How using an attendance register app can improve sports club’s attendance levels
When you put your heart and soul into running your sports club, it can be hard not to take it personally when members stop attending your classes. It can even sting a bit when they simply don’t attend as much as they used to. However, it’s important to keep reminding ourselves that people have busy lives and it’s normally not a reflection on the classes that we run.
For most of us, money isn’t the reason why we coach. We coach to make a difference to people’s lives and for the feeling of helping others. However, sometimes, when attendance drops, it can make an impact on the ability to pay rent & keeping running your club. This can be especially difficult if your club is not for profit because a drop in attendance can mean a big drop in your income.
It’s a good idea to start thinking about retaining your existing members and also making your club in such demand, that as soon as someone leaves, someone else is ready to join.
Here are a few ways that using an attendance app can help with your club’s overall attendance levels.
The main perk of using an attendance app is having your registers automatically generate every week. This means no longer writing up weekly registers & no more messy, bulky paperwork.
Lots of attendance apps are also so user-friendly, that clubs choose to allow their students to sign themselves in when they arrive to class. Members usually love this new level of interaction and it gives coaches more time to spend with them/answer questions etc. This additional bit of time with students and extra bit of responsibility with a cool new app, can make a big difference when it comes to members’ motivation to attend your classes.
Did you know that 87% of clubs saw improved attendance after introducing digital registers? Apps for clubs are really making that much of a difference.
Unsurprisingly, monitoring your club’s attendance can actually help you improve it. But who has the time to work out each member’s attendance percentage every week? Most types of attendance app for iPhone and Android will allow you to quickly & easily view attendance statistics for each student. This means you can regularly monitor attendance for each member. Then you can put a plan in place with non-attenders if necessary.
For example, you may notice that some members aren’t attending as they normally would which would enable you to contact them and found out why. Then you could either support them in attending, or you may come to an agreement where you offer their space to someone else. Additionally, did you know that monitoring attendance can even help with your safeguarding practice?
Schools and local authorities use attendance to monitor children who are at risk of falling behind. This is because attendance at school is ‘known to be a key protective factor in safeguarding young people’. Although things aren’t exactly the same for sports clubs (as extra-curricular activities aren’t a legal obligation like school education is); your club could also use attendance to highlight irregular patterns for the children who may be at risk within your club.
With monitoring attendance levels comes the ability to react to whatever you discover. Many online register apps will have messaging features which allow you to send emails/texts to members within your classes.
When you notice that certain members aren’t attending as much as they used to, you can send them a friendly message to find out why. You may find out that they’re a little forgetful, that they have personal circumstances, or they may just not have time to attend anymore.
Whatever the outcome, it’ll allow you to act/support them as much as you can. You could end up sending a gentle reminder out to all members before each class, agreeing to offer their space to someone else, or just support them through whatever they’re going through.
View your most (and least) popular classes
Lots of register apps will give you other useful statistics like automatically calculating your most popular classes. Being able to access this information instantly will make it really easy for you to see which classes are most and least attended.
This can help you decide on the future of some of your classes. For example, you may want to run less of the least popular classes and more of the most popular ones. Once the data is there, it’s yours to do what you want with.
Some attendance register apps will come with other functionality. For example, member/coach management, GDPR/safeguarding features, money management etc. All of these features could be useful in their own way and could help you save even more time & money going forward.
If your club’s admin is a little bit disorganised, you may not know it, but it may be putting people off continuing with their membership. Switching from clunky, hard-to-manage paper registers to a slick, fast and easy-to-use register app can make a big difference to your club’s reputation. Saving time on this part of your admin will let you spend more time in class and helping members. That extra time can go a long way in your students’ eyes.
If your club already has a great reputation for coaching, brilliant! But if it starts to build more of a reputation for its straight-forward way of running too; word should start to spread. Then when your club is full, you can start to build a waiting list of people who’d like to join as soon as someone leaves.
Where to start?
Finding the right attendance app for your club needs some research. You need to be able to test a few different apps and then choose the right one for you. To start with, try searching for ‘attendance app android’ (or iPhone) and see what results come up. Watch this space for a more detailed guide on how to do your own attendance app review.