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The Sports Camp & Clinic Game Plan

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The Sports Camp & Clinic Game Plan

By: Pat Rigsby

Every Summer there are hundreds of coaches around the country earning an additional 4, 5 of even six figures. If you’re not one of them, this Game Plan will give you the foundation to get started – and if you are already running camps or clinics, this will allow you to take what you’re doing to the next level.

Before we get into it, let me tell you about my camp experience and why you might want to listen to me. I became a college baseball coach at an underfunded University when I was 23 and immediately knew that if I wanted to build our program I’d need to raise money beyond what our budget provided.

While I did various fundraisers (we did everything from sell cheesecakes to run a casino night on a riverboat), the most consistent way to generate additional funds was to run camps and clinics. Since I had no real experience with them other than as a participant, I did what I’ve always done to learn – I studied people who were successfully doing it.

I began traveling all over the country working at baseball camps. I also studied guys like Don Meyer and Don Lane who were running 7 figure camp and clinic businesses at tiny schools. I modeled what worked.

Before long I was not only making more from my camps and clinics than from all our other fundraisers combined, but I was actually making more than my baseball coaching salary from running them. Over time I’ve run over 100 camps or clinics, ranging from youth baseball clinics and showcases to coaches clinics and even tournaments. I’ve also helped hundreds of the most successful camp operators in North America – so over time I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t.

So with that, I wanted to share a very simple Game Plan to make your Camp or Clinic a huge success.

 

The Week-By-Week Game Plan

sportsclinic 

8 Weeks Out

This is when you need to start to determine your pricing, you location, your camp or clinic theme and deliverables as well as the target market. My suggestion is to set an Early Enrollment price and a Regular Price that are about 10-20% different. That will give you an extra deadline to aid in your marketing efforts.

You need to have a handle on how many attendees you plan to realistically have so you can ensure that you have the right coach / attendee ratio, have any camp items like t-shirts or bags lined up and that you have a handle on what you’re likely expenses will be.

At this point you also need to know how you’ll be collecting payments and make sure that you’re basics are in place like waivers and insurance.

Finally, this is the time when you want to develop what I call the ‘Hit List’. This is your list of people in your network who are involved with the market you’re running the camp for. If you were running a baseball camp it would be comprised of people like:

  • Current and former athletes who play baseball.
  • Local school coaches.
  • Local travel ball coaches.
  • Local private baseball instructors.
  • Parents of local players.
  • League or organization administrators.
  • Sporting good store owners / managers.
  • Athletic Directors.
  • Local Sports Media contacts.

List their name, contact information and the best member of your staff to contact them if it won’t be you.

This group will be the foundation of your marketing efforts. If you do a good job with them, you’re almost certain to be successful.

 

6 Weeks Out 

This is when we want to start making our marketing visible.

First you want to get a web page up so that you can refer people back to it. Ideally you want your potential campers to be able to enroll and pay there, but if for some reason they can – drive them to contact you directly. Here’s an example of copy for a page I put together for my friend and fellow coach, Corey Taylor:

 

Web Copy

“Discover How You Can Get The Edge Over Your Competition By Becoming More Powerful And Explosive, Gaining Quickness, Improving Agility And Developing Cutting-Edge Speed In Our Elite Athletic Development Camp That Is Guaranteed To Improve Any Athlete’s Ability On The Field Or The Court!”

Join Us For Our Elite Athletic Development Camp On [DATES]

Gender/Age Group
Start Date
Days of Training
Time Of Training
Location of Training

Dear Parents, Coaches, and Athletes,

If you want to unlock your athletic potential, this is for you!

Athletes that are explosive and fast have a huge competitive advantage over those who simply focus on sport skills. You’ve seen how much importance has been placed on combines, showcases and other ways of measuring an athlete’s athleticism…and with good reason.

9 times out of 10, the stronger, faster athletes win.

On the field. On the court. And even when it comes to getting the scholarship or the contract…those athletes come out on top.

[Insert Pic of Player or Testimonial]

How would you like to get this competitive edge and gain the confidence knowing that you’re going to be able to go through or by a defender…or that you’re more powerful than the competition?

That is exactly what we are going to help you unlock in our Elite Athletic Development Camp.

It is our job to produce great athletes. While we don’t work on the sport specific skills that are required to be a great player—that’s the coach’s job and they’re experts at it—we create better athletes that have the power, speed, agility, and quickness to make those skills much, much more valuable.

