Why They Quit
“’I just can’t take it anymore coach,’ a talented but underperforming player named Kate told me a few years back. ‘I think I am done playing’” John O’Sullivan blogged.* The key reasons for the athletes’ departures sound like what some folks who quit Toastmasters say, too. Perhaps his solutions for young athletes will help us remain relevant for our club members.
It’s no longer fun. If our club is no longer fun, why? Is it because the club officers don’t understand that they are “servant leaders” (more on that in another post)? Or are we just expressing our own attitude, perhaps because we feel left out?
Do cliques dominate activities? We can join the clique, ignore them but develop relationships with individual members or form our own clique.
Dull meetings? Ask “What can WE do to enliven meetings: provide snacks for the Table Topics winners? Bring a vase of flowers to each meeting? Propose a new meeting role, “Humor Master” who will assign or provide a joke for each meeting?”
They have lost ownership of the experience
How many club members attend (and compete in) Area and Division Speech Contests? How many go to educational events such as L.A.C.E.? How club officers attend District Executive Committee meetings?
If the answer is “not enough” perhaps it’s time to get personally involved. We were surprised by how much “proprietary interest” we developed when we got involved as Club and District officer. Participating and training lead to an increased sense of ownership.
They don’t get playing time
The VPE is the key, here. She makes or breaks the club experience by scheduling speeches and meeting roles to ensure members get the chance to learn, grow and progress. Speak, Lead, Succeed club is fortunate; we have a VPE who wields her schedule to keep meetings fun and challenging for us and to ensure we all have a chance to deal with the communications and leadership challenges that help us grow.
We’ll finish with a couple more reasons kids drop out of sports – and Toastmasters drop out of clubs – in a following post.