Step 3: First RallySeason
Some RallyPlayers have never had a best friend - time to change that in season one.
- Understanding First RallySeason
- Schedule it Out and Book Facility
- Prep Website
- Purchase Equipment
- Recruit RallyPlayers
- Recruit Volunteers
- Trophies and T-shirts
- Final Prep
Step 1: Understanding first rallySeason
RallySeasons are the foundation of RallyCap Sports. Kickoffs and parties are great, but our focus is providing a year-round sports program for people with special needs. Here is a quick refresher on what a RallySeason looks like:
- 4-6 weeks long
- 1 hour sessions, once a week
- $25 registration fee for each RallyPlayer, this includes a t-shirt and trophy
Check out RallySeasons in your Manual for more details.
Okay now that you're up to speed, let's start planning your first RallySeason. The first thing you should know is that we've built your first RallySeason for you (sweet right?). Just like your kickoff, your first RallySeason is a crucial part of the early-stage development of your chapter... and we want to help you as best we can. So before you move on to Step 2, check out these details for your first RallySeason:
- The sport for your first RallySeason will be soccer. Maybe soccer isn't your favorite sport, but we've found it to be the perfect starter sport (and you will already have equipment from your kickoff kit!)
- Your RallySeason should start within two weeks after your kickoff, it's important to keep that momentum
- We've built the itinerary for each session of your season (check out First RallySeason Itinerary)
Step 2: schedule it out and book facility
Just like the kickoff, one of your first priorities is mapping out the season dates/times and booking your facilities (it's never too early to book facilities!). As mentioned before, your first RallySeason should take place within two weeks of your kickoff. After everyone is SO EXCITED from your kickoff, it's important to use that momentum to roll directly into your first season.
Here are a few things to consider when scheduling your season:
- Check your semester calendar to stay away from bad dates (like homecoming football game, exam week and other major school events)
- Sessions should be on the same day of the week and at the same time each week so there is no confusion from week to week
- We recommend saturday mornings/afternoons or Sunday afternoons, weeknight are possible too... but don't make it too late for your RallyPlayers and families
- We give you the flexibility of a 4-6 week frame so that you can plan according to the best case scenario for everyone, if a 4-week season fits better into the semester than go for it - but 4 weeks is the minimum requirement
- Choose a facility that will work well with soccer (grass/turf, basketball court, large open space), if the end of your fall semester could produce nasty weather... choose an indoor facility
- Make sure the facility will be easy for RallyPlayers and families to find and that it is accessible for all types of special needs
Step 3: Prep Website
Okay, easy step... you've done this before! Remember when you created a new event on your website for your kickoff? Pretty much the same here. You will need to "create a league" on your website to get ready for registration. Check out these details:
- Sign-in to your website as a site manager (this will happen automatically when you sign-in)
- Click "manage" then "leagues" then "create new league", and simply follow the steps to plug in the information
- We recommend setting the "registration start date" for 2-3 weeks before your RallySeason begins
- Once you save it, your new season will automatically populate the calendar for volunteer and RallyPlayer families to check out, and it will become "live" when the "registration start date" comes around
- This task can be delegated to the Core member who is in charge of your website, but we think it's a good idea to work with that person early on so that you can both get better at the process
We have tried our best to make managing your website as easy as possible, but you should absolutely reach out to your RallyCoach with any questions!
Step 4: Purchase equipment
Look familiar? You should have just done this for your kickoff. To make it easier for you, your first RallySeason is a sport (soccer) that you will already have equipment for from your Kickoff Kit. In most cases, you will have enough equipment from your Kickoff Kit to host your RallySeason. But - and this would be an awesome problem - if you find that your numbers are increasing, you may need to purchase additional equipment. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- The RallyShop is designed for you! We have negotiated the best prices we can so that having the best equipment is affordable
- Purchasing equipment takes money, this is a good time to think about your semester fundraising (scroll down for some insight)
- When you purchase equipment it is yours! You will have this equipment to use for future RallySeasons and events
- Equipment orders should be placed at a minimum of 3 weeks prior to your first session of the RallySeason - the earlier the better!
