5 Ideas to Run a Successful Flag Football program
Flag football is great way to grow the game of football in your community. Successful flag football programs can be a huge help with:
- Growing your tackle football program
- Create a fun environment for young players to get introduced to the sport of football
- Helping players improve their football skills in the offseason
- Prepare junior high players to play at the high school level
But, managing an organization can be a lot of work – from ordering equipment, recruiting coaches to volunteer, and getting players registered & paid for your season.
Regardless of what you’re trying to accomplish you can follow these quick tips to run a successful flag football program this year.
Use Creative strategies to get players to register for your flag football program
Get creative in offering incentives and discounts to push urgency and get new families to register to play. Flag football is a relatively small financial and time commitment compared to other sports, so you can use some clever strategies to get more players registered.
A few ideas to get parents excited to register:
- Offer a discount to families that play in your Spring Flag Football program and the Fall Tackle Football program. The most well run youth football programs have a flag and tackle program that work hand-in-hand.
- Provide a half-off discount to the first 20 players that sign up for your new flag football program.
- Run a cheap ad on Facebook in your community to attract new families. Running newspaper ads used to be an easy way to get in front of families, but it’s an outdated strategy now. The good news is it’s cheaper and quicker to post an ad on Facebook, and you can get started in minutes even if you’ve never used Facebook ads before. Just make sure to set your radius to 10 miles from your town so you don’t waste money advertising to families that live too far away to participate.
It’s not as hard as you may think to post an ad on Facebook for your youth football program. You can try it out quickly without much money.
Run a free flag football camp as a way to generate awareness
There’s no better way to get players interested in your sport than providing a free camp. A free camp can just be for a couple hours and have a few sessions, 5-10 hours total is plenty. Parents won’t have to worry about making sure they attend every session.
Setting up a free youth football camp before your season can be a great way to get new players interested in your flag football program.
Focus camps like these on fun drills and games to introduce new players to flag football. Save the more intense practice sessions once your season is started. You can even run this camp alongside a summer camp for your tackle football teams.
Promote your flag football program year-round
Parents will forget about your organization if you’re not constantly updating them. Just because it’s the offseason doesn’t mean you can just completely shut down your flag football program.
Here’s a few ides to make sure you’re keeping your organization top of mind throughout the year:
- Update your Facebook or Instagram pages for your organization once per week in the offseason. You’re probably busy and don’t have a ton of time to manage social media accounts for the football program. That’s ok, you can just use a tool like Hootsuite to schedule all of your posts for a few months. If you don’t have a Facebook and/or Instagram account for your football program now, be sure to create one as soon as possible.
- Regularly post updates on your website with upcoming events. Regardless of the time of year you should always have important events listed on your website like board meetings, dates of registration, and coaching application deadlines.
A website will allow you to promote your organization in the community and can serve as a hub for all of the information about your league and teams.
- Sponsor other sports organizations in your community. Work with the other sports programs in your community like baseball, softball, and basketball to co-promote your organizations. You can even sign up to be a sponsor of one of their programs so you can get your logo and website promoted. A rising tide raises all boats!
- Get involved with the high school football program. The local high school football coach can be a great asset to help promote your youth football program. A good relationship with the high school coach can also be a great way to get camp volunteers.
Make it easy for people to register!
Don’t fumble at the goal line. To get parents to register you need to make sure it’s convenient for them. If you make them jump through hoops by getting in their car to drive to registration, fill out paperwork in person, or write you a check they’ll be much less likely to sign up a player. You’ve got to make it super easy for people to register and pay online on their own time.
Be sure to set up an online system that allows parents to register and pay at any time.
Setting up a system to register players and collect payments online just takes a few minutes. You’ll save dozens of hours of work, trips to the bank, and stacks of paperwork. Organizing your flag football program shouldn’t be tough, so don’t overcomplicate things by adding unnecessary tasks that can be taken care of online.
Link up with a flag football governing body to do most of the work for you
Starting a flag football program from scratch can be tough if you don’t have any help. The good news is there are governing bodies that can help with league rules, age groups, equipment standards, and insurance.
Research a few of the popular youth football governing bodies to find a good fit for your organization. Not sure where to start? A few popular options are below to help your league get rolling into your new season:
Using one of the three governing bodies above can help you save tons of time so you don’t have to start your entire flag football program from scratch.
Are you starting a new flag football league this year? Check out our guide to How to Start a Flag Football League.