Why is communication a concern for club managers?
The ever-evolving communication of today’s communities sets a clear message for a community sport that is cricket – Catch Up! Fall behind, and you lose!
What’s there to lose, you ask?
Members – Your best hope of running a cricket club successfully
Come to think about it, running a cricket club effectively isn’t rocket science. It is, however, time-consuming, and also it could be exhausting if you’re the only one running the club with little to no help. The last thing you’d want here is losing your members to other clubs.
What role does communication play in managing a cricket club?
Here are some scenarios that highlight the need for effective communication.
Selecting and Managing Teams –
Key tasks include player selection, assigning roles, replacing players on the team.
Most common mistake club admins make while executing these tasks is depending on Excel or instant chat applications like WhatsApp. Instant communication is the need of the hour. However, apps like WhatsApp are not the ideal choices when it comes to these tasks, despite their instant messaging feature.
When it comes to Excel, you lose out on time, as it comes with complexity levels that not all the club members would be comfortable with. Apart from its complexity, Excel isn’t a cricket-club-specific app to rely on. A lot of manual work goes into creating, editing, and managing team rosters using Excel.
Even if you manage time to create Excel sheets, and create your teams, assign roles, this plan will backfire when the time calls for last minute changes.
Two reasons –
A – Not everyone uses Excel on their phone, so, cannot stay updated on the teams created by the admin.
B – No instant updates to members, means last minute change in availabilities is very likely.
Where does this leave you?
Scheduling Practice Sessions and Matches
The most common means of communication used for scheduling practice sessions and matches by club admins is WhatsApp. Apart from that, Facebook also finds a place in many clubs’ communication strategy (or habit, if you may).
Match and Practice schedules are subject to players’ availabilities. WhatsApp clearly lacks a structure to track these availabilities or even indicate them. Since its goal is to send and receive messages, it fails to meet the communication needs of a cricket club, which go beyond peer-to-peer chat.
Why is effective communication on WhatsApp or Facebook for clubs a challenge?
The simple answer is the tidal wave of content demanding members’ attention, so much so, that they don’t have a minute in their day that they can dedicate to their cricket club group on WhatsApp or Facebook.
If you’re a club owner or a manager trying to reach a club member in a WhatsApp group, you’re competing with everyone on their contact list for a minute of your member’s attention.
Good luck beating that tidal wave of content!
Clubs also organize Events – practice/matches on Facebook. This may seem like a good idea to reach your fans on Facebook and connect with them.
However, if you’re planning to track who among your players is interested or is actually going for the practice on the said venue and date, then, you’re in for a disappointment. Why?
- Your Events on Facebook are, again, up against every single group your club members are a part of on Facebook.
- There’s no instant reminder for any changes in the match venues or timings. (Assuming they manage to find your Event in their Timeline)
- Going to Facebook every time one needs to find the venue location in Maps, is too much work for someone who plays Cricket on weekends for recreation.
This just gets tougher and tougher for players to follow and keep up with. Ultimately it all leads to one thing every club owner and admin hates – No Shows!
Fee payments – a constant struggle for admins
Consistent no-shows, actually show a lot about your club members – their decreasing interest in the club and a decline in the level of contribution. This is likely to affect players’ association with the club in the long run and timely fee payments.
Fee payments is another issue that club admins struggle with. The issues discussed in above sections explain why you’d be struggling not only to track payments but to actually receive them.
As a club, you ought to offer your club members the necessary infrastructure if you’re expecting timely fee payments from them.
The least you can do is maintain a proper management and communication system to increase the ease of play for members with busy schedules, who only want to come in, play and go.
Effective communication is a must for any cricket club, be it pro or amateur. It is essential for the sense of community the game thrives on. If you show that you actually care for their time, your club members will make sure that your efforts are appreciated! (Make sure you’re prepared with a system to track those incoming payments)
Here’s a question that’s been raised in The Club Debate: Is Admin burden pushing clubs and leagues to a breaking point?
We would love to hear your opinion on how club managers can enhance club communication.