Build Spirit & Enjoy Yourself!

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6. Build spirit and enjoy yourself!

It is extremely important for you and your members to enjoy the existence of your club, but enjoyment and spirit are different entities – whilst most clubs will provide a service and opportunity for people to interact socially and play some pool, some manage to take this a step further and build a unity amongst the club that drives them on to support one another in achieving success perhaps beyond their collective skill-sets. Indeed, for some clubs, they are collectively greater than the sum of their parts, and take great pride in this.

Spirit also helps to spread the energy across the club, preventing the “little kingdom syndrome” mentioned at the start of this handbook, whereby the club revolves around one or two individuals and their priorities, leading to the club not servicing its members and fading away.

But how do you achieve this?

The following are a few simple things that can contribute to this:

* Have regular social events balancing the competitive side to the club, and always look to include the more peripheral club members in these. Perhaps you may like to undertake some team-building exercises during such nights to relax your members and help you to bond?

* Create your own competitions and award medals and trophies to winners.

* Hold an annual awards night or dinner to reward members for their participation in the club, which may involve a mixture of real and joke awards (e.g. university champion; newcomer of the year; worst dressed player; quote of the year). This may take place after your last event or perhaps during a non-event occasion (e.g. a club dinner), and provides a focal point for recognising the achievements of your members and your club.

* Keep a photographic record of your activities and publish details in your member newsletters and other promotional material.

* Have your weekly competitions contribute to some sort of university ranking list and publicise this, perhaps aiming towards an end-of-season championship night for the top players.

* Perhaps book a professional to do an exhibition and challenge night – virtually all the top professionals, including recent World Champions, do this at a fairly reasonable price, and may be an option for any end-of-year tournament, event or awards night you may have planned. It also helps to put your club “on the map” so to speak.

You may have some ideas yourself?!

And finally….

It can be hard work as well as rewarding to be involved in the establishment and running of a pool club, so don’t forget to take time out to enjoy it and celebrate all your successes.

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