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A Comprehensive Guide on How to Start a Volleyball Club

A Comprehensive Guide on How to Start a Volleyball Club

Brittany Gamache |

Starting a volleyball club is a passionate and rewarding goal. However, it can be quite a daunting task for a beginner. Whether you have an idea of what to do, or you need all the details, this How to Start a Volleyball Club guide is sure to help.

This extensive guide is full of insights and tips from inside the volleyball industry. You’ll read about the foundational 12 steps of how to start a volleyball club, giving you the confidence to take your new knowledge and get started. 

Don’t forget to check out Step #6 - this part is a new club director favorite.

A Comprehensive Guide on How to Start a Volleyball Club

1. Define Your Mission and Vision

Before jumping to tryouts or uniforms, take a step back and think about your purpose. Why do you want to start a volleyball club? Take the time to find your motivations. Next, decide what kind of club you want to create. Do you want to aim for a top-tier club nationally, a competitive travel or regional club, or a recreational group for enthusiasts? Combine this information into your specific mission and vision, which will serve as the guideposts for volleyball club development.

2. Research and Planning

Thorough research and planning are essential for laying the groundwork for your volleyball club. Start by investigating existing clubs in your region to assess competition levels, identify any gaps or niches you can fill, and understand the needs and preferences of the community. Visiting your local region’s website is a good resource. Consider factors such as location, target demographic, facilities, and available resources. Watching local volleyball tournaments in person or online is helpful too. Use your research to develop a comprehensive business plan that outlines your goals, strategies, and action steps for launching and growing your club. Remember to keep your mission and vision handy to use as your standard.

3. Form a Core Team

Success starts at the top with a dedicated team of individuals whose talents and ideas contribute to the volleyball club’s goals. Recruit people to share your mission and vision who bring diverse skills and experience to the group. Encompass volleyball and business expertise such as coaching, recruiting, marketing, finance, and administration. Establish clear roles and responsibilities to foster a collaborative and supportive work environment. As you expect teamwork on the volleyball court, you expect it at your club’s leadership level.

4. Legal and Organizational Structure

An often overlooked part of starting a volleyball club is choosing a legal structure. A rather unglamorous task, but without it, the club could face hurdles down the road. Decide if your volleyball club will be a nonprofit organization, a for-profit entity, or a community sports club. Consult with legal experts to ensure compliance with all relevant regulations and obtain any necessary permits or licenses. Establish a clear structure, including a board of directors or committee, to oversee the club's operations and create policies and procedures. Reach out to those in your volleyball network for contacts and recommendations for your legal structure.

5. Secure Funding

Securing funding is crucial for launching and sustaining your volleyball club. Work with your Core Team from Step #3 to create a detailed budget that outlines your anticipated expenses. Your expenses should include volleyball and business-related ones, such as facility rentals, equipment purchases, coaching fees, travel, and administrative costs. When the budget is ready, determine your funding needs and revenue streams accordingly. Explore various options, like sponsorships, grants, membership fees, fundraising events, and merchandise sales. Throughout the year, implement strategies to maximize revenue generation while minimizing expenses to ensure the financial sustainability of your club. Finally, create a routine to review with your Core and Legal Teams regularly, which we will discuss later in this post.

6. Facilities, Equipment, and Volleyball Uniforms

Now that you have established the business side of your volleyball club, you can start focusing on the fun part: the volleyball-specific details.

Facility

Find your volleyball club a headquarters to call home. Good facilities are essential for providing a safe and enjoyable experience, but come at an expense. Decide whether renting gyms, schools, or sports complexes makes better sense compared to building or purchasing your own. Budget restraints can be limiting, so you may have to get creative. Partnering with local venues or schools for more affordable or even free use of their facilities is sometimes an option. There are no wrong decisions if it fits within your mission, vision, and budget.

Equipment

Inventory what equipment comes with your club’s facility and what kind of condition it is in. Anything that needs to be replaced or purchased new should fit within your budget. The higher-quality items you can invest in the better for longevity and performance. Some of the necessities include volleyballs, ball carts, pole systems, training gear, and other volleyball equipment. The right equipment will give your volleyball club the competitive edge to succeed on the court.

Volleyball Uniforms

Volleyball uniforms are more than a requirement for matches and tournaments.They are a head-to-toe walking billboard for your club. Uniforms are your volleyball club’s identity and brand. Choose your club colors and design a logo. Think about the brand, quantities, and items to include in your team package, with the jersey as the main focus.

