All roller derby communities love fresh meat! Everyone has been there and it’s a never-to-be-forgotten experience. We must keep in mind that this is a rough sport and that many of the women who practice it are in their peak to be moms or to grow professionally, so eventually the girls in the team will need to take some time off or will move on, anything can happen and therefore the team should always be on the lookout. Here are some tips to recruit new talent for the track.
Remember: Trying a New Activity is Always Intimidating
Maybe the sheet for recruiting activities for the weekend has over 50 signs, but this isn’t a guarantee that those girls will actually show up. Most of them will be too afraid to try, intimidated by the thought of meeting new people or embarrassed they’ll end up falling on their bottoms on their first try. Even if they pass, during the training period it’s possible that they just abandon the team.
How to avoid desertion? Make sure that they feel integrated and welcomed in the team, they should know that they are in a solid team and will always have support. From the beginning, the roller derby values of sorority should be transmitted to the rookies, to keep the skaters beyond the first year -one of the great challenges for coaches-. It’s very important that fresh meats have the full support of the most experienced members of the team throughout the training process and that everyone can find help and answer their questions anytime.
Give Them More Than Just Skating Lessons
Beyond teaching your newbies how not to fall off their skates, it is necessary to teach them how the league works, the rules of the game and the values of the sport, the different positions in which they can participate. In the end, many of them come here looking for a way to make something different with their lives, not just to play a sport.
Do the Talk, Spread the Word
Use every opportunity to recruit. Seizing the chance is a sharp marketing tactic, use the energy of the moment to collect data of some potential enthusiasts and send them information about your equipment and activities. Active social media channels are also great tools to attract new players, so with the flyers for the next bout, have some recruitment sheets on hand. Also make sure that each team member knows when, where and how to join the league and spread the word among their friends and acquaintances.
Organize Meet and Greets
This kind of events are a good tool to catch new talent. These can be made on a local bar so people can listen to the information and socialize later, these “Meet the Rollergirls” nights are less scary than an actual match and also people are focused on making questions and listening to what your team has to offer.
Lean on the most charismatic, passionate and experienced girls on the team to do the talk and be sure to make your strengths as a team clear, are you guys focused on the outfits and the show, or on the contrary? what makes your team stand out is the technique and the athletic or competitive aspects? Let your potential recruits know!