End of Year Speech for Club or Team
So, another season’s over and it’s time for your end of year speech. Whether it’s been a glorious success, dire disaster or, as is more often the case, something in between, the end of year speech always has an important role to play.
It’s seldom difficult to think of things to say when things have gone well; a poor year or a season of dreadful results, however, can make it difficult not to sound hideously defeatist or depressed!
Whatever sort of year your members have just had, the following template should help you get started on producing a speech to inspire them to greater things next time.
1. Getting StartedBegin with a brief recap of the highs and lows of the season, the matches or performances and any notable events that took place.
- Keep it upbeat – especially if things haven’t exactly gone according to plan
- Celebrate your successes – however small
- Don’t labour the failures – everyone already knows all about them!
Example: Another season’s over and what a (successful / interesting / surprising) one it’s been! When I stood here twelve months ago, I would never have thought that we’d (win the cup / do so well / have such rotten luck). We’ve had (a phenomenal season / our share of successes / our problems) but we’ve also had (a few anxious moments / our share of problems / some successes) too – notably when we (were 2-1 down at half time in the final / lost so many players to injury / managed to raise over £500 for Red Nose Day).
2. Review Of The YearA review of the year and the people involved makes a good middle section to this kind of speech – but it doesn’t have to be too comprehensive. Look on it as more of a broad overview than a blow-by-blow account.
Deciding whether you are going to name particular members or players in your review is a difficult one and can be fraught with problems. The decision can also depend on other factors; for a school team, every parent is going to want their youngster named and his/her achievements publicly recognised; the need may not be so pressing for adult groups – although the demands of grown-up egos can be pretty sizeable too!
- If you do decide to name people, it’s probably best to name everyone; there are few quicker ways to make someone feel undervalued or unappreciated than missing by them out
- You can avoid names if you wish and talk about positions or roles instead
- Be as positive as results and circumstances allow; this is not the place to “have a go” at anyone
Examples: (Youth Drama Club) John Bart made a tremendous Oliver, Catherine Wilson’s Nancy was superb and George Jackson’s Fagin was truly terrifying – and we mustn’t forget the wonderful contribution of Mike Brewer, Aisha Husain, Winston Knight and Amanda McCloud as pickpockets and ragamuffins.
(Adult Rugby Team) Our back line demonstrated a real flair for open, running rugby – particularly as their confidence grew – and by the second half of the season, the new scrum half/stand-off partnership began to look as if they had been playing together all their lives.
3. Looking To Next YearThis section is probably the most important of the lot; if your team or club has done well, here is where you need to encourage them not to sit on their laurels, while if things have gone badly, now’s the time to begin to pick everyone up for the challenges ahead.
- What lessons have been learnt?
- How should the team/club be going forward?
- What changes will be made?
Example: Although we (have done fantastically well / all feel a little disappointed) it’s important to remember that (we’ll need to be every bit as good next year / we’ve learnt some valuable lessons). One of the great things about this (sport/activity) is that there’s always room for improvement, we can all work on doing something just a little better. When everyone does that, the results can be amazing – and if there’s one thing I know about each and every one of you, it’s that there isn’t anyone who wouldn’t give (his/her) all for the (team/group).
4. Thank, Inspire and ConcludeMake any votes of thanks that you need to, and then aim for an inspirational conclusion that will have everyone enthused for the challenges ahead.
- Don’t overdo the thanks – this isn’t the Oscars!
- Consider using a short relevant quotation
- End on a “high”
Example: I couldn’t possibly end without saying “thank you” to our treasurer and to the ladies who make such a great job of making sure we don’t all fade away from thirst or starvation! We really do appreciate all that you do for us – and we couldn’t do without you. I also want to say “thanks” to all of you (members/players) for turning up (for training, come rain or shine / for all those late night rehearsals). There’s an old saying that “it matters not if you win or lose, but how you play the game” – and it’s an honour and a privilege to be associated with a group of people who play the game so well.
Get the tone of your speech right and team spirit will never be stronger!