If you are not sure if you need to purchase more equipment or not, contact your RallyCoach for some advice. If your numbers are growing and you need more equipment - just head over to the RallyShop to place an order for what you need.
- Quick Break -
Check out this important (and short) video about fundraising for your chapter
Step 5: Recruit RallyPlayers
Again, this step should look familiar. Recruiting RallyPlayers for your kickoff event was a crucial part of your kickoff - after all, everything we do is for our RallyPlayers! So, the process and tasks of recruiting should be fresh... let's take a closer look at recruiting for your first RallySeason.
- Getting RallyPlayers signed-up for your first RallySeason is the whole purpose of your kickoff, you want everyone who came to your kickoff to join your RallySeason
- Throughout your recruiting for the kickoff, you should be including the line "and you will have a chance to learn more about and register for the first RallySeason"
- During your kickoff you should have volunteers who are dedicated to registering RallyPlayers for the RallySeason - have a separate registration table where parents can ask questions and register their child on computers/tablets that you provide
- As soon as your kickoff is over, you should turn your attention to recruiting for the first RallySeason by posting marketing material and reaching out to potential RallyPlayer families through email, social media and phone calls
- Make sure that your RallySeason registration is "open" on your website for or before your kickoff
If you need a refresher on recruiting RallyPlayers, head on over to the RallyPlayer Recruitment section of your Manual. Also, be sure to check out the marketing tools and templates available for you to download and use in MyRallyCap under Managing Your Chapter.
Step 6: Recruit Volunteers
At this point, you've probably developed a buzz on campus and students are eager to join your RallyTeam to make a difference. A student must be on your RallyTeam in order to volunteer for your first RallySeason (and to volunteer for anything in the future). So, you should always be communicating with interested students to register for RallyTeam and complete the necessary requirements to be an active member. Recruiting for a RallySeason is a bit different than recruiting for a kickoff because you are asking volunteers to make a bigger commitment. Check out these details:
- To register for your RallySeason, volunteers must be a registered member of your RallyTeam and willing to commit to the rules and guidelines of volunteering for a RallySeason
- Additional to the general member guidelines and requirements, a RallyTeam member who is interested in being a "Buddy" must commit to all sessions of the RallySeason (learn why here)
- Recruitment of volunteers for events and RallySeasons should be led by your RallyTeam Coordinator
- It is important to have plenty of volunteers, not only "Buddies" but also sports station and behind the scenes volunteers - it's also important to not have too many volunteers... work with your Core to determine the number you want for your RallySeason and stick to first come first serve
- You will promote the RallySeason to your RallyTeam and direct interested members to register through your website
- Don't forget to use social media to promote! Create a post and provide the link to your website for more info
For more information about recruiting students to join your RallyTeam, check out RallyTeam Recruitment. As always, check out the downloadable resources we have put together to help you promote and recruit under the Managing Your Chapter section of MyRallyCap.
Step 7: Trophies and T-shirts
What's better than trophies and t-shirts? We think the answer is, nothing. That is why, each RallySeason, a trophy and a t-shirt are included in the registration. A t-shirt so RallyPlayers can sport their new team colors and a trophy to let them know we are proud of them. Check out these details:
- RallyPlayer t-shirts must be ordered the same week of your first session - simply go to RallyShop, find the RallyPlayer t-shirt for basketball, and then place an order for the number of RallyPlayers you have (your RallyCoach will receive the order and will crosscheck with you to make sure you have the correct number ordered)
- Trophies must be ordered within one week after your second session - simply go to RallyShop, find the basketball trophy, and then place an order for the number of RallyPlayers you have (again, your RallyCoach will crosscheck with you to make sure your order is correct)
- Check the Sports Equipment, Trophies and Apparel section of your manual for more details
- To get a refresher on how this works financially for your chapter, check out Financial Framework and Chapter Dues
The trophy ceremony at the end of each season is easily one of the best parts of RallyCap!
This should take you to the end of your first semester. Golf clap.
Check out this short video to help you wrap-up your first semester and get prepared for semester 2.