Coaching a youth sports team for a volunteer parent can be a lot of fun. Whether the sport is soccer, lacrosse, baseball, softball, basketball or something else, there are typically many, unforgettable moments in any season that you’ll cherish.
Most youth sports coaches will tell you that they love game days. It’s an opportunity to see if the team’s preparation is on the mark, direct players to put them in a position to win, adjust strategies and tactics, and frequently, there’s something about competitive games that bring out the best in players. It’s rewarding to see players hit home runs, score goals, play strong defense, enjoy team camaraderie and show improvement from start to finish. Experienced coaches seem to enjoy the practice experience even more so than games. Practices are where the real work is done, where bonds are formed and the team becomes a team. Coaches have the opportunity to really connect with players during practice time. Coaches like that.
Along with the fun and rewards of the practice experience and games come some challenges for youth sports coaches. For example, a coach might need to track and collect fees from players’ parents or organize a team snack schedule. Throughout the season, there may be schedule changes, location changes, the need to postpone games or practice and more. These types of events require frequent team communications to players, players’ parents and other coaches.
A big part of being a youth sports coach is being a good organizer and a good communicator. These are roles that not all coaches relish. Why? It can be a fair amount of work – involving lots of details. None of these tasks is overwhelmingly difficult on their own. But, they can be time consuming. Many coaches will identify a team parent to help with some of these organization and communication tasks. This can help. But, the head coach still needs to have a firm grasp as to what’s happening and when.
So, how does a coach get a jumpstart on the organization and communication details associated with managing a youth sports team?
Here’s a solution for youth sports coaches to consider. It’s called TeamSnap. Via a TeamSnap smart phone ap and a team website, coaches plan, organize and communicate with players, parents and coaches. The intuitive interface is very easy to use and signing up is, well, a snap! The site utilizes a freemium model with its basic package available for free with upgrades available at a cost. The most popular package costs the team about $85 per year. There’s no additional cost for each player/family that uses the site.
The TeamSnap service for managing teams was first launched in 2009 and has grown to be the leader in team management services. TeamSnap has been adopted by over 400,000 teams and is used by some 6 million players, parents and coaches in 195 countries.
Why has TeamSnap grown so quickly to be the leader in team management services? Well, in a nutshell, it works and it’s easy to use.
“It’s a huge time saver,” said Geoff Schott, a coach for his three baseball and soccer playing children in Newcastle, Washington (a suburb of Seattle).
“A small thing like asking parents to bring orange slices for snacks at practices can be time consuming,” said Schott, “but with TeamSnap, it’s easy. Parents can review the schedule on our team site and plan accordingly. So, when I see parents at the end of practice, I can spend time interacting with how their children are doing versus asking them to sign up for snacks.”
Schott uses TeamSnap for a variety of purposes, “As a coach, I use TeamSnap for roster management, scheduling, refreshments, email to parents, and I use the mobile ap if a practice or game has been cancelled. I even used the store to design a pretty cool soccer sweatshirt with our team name on it.”
In addition to coaching, Schott is also registrar for the baseball Pony League in his community. Based on his positive experiences with TeamSnap as a coach, he was instrumental in getting the entire league to buy into the program.
“The time saving and ease of use are enormous,” said Schott.
In addition to youth sports teams, adult sports teams and other organization use TeamSnap. About 10% of the folks using TeamSnap are adult teams. Some of the TeamSnap features coaches like include:
• Manage game and event schedules
• Track team fees and payments
• See who can attend which games and who can’t
• Email the entire team with one click
• Post messages for teams
• Track statistics – both team and individual
• Post and view photos
• Coordinate a drinks and snacks schedule
As Super Bowl-winning, Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson said, “The separation is in the preparation.” The best coaches know that preparation is a key to success for any team. TeamSnap is a tool that will help coaches be prepared and will save them time in communication, organizational planning and administrative tasks. This will free up time for coaches to spend time developing players and teaching.
Find out more about TeamSnap by visiting www.teamsnap.com.