Building a Transformational Soccer Club
Posted by: Aaron Nagel | Executive Director
One of our Rapids Youth Soccer parents recently reached out with a great article discussing how important it is for soccer clubs to be transformational not just transactional. While we often stress the importance of our player development model, highlighting the growth and achievements of our teams, this metric of success is primarily transactional. This is why, over the past couple years, we have invested heavily in the culture, community, and experience our members have within Rapids Youth Soccer. Some of our new initiatives to meet the needs of our members and focus on player development on and off the field include:
Introducing the Community Cup: Last year we introduced the Community Cup for all U9-U12 Select through Gold boys and girls as a way to connect players to other teams, of both strangers and former teammates, competitive and outreach, to strengthen the bond across our community. Even the Colorado Rapids Development Academy got involved, helping coach and facilitate games and serve food at the lunch tailgate.
Encouraging our teams to volunteer within their community: We ask all our Competitive teams to take some time to perform community service initiatives together. Not only is this a great bonding opportunity for teammates and gives back to the community, but it gives our players an opportunity to practice generosity and giving. While teams are encouraged to select their own projects, we have our own Outreach program with opportunities to volunteer with or donate to underserved youth in the Denver area.
Free/Discounted Colorado Rapids tickets and Rapids Youth Soccer tailgates: Our partnership with the Colorado Rapids provides a variety of benefits to our members, including shared resources and professional coaching. However, one of our favorite parts of being a Colorado Rapids partner is the access to free/discounted tickets for our members. This is a great opportunity for teams to get out and watch the professionals in action together! When we can, we get together with free Rapids Youth Soccer tailgates to bring our members together over burgers and soccer.
“Game of the Week” and club-wide support: This spring season we started inviting players to a specific “Game of the Week” to watch and support their fellow Club members. The benefits of the Game of the Week is twofold, we love seeing our players get out there to support other members, regardless of age or ability, and watching soccer games can be a great educational resource for developing players.
The Rapids Way: At the backbone of our efforts to be a transformational soccer club is “the Rapids Way”. The Rapids Way encompasses who we are as a club, from how we handle our administrative details to how coaches instruct players in training to how our players and families conduct themselves on and off the field. The culture we create provides a system of support for all our young players, and we are incredibly proud of our community.
We are honored that Rapids Youth Soccer parent Julie Lierman thought of us immediately upon reading this article and sent it to us with this thoughtful note:
“I truly appreciate all the extras the Rapids club does for these kids with game tickets, bringing in Indie Cowie last year at the Community Cup, focusing on the development of each player individually and holding evaluations, your pep talks to them at practice and at games and not just about soccer, and so much more. I have yet to meet a club that has this much interaction with the kids outside of the normal trainings and games.”