Imagine the old days when sports’ team managers had to use prehistoric means of organization to keep a team running smoothly. Things like pens and paper, spreadsheets, the phone or, (gasp) actually speaking to players or parents. Envision a time when parents were stressed because they couldn’t find the piece of paper with the snack or game schedule, or remember where their child’s game was being played.
The days of my family forgetting to cut orange slices or missing games are well behind us now thanks to the best invention in sports since video replay: TeamSnap.
TeamSnap is a one-stop web service that lets managers and coaches focus on team development instead of spending countless hours on an overwhelming number of organizational tasks. Parents and players can easily navigate the extremely user-friendly site and quickly discover all the information they need to stay on top of their team’s activities. Use it on your desktop or your mobile device and take advantage of these great features:
- Roster. When your manager adds your child’s team to TeamSnap, you’ll be invited to add whatever contact information you want to share with the team. Notifications and messages can then be sent via email, but they can always be viewed on the online message board for the team. Your child can choose to post a picture of themselves or whatever else they’d like to represent themselves with on their profile. On my son’s hockey team, kids often pick their favourite NHL’er or cartoon character. Or in my son’s case, a picture of an NHL’er dressed as Yoda.
- Schedule. A quick glance at your child’s team calendar on TeamSnap and you can easily keep track of games, tournaments, practices, locations, snack duty, and any other team events planned. A fantastic feature of TeamSnap is that on your mobile device, the schedule instantly syncs with your calendar. Your manager can also set up TeamSnap to send timely reminders of events.
- Availability. As soon as team events are posted by the manager on TeamSnap, they are instantly sent to parents via email. Parents can then indicate their child’s availability and coaches can quickly see when substitutes might be needed. Parents can choose if they’d like to add notes to indicate the reason for their child’s absence (whether it be sickness, vacation, or gingerbread-house-making-day at grandma’s).
- Management of Team Statistics. TeamSnap can be easily customized to keep track of whatever stats your manager or coach would like to keep. Whether it’s rbi’s, at-bats, and home runs for your child’s baseball team; shots on net, goals, and assists for their hockey or soccer team; or service aces and solo blocks for their volleyball team — the options of statistics your team would like to record and organize are unlimited.
- Media Sharing. Want to share photos from a recent tournament, videos of drills kids can practice at home, or post the team’s code of conduct or rule book? Files can easily be uploaded with the touch of a button on TeamSnap.
- Communication. If your child has ever left a team change room without one sock (and trust me, it happens a lot), parents can send a quick message to the team via TeamSnap rather than digging through old emails to find a group list. Coaches and managers can choose to send messages to the whole team or select members.
- Privacy. Teams can set their own privacy settings and choose what they would or would not like to be shared with others. Access is by username and password only.
- Help. My children will easily attest to the fact that I may not be the most tech-savvy parent in the neighbourhood, but I have been the team administrator of my son’s TeamSnap site for three years now. Functions are not only labelled on TeamSnap, but they often have explanations on how they are used. And if I have ever have a question, the site has a help and support section that has always provided me with the answers I need.
- Paid or free plans. All of the above features are accessible on a paid plan, which our son’s league has been paying for. There are multiple payment options which offer varying levels of features. If you wanted to try TeamSnap for free, there are limitations: you can still maintain a schedule and send messages, but roster size is capped at 30, and there is no statistics tracking or media sharing. The free version also has banner advertising which is absent if you have a paid account. If your team is simply looking for an awesome site on which to set up their schedule and share messages then a free plan is a great way to go. But if you have the funds, a paid plan is well worth it, especially if you have the desire to keep track of players’ availability and statistics, would like to share media, and there’s a volunteer willing to maintain the site.
With the ease of usage and the numerous organizational features of TeamSnap, it’s no surprise that the site currently has over 7 million players registered. So put away your spreadsheets, recycle your address books, tuck fewer headache pills in your pocket, and get ready to let TeamSnap add instant organization to your child’s team. The time you will save with TeamSnap will quickly translate into more time for enjoyment of the activity and less time scrambling to stay on top of your child’s schedule.
Editor’s note: TeamSnap has run ads for Active for Life as part of a partnership agreement.