Here’s What You Can Expect At Our Elite Athletic Development Camp:

In our Elite Athletic Development Camp, athletes will:

  • Learn how to unlock their athletic power by starting to train explosively.
  • Discover how to properly prepare for competition to maximize performance and prevent injury.
  • Maximize movement technique to gain speed, agility and quickness in just a few short weeks.
  • Employ specific drills that will help improve foot speed and change of direction.
  • And Much, Much More!

[Insert testimonial or Pic of athlete]

Every Athlete Can Benefit From Our Elite Athletic Development Camp! So The Question Is This…Will The One to Gain The Edge Be You Or Your Competition?

Here are the details of our Elite Athletic Development Camp:

Gender/Age Group
Start Date
Days of Training
Time Of Training
Location of Training
Cost of Academy

The last thing that you want is for your opponents to be at the Camp getting stronger, faster and more explosive while you let them pass you by.

[Register Now Button]

 

For only $XX, you can take your athleticism to the next level.

If you aren’t 100% satisfied with the Elite Athletic Development Camp, and if you aren’t a stronger, faster, more agile, and quicker athlete at the end of our 4-week program, we will give you 100% of your money back.

You literally have nothing to lose and everything to gain by attending our Elite Athletic Development Camp.

Register Today For Only $XX

[Register Now Button]

Signature / Picture of You

(If you use Early Enrollment Pricing, indicate both and the deadline to register and get the preferred price).

 

Next, you want to send out a press release to the local media and even to free or low cost press release distribution services online.

Here’s an example of a press release I put together for a friend:

 

FOR FURTHER                                                          FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

INFORMATION CONTACT:
NAME
Phone:
Email:

Elite Athlete Development Camp Coming To Louisville

Local Sports Performance Professional Corey Taylor Launches Elite Athlete Development Camp In Louisville

Youth and high school sports are more competitive than ever. Nobody knows this better than local sports performance expert Corey Taylor. Throughout June and July Taylor is holding a Elite Athlete Development Camp in Louisville to share his revolutionary techniques to develop strength, power, speed and agility that will not only help make youth and high school athletes better now, but will also help them reach their true athletic potential.

Taylor and his staff will be instructing athletes ages 10 – 18 on improving strength and power development, acceleration, lateral speed, cutting, change or direction as well as offering specific workouts and drills to improve performance and reduce injury.

The camp will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 4 consecutive weeks in two convenient locations, the Louisville Sports Academy and the Oldham County YMCA. Athletes will be divided by age group, and there will be two different camp sessions available, June 8th to July 3rd and July 6th to July 31st. Each session will cost $XX.

The first session of the Elite Athlete Development Camp will launch on June 8th at both the Louisville Sports Academy and the Oldham County YMCA. To register or for more information, call NAME at PHONE NUMBER or go to WEBSITE.

###

Get that out to local media and if you are fortunate enough to get it picked up, you’re ahead of the game for marketing. The first time I submitted a press release (I literally walked it into the sports department at the local paper) for a camp, they ran a feature story that was easily responsible for an additional 40 attendees.

Then you want to put together a simply flyer that contains the same type of features and benefits as the web page – just less wordy.

5 Weeks Out 
Reach out to hit list, email general list and send flyers home with all athletes and parents.
  • You have the option of offering a discount to any athlete who brings a guest…so let’s say that someone brings a guest, you could give them 25-50% off or you could give them some swag.
  • Reach out to the hit list individually with personal calls, texts or emails making sure they know the details of camp and that you’d love to see them or their athletes there. If it’s coaches – offer to give them flyers or emails to send out to their athletes.
  • Send out an email to your general contact list like this one:

 

EMAIL

Subject: Registration Is Now OPEN

If you or your athlete wants to unlock their athletic potential, this is for you!

Athletes that are explosive and fast have a huge competitive advantage over those who simply focus on sport skills. You’ve seen how much importance has been placed on combines, showcases and other ways of measuring an athlete’s athleticism…and with good reason.

9 times out of 10, the stronger, faster athletes win.

On the field. On the court. And even when it comes to getting the scholarship or the contract…those athletes come out on top.

