It’s been said that the heart and soul of a good youth league program is its volunteer base. However, assembling a team of volunteers isn’t always as easy it sounds. It can be challenging to find good people who are willing to give up their time and energy especially when they have other things going on in their lives.

However, communities are filled with people who love the sport and would be more than happy to spend their time volunteering; you just need where to look. Here are tips on recruiting volunteers for your youth league:

1. Create an advertisement
Identify the volunteer positions you need within your organization and create a short but detailed description of the requirements. Post the ad in community locations like bulletin boards, newspapers, social media, websites, and sports league forums.

Social media is a great way to get the word out. Most of your community is already online, and your ad posted on Facebook could be shared across to all your friends, their friends, and so on.

2. Visit nearby colleges
A great place to look for potential volunteers is your local community college. There are plenty of students who like to get involved in volunteer work and already have a love and experience for the game, particularly if they played little league when they were younger. Check out students who may be taking up courses such as physical education, physical therapy, sports science, early child development, and even social work.

3. Retired or former coaches
Often, retired and former coaches may also be looking for opportunities to coach again. Organizations should keep a list of all their former coaches. Coaches tend to run in circles with other coaches, and they may be able to refer another coach they know from the community.

4. At games
Games are filled with spectators who share a common interest in the sport. Making an announcement during halftime that you are in need for volunteer coaches for the next season is sure to create buzz. Have sign-up forms or a tablet ready to take volunteers name and contact numbers. Doing this at each game will ensure that you will always have a list of people to reach out to and interview for the upcoming season.

5. Your network
You probably don’t even realize it, but as a youth league administrator, you meet new people often; at games, practices, and registrations. Your network of people is bigger than you think. The kids participating in your program have older siblings who may be interested in volunteering but just need a little encouragement.

Parent volunteers often make up the most number of volunteers for any league. Some parents are hesitant thinking they may not be qualified. However, a clear description of the requirements may all they need to realize that they may be perfect for the role.

Remember, recruiting volunteers can be done year-round and will give you the chance to interact and build your network through parents, sponsors, current volunteers and members of the community.