Here’s an exercise in nostalgia for you: Think of your favorite sports team you played on growing up. It could be a pure team sport such as basketball or baseball, or more of a collective individual sport such as swimming or track. Recall the best season you had with that team, whether you won a championship, made some memorable achievements or ran/swam some great times, or just were able to have fun with your friends during a particularly great summer.
OK, do you have that image in your brain? Now, think of every teammate from that team. Even though decades may have passed, likely, you can remember not only those teammates, but also their parents, your coaches, opponents, thrilling games, and even specific details about how well you did throughout the season. When a youth sports team is successful (and not necessarily “championship-successful”) and fun, these memories last, and the impact on the players carries far beyond the field, court, ice, track, or pool.
Therefore, your goal as a coach or league administrator is to create a great team experience for the players and their families. No single factor leads to this success, but many unique things come together to build it. Team management software can contribute to the memorable experience you hope for; here are some reasons why:
Excellent Team Communication
The coaches and parents on some teams are great at communicating with each other and with league admins, but every once in awhile, an email address is mistakenly left off an important message, or an email isn’t seen at all, or a parent looks outside at a rain shower and figures a game is canceled, not knowing the storm missed the park a mile away. For other teams, communication is much more challenging, and everybody struggles to stay informed. Team management software can help in both these scenarios. Emails can be easily sent within the program, without the need to copy and paste each address. Texts can be sent via mobile devices when you need to contact parents quickly. Message boards allow the posting of schedule news, snack schedules, carpool requests, and so on.
Easy Roster Access
Every coach has probably been in a situation in which he or she needed to consult the team roster—perhaps to get a phone number to call because a player hasn’t arrived at a game, or to look up emergency contact information—but didn’t have one readily available. With team management software, roster info can be accessed anywhere, anytime, on just about any device that has an Internet connection. So if you leave your laptop in your car during a practice and must find a parents phone number, you can do so off your smartphone.
A Place for Your Team
Team management software offers so much more than just communication and organizational tools for your team. It offers a community. Parents can post pictures from games onto a team website. Coaches can upload training videos for players to watch and then practice on their own. Team statistics can be updated. And families get to know each other even better. These are the memories and friendships that are so important to youth sports—more so than victories and losses.
What do you feel is lacking from your team that could make it great?