GO! Resources Create Strong, Stable Clubs

The GO! pro­gram helps clubs build strong, sus­tain­able orga­ni­za­tions and made founder Ruth Nicholson one of our four final­ists for the 2018 Innovator of the Year.

GO! Resources Create Strong, Stable Clubs

The GO! pro­gram helps clubs build strong, sus­tain­able orga­ni­za­tions and made founder Ruth Nicholson one of our four final­ists for the 2018 Innovator of the Year.

After spend­ing more than 20 years in club sports oper­a­tions, Ruth Nicholson has seen every inef­fi­cien­cy in the book. She’s seen frac­tures in infra­struc­ture, sub­ma­rine clubs and clubs that cre­ate poor expe­ri­ences for their athletes.

So she did some­thing about it.

In June 2017, Nicholson launched GO!, an unpar­al­leled library of online tools designed to help coach­es, admin­is­tra­tors, board mem­bers and vol­un­teers get on the same page and smooth­ly run suc­cess­ful clubs. Her inge­nu­ity helped her become one of four final­ists for our 2018 Innovator of the Year.

When peo­ple called me, they were in so much pain, so much con­flict, so much trou­ble. They were in sur­vival mode and that hap­pens way too much. I thought, This is sil­ly. There has to be a way to build capac­i­ty at the club lev­el so things run well, peo­ple know their roles on and off the field, and actu­al­ly work together.’” Ruth Nicholson, Founder of GO!

While Nicholson’s pas­sion is soc­cer — she’s been a play­er, coach, team man­ag­er, sta­di­um man­ag­er, ref­er­ee, and club oper­a­tions direc­tor — GO! sup­ports clubs in all sports. It pro­vides webi­na­rs, train­ing ses­sions, tem­plates, check­lists, and oth­er resources to help orga­ni­za­tions avoid com­mon pitfalls.

The pur­pose of GO! is to build club capac­i­ty to cre­ate a bet­ter off-field team in gov­er­nance and oper­a­tions. If that team doesn’t work well, there’s no way ath­letes and their coach­es will be sup­port­ed the way they need to be. You can’t sup­port coach­es if your admins don’t under­stand what coach­es need and if your board doesn’t under­stand your coach­es are the sub­ject mat­ter experts in the game.” Ruth Nicholson, Founder of GO!

The resources in GO! are orga­nized into five areas in which clubs can become more effi­cient and productive.

  1. Team Management: engage par­ents and vol­un­teers and ease team man­age­ment struggles 
  2. Financial Health: stay finan­cial­ly secure (includ­ing spon­sor­ships and marketing) 
  3. Board and Committee Productivity: improve orga­ni­za­tion­al struc­ture and cre­ate effec­tive groups that will get work done with short­er meet­ings and bet­ter results 
  4. Paid and Unpaid Staffing: build effi­cient club staff, includ­ing sus­tain­able vol­un­teer programs 
  5. Coaching Survival: offer coach­es edu­ca­tion not pro­vid­ed in tra­di­tion­al coach­ing edu­ca­tion resources, such as con­flict res­o­lu­tion and resources for direc­tors to man­age coach­ing staffs

GO! cur­rent­ly offers more than 65 doc­u­ments and 30 record­ed webi­na­rs, and Nicholson adds more each month. For exam­ple, new webi­na­rs and replays of the most pop­u­lar webi­na­rs are offered every week.

Nicholson has seen the pain points of strug­gling clubs and wants to elim­i­nate them for coach­es and administrators. 

Clubs don’t bud­get to bring in an expen­sive con­sul­tant when bad stuff hap­pens. Everything in GO! is field-test­ed. The resources are in man­age­able chunks based on some­thing I devel­oped for a client or one of my part­ners has used with their clients. We cre­at­ed it this way to make it eas­i­ly acces­si­ble and afford­able so that clubs strug­gle less and suc­ceed more.” Ruth Nicholson, Founder of GO!