We all like to brag about our players’ accomplishments.
We do it because we’re proud of them, and of course it makes us look good, too. Plus, when we highlight our players the right way, it creates a sense of community around our sports academy. Players feel more ownership in their training when their achievements are noticed.
There are plenty of ways to broadcast our players’ wins. It’s common to post about our athletes’ college commitments and professional careers on our web sites, for example.
Other tactics include posting facility-wide athletic records or celebrating kids’ progress through a predetermined benchmarks, like what Parisi Speed School does with its Cat Club Challenge.
The Reaper’s Den in Maryland has another great way to honor its players: A Hall of Fame.
I noticed their Hall of Fame plaque last spring when they posted it on their Facebook page. When I asked them about it, I found out it’s a tradition that we can all learn some lessons from.
Keeping it Simple and Personal
The Hall of Fame is not reserved for those with especially exciting athletic accomplishments. There are no official entry requirements other than this one: hard work.
The top of the Hall of Fame plaque reads: “For those of you who have bled, sweat and trained like it was your last day … you make us proud.”
Each year, the names and college destinations of the inductees are added to the plaque.
There’s nothing formal in place, such as a special dinner or ceremony. The plaque and tradition are a perfect fit with the academy’s culture.
Building a Community
The Hall of Fame was born out of a desire to commemorate some of the kids who had spent a lot of their childhoods at The Reaper’s Den as they prepared to graduate from high school.
It’s a way thank them for all their hard work over the years, and it gives the coaches a chance to acknowledge them in a special way as they move on to college.
Being in the Hall of Fame makes them a permanent part of the Reaper’s Den community. They know their names will be listed in the facility when they come back to visit, perhaps even years down the road.
The Hall of Fame also gives the younger players something to strive for and inspires loyalty in the Hall of Famers’ families.
These types of gestures are what can really set us apart from competitors and make our jobs more meaningful. Remember that creating something similar at your own facility doesn’t have to be overly complicated. You can keep it simple and sincere, like the Reaper’s Den.
Looking for other ways to celebrate your players? Check out these posts:
- How to Create Player Spotlights – This basketball academy’s clients look forward to each new featured player spotlight
- Publishing Facility-Wide Records – Keeping track of the records held at your own facility can give you a chance to pitch for publicity
The Reaper’s Den staff uses eSoft Planner software for all of the scheduling and payments at their sports academy. If you want to learn more about my software, click here and request a custom demo.