Soccer News: Korrio Survey Provides Insights into American Youth Soccer
Youth Soccer Survey shows soccer is growing, parent's sideline behavior is getting better and volunteers work to hard. Read what Club Directors and Presidents say in new survey on youth soccer. With ore than 18 Million youth soccer players wanting to play soccer, this global sport is growing in America. Read what Club Directors and Coaches say in recent survey done by Korrio on Youth Soccer.
Man Who Could Make a Difference: Steve Goldman
Steve Goldman CEO of Korrio has 25 years of experience in the technology industry, with a history of building emerging companies into market leaders. As the CEO of Isilon Systems (ISLN) for four years, Steve led the company’s revenue growth from $1M in 2003 to $89M in 2007 and executed one of the most successful IPOs in 2006 with a market capitalization in excess of $1 billion.
Prior to joining Isilon, Steve spent six years as a senior executive at F5 Networks (FFIV), where he led the global sales, marketing and services organizations through rapid growth, from $1M in 1997 to $110M in 2000. He also helped F5 execute one of the strongest IPOs in 1999 with a market capitalization in excess of $1 billion.
"In competitive soccer, almost everyone has felt the pain of arriving at the soccer field after a long drive or hotel stay only to discover the game has been cancelled. Communications should be better, easier."
"We have all shared that pain and had to deal with our players' sadness and frustration; their hyped up anticipation turned to disappointment, the huge waste of time and money...and the hassle of rescheduling everything..."
Just as many of us have said "There MUST be a better way."
The technology existed but no ne had harnessed it to solve the numerous communications problems and other administrative dilemmas facing Youth Soccer Club staff, coaches and administrators -- let alone the thousands of volunteers who all wanted it accomplish more in less time.
Check out Korrio's sports automation platform
Diane Scavuzzo , Editor in Chief
Youth Soccer is growing in America
Korrio, the developer of a youth sports online communications platform, has released the results of its first Youth Soccer Leadership Survey, and the information couldn’t come at a better time for club directors. Highlights of the survey show:
- Parents are very involved in youth soccer
- Tremendous amount of detail oriented work heaped on volunteers who only stay for a couple of seasons
- When asked "In the last 5 seasons, has player sportsmanship on the field improved, stayed the same, or declined?" 46% said sportsmanship has Improved
- 11% describe the behavior of parents on the sideline last season as EXCELLENT.
- 58% said "Good - Majority of parents behavior in my club/team is above reproach" ... but these clubs did experience at least one minor incident with a parent.
The survey provides details on parent involvement, player behavior, and volunteer efforts, among other topics, and can help directors better understand and work improve youth soccer for all.
Club Directors and Directors of Coaching were polled. Over 80% of those polled for the study were at the director or higher level with their organizations. SoccerNation spoke with Korrio CEO Steve Goldman to get the details on this highly informative study and to learn how the company started.
The recent survey of youth soccer leadership, which was conducted online between March 1 and April 30, 2011, was designed “to gauge youth soccer management trends in technology, volunteer support, sportsmanship, and parental commitment.” Using the details of the survey can aid clubs in understanding how to get the best out of their organizations.
Among the high points in the survey are results of questions on player and parent participation and sportsmanship. According to the leaders polled, parent involvement is extremely high in youth soccer with 80% of respondents saying that parents were as or more involved than five years ago. In addition, they rated overall parent support and involvement as excellent with 75% being Committed or Highly Committed.
Perhaps the most important factor in parent involvement was that eight out of ten said that parent behavior had stayed the same or improved over the past five years, and that over two-thirds said that it was Good or Excellent. This is very notable in a sport where the emotion levels can run high from start to finish.
Players came out equally well on the survey.
Of the leaders polled, 42% said that player sportsmanship had improved over the past five years and another 38% said it had remained the same. Only 2% felt that player sportsmanship had declined significantly during that time. This is excellent news in a time when we see so many professional athletes in other sports providing poor examples at best for fans. It is a reflection on the emphasis that youth soccer puts on good sportsmanship on and off the field.