The top volleyball uniform trend is custom or sublimated jerseys because of the unlimited color combinations, styles, and designs. Traditional jerseys with printing are a good option too. Both custom and traditional come in a wide range of brands and prices. Choose the uniform that best represents your volleyball club on and off the court - that you can feel pride in wearing.

Finally, make sure everything you purchase - from equipment to club colors to uniforms - meets the rules and regulations of your volleyball club’s league. If you can’t easily find that information or have questions, find a team expert who can help.

7. Coaching and Player Development Programs

Fostering a culture of continuous learning and development within your volleyball club is a fantastic retention tool for your coaches and players alike. 

For players, offer multiple training options: group sessions, private lessons, clinics, and camps. Adapting them to different age groups and skill levels is ideal to maximize fundraising and club exposure. 

For your coaches, host clinics that partner with experienced coaches or college/professional teams outside your club to leverage their expertise and attract more participants. Some clinic ideas are basic coaching, recruiting seminars, or drills and skills classes.

8. Recruit Players and Coaches

Attracting talented players and experienced coaches is critical for the success of your volleyball club. Develop a recruitment strategy to promote your club through social media, local sports networks, schools, and community events. Tap into your volleyball network to spread the word. Qualified and experienced coaches are a key component of your club’s future as, oftentimes, good players will follow good coaches.

Host tryouts at convenient times within your league’s tryout season to draw the largest pool of players. Organization is crucial at your tryouts to quickly and efficiently assess players’ skills for different teams or age groups while providing ample opportunities for them to demonstrate their talents. Stay within the rules and regulations of your league in all aspects of tryouts, including recruiting, making cuts, and extending offers.

9. Competitions and Events

Competitions and events are excellent ways to showcase your club's talent, build camaraderie, and engage with the volleyball community. Your teams have trained hard for the chance to compete. Register your teams in local leagues, tournaments, qualifiers, and championships. Carefully tailor team schedules to meet the club’s goals, keeping in mind each team’s level and skill set. You want to set up your volleyball club for realistic challenges to achieve success.

As mentioned above, hosting club-sponsored events create more opportunities for competition, fundraising, and community. Camps, clinics, trivia nights, and other social events are a few ideas. Events are hard work from start to finish but a well-run event can be replicated for years to come.

Continuously remind your coaches, staff, players, and families that they represent the club on and off the court when in uniform. Play with sportsmanship and integrity. Stay true to the club’s mission. Be proud to be part of your volleyball club.

10. Sponsorship and Partnerships

In addition to hosting volleyball events, sponsorships and partnerships are another way to help club finances. Check out local businesses and organizations with similar target audiences. Approach potential partners to ask about sponsoring the club. Pitch a plan that shows value on both sides. To the businesses, offer exposure, branding, social media, event involvement, or similar ideas. For your club, ask for financial contributions, in-kind donations, or discounts. Establishing mutually beneficial partnerships is a great way to enhance your volleyball club's brand and growth.

11. Evaluate and Adapt

Well-run businesses set time aside to review and reflect. Your volleyball club is no exception. Regularly evaluate the performance and impact of the club against your initial goals and objectives. Solicit feedback from families, coaches, and staff to learn what works well and identify areas for improvement. Study growth, revenue, player development, staff training, and community engagement statistics. Analyze the information and use it as a tool for future decision-making and strategic planning.

When pouring yourself into starting a volleyball club, constructive criticism is hard. Separate your subjective side for the good of your club in order to logically address challenges, seize opportunities, and be flexible in your planning. Remember, you brought your volleyball club this far - keep leading it to the future it deserves.

12. Celebrate Achievements

Acknowledge the achievements and milestones of your volleyball club - anything from winning championships to developing talented players. Celebrate the small wins and the big ones. Recognize all who have played a role in your club's success, and express your gratitude for their dedication and commitment. Doing so will reinforce the your volleyball club’s mission and create long-lasting memories for years to come.

One Final Note

Now that you know how to start a volleyball club, it’s time to leverage your passion for the sport and go after your vision. Keep focused on your mission and turn any challenges into opportunities. Immerse yourself in the business-side and enthusiastically choose your volleyball uniforms. After all, you now hold the tools to confidently build successful teams that perform at their best and dynamically represent your volleyball club both on and off the court.