That’s why we’re hosting the Elite Athletic Development Camp. See all the details here:

LINK to WEBPAGE
How would you like to get this competitive edge and gain the confidence knowing that you’re going to be able to go through or by a defender…or that you’re more powerful than the competition?

That is exactly what we are going to help you unlock in our Elite Athletic Development Camp.

It is our job to produce great athletes. While we don’t work on the sport specific skills that are required to be a great player—that’s the coach’s job and they’re experts at it—we create better athletes that have the power, speed, agility, and quickness to make those skills much, much more valuable.

Here’s What You Can Expect At Our Elite Athletic Development Camp:

In our Elite Athletic Development Camp, athletes will:

  • Learn how to unlock their athletic power by starting to train explosively.
  • Discover how to properly prepare for competition to maximize performance and prevent injury.
  • Maximize movement technique to gain speed, agility and quickness in just a few short weeks.
  • Employ specific drills that will help improve foot speed and change of direction.
  • And Much, Much More!

Camps begin on XXXX and XXXX at {LOCATIONS}. Learn more or reserve your spot by going here now:

LINK TO WEBPAGE

[SIGNATURE]

(As with the web page, if you use Early Enrollment Pricing, indicate both and the deadline to register and get the preferred price).

 

4 Weeks Out

This week you’ll be really working that hit list. Make sure that you can carve out enough time to personally connect with them and not only make sure they know about the camp, but that they have everything they need to easily promote it. Do as much of the work for them as you possibly can.

If you have local leagues that fit your target market where you can personally distribute marketing materials, this is the time. In fact, I’ve had success making a small donation to a local league in exchange for them sending out a couple of promotional emails to their list.

You’ll also send a Reminder Email similar to last week as well as mention it in person with anyone you’re with live.

 

3 Weeks Out

If you have early registration pricing…this is when you end it.

That gives you another reason to reach out to all contacts. Otherwise, reach out to all Hit List, Current Athletes and Send Reminder email as well as offer an incentive to those currently registered to refer a friend and let them know about any incentive you can provide for them to refer (i.e. – Swag.)

Basically, any channel you have…use the price hike as a reason to let them know to register now.

 

2 Weeks Out

By this point you should have a handle on approximately how many attendees you’ll have so you should able to dial in your staffing and make any changes you need on the camp structure if you’re enrollment really deviates from what you originally planned.

Reach out one last time to all Hit List, Current Athletes and Send Reminder email as well as offer an incentive to those currently registered to refer a friend (i.e. – Swag.) Develop special offer for campers to transition into your long-term programs…like $50 off the first month…if you do run long-term programming.

Make sure you’re t-shirts and any other swag you have in the plans are on track. You’re in the home stretch.

 

1 Week Out

Prep for Camp – focus on delivering a great camp and converting attendees into long-term clients. You’ll get stragglers registering at this point, but your focus should be on delivering a world-class camp or clinic.

 

Camp / Clinic Day 

You may be doing 1 day, you may be doing 6 weeks. That’s what you determined 8 weeks out. Regardless, your focus is to make your attendees better and to ensure that they have a great experience. If you’re running a showcase or combine – then you want to make sure the attendees got a chance to put their best foot forward. Make it your mission to deliver 10X the value of their investment back to them and their parents. If you’ve got a follow up offer like ongoing training or coaching – make a soft offer toward the end of the event with an incentive for them to join today.

 

Follow Up 

Most coaches drop the ball here. Send a personal note to every attendee. If you did anything like a performance evaluation, share it and add some notes. Add them to an email list and deliver periodic, high value content.

Do what others won’t and you’ll have repeat attendees and start to really build a following.

So there’s a Game Plan to follow that will help you run a successful camp or clinic. I’ll wrap up with a couple quick notes:

  • Model what works. Not theory. This is what I’ve personally used and what I’ve helped others succeed with so I KNOW it works.
  • I didn’t mention things like Facebook Ads and Paid Ads because I’ve not used them to fill a camp or clinic. Pat Beith has, so take his advice on something like that. If you see someone like that that has a proven track record learn from them.
  • You have to market camps and clinics. They don’t fill themselves. They’re easier to market and sell than long-term programs since there is a deadline to start and since it’s not an ongoing program, but you still have to market.
  • Think of this as a business, not a profit center or one time event. That will help you focus on the long-term relationship with the attendees.

Follow this plan and be sure to tell me how it goes!

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