Starting a lacrosse program from scratch can be tough…make sure you set the groundwork for lacrosse to get off to a solid start in your area. There’s a ton of things you have to accomplish when trying to start a program, but these are some of the important points when getting things going.
1. Find your wing (man/woman)
–The sooner you realize you can’t do this alone the better. Parents always are a great help, you’ve got the lacrosse knowledge so that doesn’t mean your number 2 person has to as well. People who are simply good at organization and coordinating events are your best candidates.
2. Ask and you shall receive
–There are several lacrosse companies that are willing and able to provide you with some starter sticks. Contact as many as you can… so that when you start getting the word out there you will have equipment for those who are just looking to try it out.
3. Schools are your best friend
–At the youth level…your organization will live and die by the relationship you establish with the schools. Parents are always great resources to contact and can positively influence administrations that may not be very knowledgeable about lacrosse.
–Make flyers, make signs, create a logo, make t-shirts, WEAR THEM (people will see them and as questions, trust me), make car stickers, branding is key. Most importantly…make a Facebook page.. We live in a time where everyone is connected through social networks. If you’re not taking advantage of them to promote your organization, you’re not doing enough.
5. Become a 5013(c) Non-Profit
–You’re going to want to go ahead and fill out the paperwork to become a Non-Profit Organization. This is going to make your organization tax exempt with the federal government which is always beneficial to your organizations bank account. The IRS has the proper forms to fill out on their website: http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=96109,00.html
6. Say Yes
–Starting out you may get odd requests here and there…a lacrosse themed birthday party, an after school program asks for a clinic, a church youth group wants to give it a try…Always be open to helping out with ANYTHING lacrosse related in the community. This is where you’re going to network with parents, teachers, and administrators.
7. Create a Board
–Once you have involvement…you will want to create a board. This is going to consist of parents, players, etc…but this is the group that is going to be key to brainstorming the direction of the organization. Set up weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly meetings. This is a great opportunity to assign specific jobs to people within the board (Treasurer, Director of Coaches, Director of Field Management, etc)
8. Understand this is a Start
–You may want involvement from the 14-18 age group, but starting out your bread and butter is going to be the 8-10 year olds who are still trying to find their sport. High school youth have already committed to their activities, you may get a few but if you focus on your younger kids they will be your star lax players in 5 years.
9. Find a field
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