An estimated 45 million children in the United States play youth sports. That number is terrific—so many kids are being active, learning the value of teamwork and practice, and having fun. That number also represents another, more general estimate: millions upon millions of parents supporting their kids in those sports. That support includes driving to and from practice and games, juggling schedules, and paying for their children’s participation and equipment. At times, providing this support can seem overwhelming. And poor team communication certainly doesn’t help …
By turning to quality online league management software, youth sports administrators can assist coaches and families struggling with team communication. The best solutions offer tools that allow parents to better communicate with each other, their coaches, and league officers and registrars. The resulting improvement makes their lives easier and helps them better enjoy their kids’ sports experience instead of thinking of it as a hassle; here are some ways how:
Rainouts and Rescheduling
Families receive a game and practice schedule for the season and then set their lives around it. Any changes to the schedule require inevitable shuffling that can drive parents a bit crazy. When they show up for a game that they didn’t know was rescheduled, or are notified late of a rainout (or not notified at all), they become frustrated, if not downright angry. League admins and coaches need a more reliable means of communications, because even the most diligent individuals might not get the message out to everybody in a timely manner. Online management software provides easy options to text and email parents of rainouts, rescheduled games, location changes, league events, and so on. Families’ schedules will still be shuffled, but at least they can know right away of the events that will cause that shuffling.
Reminders to Register
How often do you encounter this scenario every year: Parents frantically calling or emailing, after the registration deadline, saying they forgot to sign up their kids for the season? You don’t want to say no and, therefore, permit the late registration, thus making your job a little bit more difficult. These well-meaning parents often are so busy that signing up gets pushed down on their priority list until they forget about the registration deadline. Many league management solutions allow directors to set up emails reminding families to register—and then send follow-up emails when they don’t.
Snack Schedules and Car Pools
Parents often struggle to communicate with each other, within their own teams. Email addresses are difficult to dig up, and phone numbers sometimes aren’t easily accessible unless they have been directly given to each other. This can prove problematic when trying to assemble snack schedules or set up car pools (and these team tasks shouldn’t burden coaches, who have enough to concern themselves with without having to worry if anyone is bringing oranges for halftime). The same league management software that helps admins can also internally facilitate team communication. Parents are able to contact each other, either directly or via an online team message board that many solutions provide. Besides improving communication, these tools create a stronger sense of community within the team; as their kids become friends, so do parents.
How happy are your league’s parents with team communication?