How to Start a Sports Team

By Marc Zabudsky

I am sure at one time or another we have all participated in a team sport. I have belonged to quite a few sports teams over the years, providing me with hours of excitement, drama, exercise and the chance to meet quite a few good people. This guide will help you to start a team of your own.

A Motivator for your sports team

First let's discuss your reasons for wanting to start a team. Every team has to start with a motivator, a team captain, or coach. Let's assume that this person is you. Consider yourself the driving force behind your team. Your players will look up to you for advice, help in improving their game, their commander and chief.

Why Start a Sports Team?

People have many different reasons for starting a team, some of these include:

  • Get physically fit and exercise
  • Socialize with family and friends
  • Meet new people
  • Competition
  • Teach others the sport

Make sure you weight the pros and cons of starting a sports team first. Once you know all of the issues involved, be sure that you are committed, and that you will have the time available. Your team will depend on you throughout the season, and it is your responsibility that everything

Pick a sport for your team

Now that you have decided that starting a team is for you, then you next need to pick a sport. We can assume that you might already have some people in mind who are going to be on your team so that is a good start. Here are some things to think about when choosing your sport:

  • There is a league in your area
  • Your players play the sport already
  • You know how to play the sport already
  • You want to learn a new sport

Finding a Sports League

Once you have chosen a sport, it is no fun to play by yourselves. So you should look in your area for leagues that your team can join. A league is an organization that takes care of organizing games, booking fields, officiating games, keeping score, and at the end of the season determining who the winning team is.

If you cannot find any leagues in your general area, lookup sports associations for the sport you have chosen, and they most likely can refer you to a league in your area. Also, be sure to check out our online Sports Directory for leagues that may be close to you.

Choosing a League

There are many different types of leagues out there; some of them are based on skill and competition, while others are more focused on fun. When choosing an appropriate league, be sure to consider the following of your players:

  • Skill level
  • Age
  • Level of competition
  • League constitution/charter
  • Cost
  • Gender

Believe it or not, playing sports is not limited to the young, but rather the young at heart, and there are quite a few "Old Timers" leagues out there.

Choosing a Division for your team to belong to

Once you have chosen a league that best suits your team, it is now time to choose a division. Divisions are smaller classifications within a league, since leagues generally groups teams that play in a certain region or area. A division usually groups those teams into smaller categories. Divisions are usually categorized by:

  • Location/Area of Teams
  • Age
  • Skill

Be sure to pick a division that best suits the abilities and goals of your players.

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Number of Players on your Sports Team

You need to know the minimum number of players required for your team. To do this, we figure out the number of players allowed on the field at once, and since it is best to have a minimum of 2 lines of players, we double this number to get the minimum number of players required for your team. Use the guide below to help you determine the number of players you will need for your team.

Sport Players on Field
at Once
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Recruiting Team Players

Being the team organizer, it is your duty to recruit players for your team. It is not as easy as it sounds. If you figure that an average team has from 10 to 15 players (depending on the sport), you need to get solid commitments from all your players to attend all practices and games.

Some ways you can recruit players for your team are:

  • Friends and family
  • People from school/work
  • League might have some individual players
  • Put an ad in the local paper
  • Post a message on the league's web site
  • Post a message on a web forum
  • Post a message on a Blog

If you cannot find all the players you need for your team, don't fret ... leagues sometimes allow groups of players to join, and the league will assist in filling in the remaining players.

Signing Up Players for your team

In order to get players to join your team, you need to convey some information about your team. You will need to be armed with the following information:

  • The sport you are playing
  • The costs involved per player
  • Information about when games will be played

Player Information

Once a player has agreed to be on your team, you must then collect some information from them:

  1. Player fees
  2. Signed waiver forms
  3. Player Information (Name, address, phone number)
  4. E-Mail address **Important**

Choosing a Team Name

Your team needs some way of identifying itself. Try and think of a name that best describes what your team is all about. Perhaps there is some common ground amongst your players that best describes your team. Here are a few suggestions on getting a name for your team:

  • Ask your players for suggestions
  • Create a name based on common traits among your players
  • Use a team name generator
  • Look in a dictionary
  • Look in a thesaurus

Communicating with your team

This is by far the most important step in having a successful sports team. In order for people to show up to games and practices, they need to know in advance what is happening. There are various ways you can communicate with your team:

  • Phone Calls
  • E-Mails
  • Team Web Site

Making a Sports Team Website

Creating a team website is probably the most useful tool for helping you communicate with your team. Because the website is always available, your players can instantly find out what is happening. Your website is a 2-way communication tool. Players can get information about games, locations, etc., they can also post information that they feel is relevant for the team. Where traditional methods of communication (such as phone calls) require quite a bit of work, and a website just makes sense.

Take a look at my article How To Make a Team Website for more information on creating a site for your team.
if you want to easily create a website for your team try signing up for a free sports team website.

Scheduling Practices

Before your season starts, be sure to schedule some practices for your team. Reasons for scheduling practices may include:

  • Learning the rules of the Sport
  • Increase fitness levels of the players
  • Improve team dynamics
  • Develop game strategies

To schedule practices, you also need a location where your team can practice, and you also need to pick a day/time that is convenient for most of your players.

Once your season has started, be sure to schedule more practices to help your team improve.

Good luck with your new team!

Hopefully this primer on starting a sports team helps you better understand what is involved in starting a sports team, I hope you have a successful season, and be sure to have a ton of fun.

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