Rink public sessions are
often the best places to recruit indoor
skaters in the USA. Here are the people who
love to skate.
A start is to let people,
skaters and parents, know that speedskating
exists; many have never heard of it.
Posters, brochures, and PA system
announcements are one tool. Another is
demonstrations by good speed skaters, in
race uniforms. An ideal situation is when
speed team practice is just before or after
session skates, so session skaters can see
the fun of speed.
After people know a little
about what speed skating is, the next step
is one-on-one discussion. If someone
expresses a little interest, perhaps by
paying attention to a speed skating
demonstration, take the initiative to talk
with that person. Tell them a little about
the excitement that speedskaters can have,
volunteer a little information about what it
takes to become a medal winning skater. Ask
if the person has questions, and what their
thoughts are regarding skating.
Sometimes public sessions
have a skate race, or are
willing to do so to make the session more
fun. Talk with the skaters who do well in
those races. Perhaps a race prize could be
a free lesson with the speed team.
Generally be on the lookout
for good skaters, and people who enjoy
skating. Let them know that they are good,
and that the speed team can increase their
speed and fun.
To recruit outdoor skaters,
go to where they skate. Often outdoor
skaters are found on paved bicycle trails,
and roads which bicycles use. Some
industrial parks have little traffic after
business hours, so are used for outdoor
Outdoor skate meets sometimes
draw hundreds or thousands of skaters. Look
for outdoor meets within a day’s drive of
your club’s location.
Once you’ve found outdoor
skaters, the same recruiting techniques as
indoors work well. Posters and brochures
are effective; some outdoor races will, at
low cost, put
one of your brochures in the packet each
skater receives. One-on-one talks are most
Remember that most beginning
skaters are most motivated by fun. Wanting
a first place medal comes later, after
they’ve been skating, but it’s generally not
a useful motivation for recruiting.
Many people join things to be
with friends. So sometimes you’ll need to
recruit a group to try speed together; one
person in the group will not do it alone.
And look to skaters on your team; work with
them to recruit their friends.
When recruiting kids, don’t
forget their parents. Parents not only must
give permission for the kid, but parents
often provide transportation, and must wait
during practices, and pay the expenses of
the sport. Parents can understand
building of self-discipline and pride of
and the desirable peer group which a good
speed team provides, so let parents know of
Don’t rush to change a skater
to fit your mold, but build on what they
enjoy and do well. Try to expose indoor and
outdoor skaters to the other venue, but
don’t try to force them to give up what they