole club in mind and will be prepared to make sound long-term decisions. They will be accountable for the governance of the club, for example finances, policies, structures and development plans, but also seek to lead in a way that supports the vision and values of the club.
As a club leader can you answer;
- What is the club’s vision? Does your vision reflect the whole clubs needs and wants?
- What do you need to achieve your vision? What resources do you need to achieve this – people, budget, facilities, partnerships, marketing?
- What skill sets do you need to make your club successful and how do you identify and recruit future leaders?
England Hockey ClubMark is a useful tool to set a minimum operating standard for clubs to achieve and ensure that the appropriate risk assessments policies and procedures are in place.
Appropriate facilities are a fundamental requirement for hockey and an important factor in player satisfaction. Clubs should aim to access facilities that are appropriate and sustainable for the long run. Ideally, this should include the room to improve and develop as the club grows.
Most clubs are not asset owning and therefore there is a need to develop excellent partnerships with the providers of the facilities that they use. This is a gap for most clubs with arrangements often short term in nature and outlook.
As a club;
- What do you have an influence on in terms of your facilities?
- Are you maximizing the potential at your current facility. For Asset owners do you offer summer activity or work with other partners. Non-asset owners, do you receive appropriate benefits for the investment put in?
- How much money do you pay in pitch rental per year? How senior is the person you deal with at the venue you use? What is your income and expenditure?
The facility section of the England Hockey website provides information on developing your project, funding for facilities and our facility partners
This is about the people who make playing hockey possible: coaches, umpires, organisers, captains and anyone who does anything to help the club run. As with playing habits, volunteering habits are also changing with increasing amounts of sporadic or ad hoc volunteering that make it a constant challenge for clubs to continue to increase what they do.
The best clubs have a very clear idea of what tasks need to be done and when they need to be done. They aren’t wedded to traditional roles but adapt their structures to the availability and skills of their people.
- How do you actively recruit people to support your club?
- What is your training programme for developing people?
- How do you reward and recognise your workforce?
For advice on recruiting, retaining and rewarding volunteers please visit our volunteering pages.
Whilst lots of people want to play for their club in an 11-a-side league every weekend, with training sessions during the week, our player research and knowledge of participation habits have made it clear that behaviours are changing.
Many players don’t want to play every week but are happy to play at any time of the year. They want opportunities that provide good experiences but are also local enough to allow room for other interests and commitments. Lives are busier and the desire for easy to access experiences are ever increasing. Club hockey competes with other leisure and family commitments and needs to be flexible and expectations if people are to keep coming back.
At your club;
- Where would you like to see more members within your playing structure?
- What options are there to players that can't play at a weekend?
- What are the membership options for your club and is it good value for money?
Click here for overview of different ways to play, who they can help attract to your club and the support available to clubs to help plan, promote and deliver activity.
Player feedback is clear: having a friendly, welcoming and sociable club is the most important factor in being a club member. This is crucial in retaining members as well as making new members feel welcome.
The culture of the sport is friendly but being friendly, welcoming and social shouldn’t be taken for granted and needs to be worked on. The single biggest reason for attracting new players is still word of mouth – so it’s safe to say your reputation precedes you.
As a club;
- What is your club culture and how is this communicated to the wider community?
- Does your social offer cater for all in your club?
- What is the experience for new people?
- How would they rate their experience with you so far and how could it be improved?
HockeyFest is a friendly and social event, designed to help clubs open their doors to new and existing players, whilst bringing everyone together.
Feedback from our player research strongly indicates that they wanted their club to be part of the fabric of the local community. For many it was a key way to connect with their local community and feel part of the place in which they live. They like to know that their club is known, relevant and visible in the local community.
As a club consider;
- Are you aware what opportunities are available to engage the local community and businesses?
- Does your approach differ depending on who you talk to?
- How do you use your club members to engage the local community?
Local connections are critical when attracting players through tools such as club-school links or links with other local community activities or groups. The best clubs also use social media effectively to strongly engage with key local organisations to promote the club and Sport England’s Club Matters provide a number of uses guides for Social Media
The best clubs look to provide all players, umpires, coaches and volunteers with appropriate opportunities to develop specific hockey skills or take on greater responsibility. This benefits the club but can also benefit the individual and make their experience with the club more rewarding.
To do this effectively clubs need to understand people at an individual level and understand what opportunities are available for them, both within the club and externally, through wider hockey structures such as the Player Pathway or England Hockey training and development opportunities.
Clubs should consider;
- What do you offer your juniors or adults that want to progress?
- How do you identify talent within your players/coaches/umpires?
- How do you communicate with your members to find out who wants to move to the next level within their playing/umpiring/coaching?