Think Tank FC talks about running adult soccer clubs at the elite / semi-pro level in the state of Washington and the Northwest. David Falk is the Media Director for the Evergreen Premier League, Western Indoor Soccer League and Northwest Premier League. He founded soccer news website goalWA.net in 2011.
by David Falk
It must be tempting to stick to the very basics of running an adult soccer club: fields, staff, players, referees, uniforms, travel. After all, if these basics (and others) are not done well then your club is stumbling from day one.
I am talking in this entry to the clubs who do more, who want more, who charge admission to their matches, who seek to marry their soccer mission with some other important local cause.
Should your club do so? In a word, Yes.
What are your players really doing?
Your players have the time to donate to a local cause, and they can be wearing your club kit while they do it. It’s just a matter of finding the right players (people) and making it a priority for your club…something you “just do,” an expected part of your club culture. A player joins your side, they know that community outreach is expected.
Community involvement is expected as new clubs come on to the scene at the pro level. As the photos of Bellingham United show above, you don’t have to get paid to be an influence in your community. Bellingham may never have pro soccer, but they do have a club that sees itself as about more than “just soccer.”
It might not surprise you to find out that the Hammers of Bellingham United are a popular club in their town. Community outreach works. In small ways that can add up over time.
Look at this page from youth club Portland Community Football Club. See how they marry soccer with a larger purpose? Look at what these players did for their community. A few hours leave a lasting impression. See what happens when you make that move to care and contribute?
There are literally thousands of examples of soccer clubs and players doing something for their communities in America. It happens daily. It makes local press. It provides photo and video opportunities. It rewards your sponsors and encourages new ones. It can make people smile.
Yes, it is just one more thing to add to your “to do list” of running your adult club: setting up community outreach. Just what you needed, right? Another task.
While you contemplate whether you run one of “those” clubs that does more than just soccer, consider this: at least having a page on your club website that links to soccer organizations that have a higher purpose. There are scores of them.
Don’t have a club website? Don’t get me started…
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This #TeamworkTuesday we’d like to give a shoutout to the people who work to foster growth and community on each and every SWB team: our coaches. Coach Tet and Coach Omar, from SWB Oakland, have been coaching multiple teams for eight and six years respectively, putting in countless hours at practices, driving to games, and behind the scenes—always ensuring their players have the best opportunities to reach their goals. Thank you so much to all of our coaches across the globe who are helping our youth to #PlayForChange! Photo: @katebhampson