An induction process is used by many sport organisations to welcome new members to the club and prepare them for their new role.

Inductions are the most important training session you can offer any employee, volunteer or athlete. In some cases, this will be an individual’s first formal contact with your organisation, the programs it offers, the people involved and its operational processes. It might also be their first and most formative impression of you!

Within a sports club or team, where systems and processes are less formal, a team induction should provide practical information to help people identify their role within the group, and better understand how they can contribute to it.

Such an induction might include:

  • Establishing the culture of the team, club and event

  • Setting and explaining the relevant policies and procedures

  • Introducing team members to each other

  • Helping inductees understand the performance standards required

  • Increasing participants’ commitment to the team; and

  • Allowing them to ask ‘silly’ questions without fear of judgment.

Good inductions are often linked to social events, so that team members are not only incentivised to attend, they are inducted in a way that doesn’t seem as directive or boring.

Although an induction is always best done in person, an induction manual may support the process, making it much easier for yourself and future managers to deliver. A manual may also act as a single source of truth for certain, key information.

Although its initial preparation may be quite a task, this investment of time will repay your club many times over in legacy benefits.

According to the Office of Recreation and Sport in South Australia, an induction manual could include the following:

  • a welcome letter;

  • a history of the club or organisation;

  • contact details for the team, club and in emergencies;

  • the club’s mission, values, philosophies and objectives;

  • a copy of relevant position descriptions;

  • training information;

  • volunteer rights and responsibilities;

  • relevant policies and codes of conduct;

  • the process for claiming expenses;

  • details on any budgets that may be attached to the position; and

  • risk management, occupational health and safety, grievance and emergency procedures.

You should also consider re-inducting established team players for special events, such as competition tours and end of season trips.

So what do you think are some the risks and issues specific to teams going away on tour?

We will look at a number of these in the topics that follow.