No team available in your area? Anyone can start a team – parents, teachers, cycling enthusiasts. No experience is necessary; we provide the training and education needed. The ACA has years of experience helping coaches start and develop teams. It takes work, but the process is incredibly rewarding and we want to make it as straightforward as possible.
Follow these steps to get started. While these steps serve as a guide, you do not need to complete them in sequential order. If you can check an item off the list–go for it!
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- Email Mike Perry or Chloe Woodruff and let us know you’re interested in starting a team. We will help you navigate the process and connect you with a coach mentor.
- Review the ACA Coach Licensing Program. All adults who will ride with student-athletes must be licensed and covered under the ACA’s insurance plan.
- Review the participation fees.
- Review the 2023 season schedule below. Additional program events include Pedal Girl, Pedal!, Explorer Program, and additional skills classes for coaches.
|Mar. 1||Coach and Team Registration Opens||Begin annual licensing requirements|
|Apr. 1||Rider Registration Opens, Pre-Season Begins||Teams may hold up to six (6) preseason events|
|Apr. 15||ACA Leadership Summit, Tempe||Registration opens in January|
|Apr. 16||Skills Training – MTB 101, MTB 201, & MTB 301||Registration opens in January|
|July 1||Regular Season Begins||Teams begin practices (up to 4 per week)|
|Sept. 9-10||Race #1 – Fort Tuthill County Park, Flagstaff|
|Sept. 23-24||Race #2 – Pioneer Park, Prescott|
|Oct. 7-8||Race #3 – Secret Trails, Snowflake-Taylor|
|Oct. 21-22||Race #4 – McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Fountain Hills|
|Nov. 4-5||Race #5 – Wren Arena, Fort Huachuca|
|Nov. 19||Regular Season Ends|
- Decide who will be your team head coach and team director. While it will be up to your team to determine duties and responsibilities for each role, here’s an example of where to start. New teams may start with a single person fulfilling both roles. As teams grow, leadership should delegate responsibilities and add leadership positions.
- Review Chapter 6 of Rulebook.
- Determine your team type – school-based or composite.
- School-based teams are comprised of full-time students from the same school. Can be an “official” team that is recognized as an official club by the school or unofficial.
- Composite teams are comprised of full-time students from more than one school within the same district or other geographic proximity.
- Email your ACA Representative your team leadership contact and type information. This will help us create a team listing in our directory.
- Create a tentative pre-season event schedule, and in-season practice schedule. Use this practice guide to build out your season (coming soon).
- Connect with a school teacher or administrator who is willing to be a liaison or future club sponsor.
- Set-up a meeting with your school to introduce them to the team, the ACA, and answer any questions. You can request an ACA representative attend the meeting, as this can demonstrate commitment for all parties involved.
- This presentation provides a good overview and the 90-second video gets people excited (download the presentation to play the video on slide 2 or view it here). It can also be useful when meeting with riders, parents and coaches.
- Ask the school about what it would take to reach ‘official club status’.
- Keep in touch with your school contact(s). Building school relationships can be valuable for composite teams, too.
- Create a recruiting flyer. Customizable and ready-to-print options are available in the ACA Team Resources digital folder, or design your own.
- Establish a simple online presence. Student-athletes tend to use Instagram and parents lean towards Facebook. A team website provides a landing page for prospective riders.
- Spread the word!
- Have a table at the school club fair. Collect names, contact information and emails; hand out flyers and stickers.
- Attend new student orientations or incoming freshman night; new student orientation at the junior high, as well.
- Connect with your local bike shop. Besides potentially being an invaluable partner to help keep the team’s bikes rolling, shop employees can be a great source for coaches, and shop customers are potential coaches and often have children who ride, too.
- Schedule a parent meeting.
- Schedule a team meeting.
- Register as an ACA coach and begin your Level 1 licensing requirements. Use the CCN Coach Registration guide for assistance (registration opens March 1).
- Register your new team through CCN.
- Register for the 2023 Leadership Summit & Skills Classes on April 15-16 (registration opens January).
- Request a TeamSnap Ultra subscription for your team by contacting Chloe Woodruff. This is included with your team registration at no additional cost. Many of our teams use TeamSnap to organize practices, and communicate in line with our Electronic Communication and Social Media Guidelines.
- Add email@example.com to your contact list.
- Email Registration if you need assistance.
- Learn about league-wide programs and events:
- Have your team parents register their children for the season in CCN. You can share the CCN Student-Athlete Registration guide with parents to help (registration opens April 1).
- Learn how to generate reports on CCN using the CCN Team Leadership Guide. This is how you will view the following information:
- Student-athlete roster
- Coach roster (with license status)
- Race registrations
- Emergency contact information
**All participating students must be listed on your CCN roster to be considered “Practice-Ready”. All coaches must have a Level I license to assist in any on-the-bike activities or directly interact with students.**
- Review the ACA Racing Apparel Policy.
- Start your jersey design and ordering process. We recommend using DNA Cycling for their long-time support of the ACA. To get started, email firstname.lastname@example.org and look over their product catalog.
- Publish practice calendar (up to 4 practices per week).