Two areas of concern that the survey reflected were in the areas of administration and volunteerism – which are closely linked. It showed that one quarter of club leaders and staff put in over 60 hours weekly on administrative tasks and another 12% put in between 31 and 60 hours. In fact, 58% said that their administrative time had increased over the past three years. The good news is that nearly three-fourths said that this was at least in part due to club growth during that period.
The reason clubs are able to do as much as they do with the limited resources is volunteers. Nine out of ten clubs surveyed said they relied on volunteers to help manage administration and other tasks, which likely comes as no surprise to anyone involved in youth soccer.
Probably the only surprising fact here is that there are 10% of clubs do not rely on volunteers. The number of volunteers varied widely in the survey, with 12% saying they had five or fewer volunteers and 31% making use of 11-25 volunteers. It is very telling that over 43% for clubs had 26 or more volunteers working with them to run operations.
The downside of volunteers, of course, is that they are volunteers and so are only committed to a club as long as it they are willing and/or able. According to the survey, over 55% of volunteers serve a club for three years or fewer and less than 18% stay with a club longer than five years. In fact over half of the directors indicated that recruiting and training volunteers was one of their top administrative challenges. “There is no question that the high turnover rate among volunteers creates considerable issues for youth soccer,” said Goldman about the survey results.
How can anyone communicate with so many systems? Survey asked who many different platforms and systems clubs used now to accomplish the job.
What can youth soccer leaders and volunteers take from this survey? First, know that you are making a positive difference in the lives of America’s youth, which is something to be proud of. The growth in youth soccer is in many ways a direct result of the efforts that adults put in to teach, organize, and direct.
Soccer may not be “America’s Game” yet when compared to baseball and football, but with continued growth in numbers and visibility the time may soon be right for the World’s Game to take its rightful place in the hearts and minds of this country.
The numbers of young Americans participating in youth soccer are growing significantly every year. And, as we saw with the excitement over the Women’s World Cup this year and the Men’s World Cup last year, America will embrace any sport that provides excitement and the opportunity to cheer its own on to victory.
According to CEO Steve Goldman, the survey “reflects a desire to understand the challenges and difficulties that youth soccer organizations are facing today.” The results show that youth soccer is not only strong in the United States but continues to grow and improve. It also shows areas that youth soccer needs to take into account as it does continue to expand.
To Recap: This national youth soccer survey revealed that 90 percent of youth soccer organizations rely on volunteers to help manage their operations, reinforcing the fact that volunteers are the lifeblood that makes youth soccer a reality for millions of kids in the United States. But the Korrio survey also showed that youth soccer organizations’ reliance on volunteers has created a tremendous challenge in terms of recruiting and retaining volunteers.
Survey results show that more than half of them only serve for 1-3 seasons, and that the biggest administrative challenge soccer organizations are facing in 2011 is volunteer recruitment and staffing.
One of the biggest problems is that the systems used by most clubs do not 'talk-to' or integrate with others well...making simple communications often cumbersome and repetitive. Imagine it all in one... announcing information effortlessly.
About the Youth SoccerLeadership Survey: The Korrio Youth Soccer Leadership Survey was presented online to youth soccer organization leadership across the U.S. between March 1, 2011, and April 30, 2011. Over 80% of the respondents were Directorial level or higher within their organization. The survey focused on technology, social media, volunteerism, sportsmanship, and parental commitment.
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Korrio, founded in January 2009, is the developer of Playflow™, a 21st-century youth sports automation platform. Korrio has a singular focus on kids and sports. The company’s mission is to transform the sports experience and elevate the level at which sports are played by automating the things that get in the way — like registration/payment, team formation, rosters, scheduling, communication, and web hosting. Korrio is easy, safe, integrated, and mobile.
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