Challenge [verb] to invite or summon (someone to do something, esp. to take part in a contest).
So, what does this have to do with engaging your members?
"Invite or summon" - Most people like to be invited to things. It is a basic human need to feel included. We don’t always want to go but not being invited is a way of shattering a person’s self-esteem and makes us feel left out.
"Contest" - Individual competitions vary in intensity between people. Finding the right contest for ourselves usually triggers a response of wanting to do well and give it all we have. These come in three main forms.
1) In club contests
There are many possibilities here. It could be something like running 100 court sprints as a time trial or doing as many forehand-backhand corner shots in one minute. The idea is to challenge your members to do the best they can do.
2) Attendance challenges
Research shows that the more a member visits your club the stronger the likelihood that they will become a long-term member. You could take the approach of pitting members against each other, with the individual who visits the most in a month receiving a new pair of shoes or a racket. Another option is to set a target challenge, e.g. all members who visit at least 20 times a month all go in the draw to win a free membership subscription.
3) Competitions and events
Competitions and events are a great opportunity to get the name of your club out there in front of potential future members. They give your members the opportunity to test themselves and others and to put what they have learned in practice into play. Competitions are also a great way to celebrate your members and recognise how much you value their loyalty.
Not only do challenges give you the opportunity to create a friendly atmosphere of competition and personal bests but they should also give you material (challenge winners / event photos) for your marketing platforms. So, even if members don’t get involved with the challenges themselves they can still engage and support those other members who do. At the end of the day, you should be looking to create a community of empowered individuals. Members who can’t help but talk about your club to everybody they know - because they feel like they are part of your squash family - are the best promoters your club can have.