Thursday, 31 October 2019

Published Thursday, October 31, 2019 with 0 comment

The Winter is Coming



Winter can be a tough time, especially for sports parents because with holidays and a busy sports schedule to put up with, juggling between roles and tasks gets all the more tough. On one hand you have all the holiday planning and preparation, deciding if you’ll host or visit, and given your kid’s sports engagement it’s less likely that you would get time off to visit, so you’ll most likely host, and on the other hand the child’s sports engagement gets busier because of holidays, which means again added commitment.

Here are a few tips to help you get your schedule sorted and get time to manage everything efficiently and effectively. Here’s how you can prepare for the winter:

1.    Trust a calendar app – With all your commitments in your calendar app, you can easily fit in the extracurricular activities of your child and not have it clash with some other commitment you didn’t remember while committing to this. InstaTeam, the sports team management app, can be synced with Google Calendar, which is great because then you can see all your commitments at one place.

2.    Set a reminder pattern – InstaTeam send notifications and reminders for events scheduled on InstaTeam, which makes it way easy to keep track of things and be prepared. Remember to set reminders for all your personal commitments too, so that you are well prepared and you glide through rather than remembering last minute and playing catching up.

3.    Get the right gear – Winter is all about preparation. Get the right winter sports gear in time. Do ensure the gear meets safety norms. Do not rely on previous year’s equipment because you child has by now outgrown it. Ill fitted gear is dangerous and can result in serious injury. Make sure the kid is layered enough since one might ignore it while playing, or may not realize it with all the physical activity, but cold weather can be harsh on kids, and with all the commitment and over getting sick or tending to a sick child is way out of question.

4.    If winter gear makes you nervous about all the space it would consume, designate a secure gear drop station, where you can keep all the gear after the game and pick it up before the game.

5.    Join carpool group – InstaTeam has a carpool feature which is synced with Google maps. This feature creates optimal routes based on participants’ addresses. You’ll save a whole lot of time and energy.

While the whole winter sports activity and socializing can be overwhelming, do not forget to make space for family time. Holidays should be spent in warm, decorated rooms with your family sharing laughter and hot chocolate, or if your family has a different holiday tradition. Don’t miss out on family time, else none of it will be worth it.


Read More
      edit
Published Thursday, October 31, 2019 with 0 comment

Adorable Halloween Sports Costumes



If sports is all your kid thinks about, here are some Halloween sports costumes for inspiration. 







Read More
      edit

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Published Tuesday, October 15, 2019 with 0 comment

Seven Key Steps To Grow Your Youth Sports Club



With youth sports participation on the rise, competition hasn’t just increased for players, but also for youth sports clubs. Growing your youth sports club takes time, diligence and persistent efforts. Player performance, team competence, resources planning and financial direction can help increase chances of its success. Here’s how you can practically do it:

1.    Get online – The first step towards utilizing your resources well is getting online. You need not get a software or application especially made, InstaTeam takes care of all sports team management, administration and communication in an easy, convenient and efficient manner. This also frees up the coaches to concentrate on coaching instead of getting caught up in administration and communication tasks.

2.    Offer more than just the game – It may sound a little on the edge, but every other club on the block is offering the game. For instance, once a week exposure to yoga will not just help get physical and emotional balance, but it may also help better the child’s game, and it adds a component to your offering.

3.    You might also want to add just a yoga camp or kids gym camp (whatever you choose to offer as an extra) during holidays or summer break. This will help use your facility resourcefully and will and you can always look at some kids becoming open to your club’s athletic offerings. You can always analyze the conversion numbers and compare them with the spend for the camp. With your numbers in hand, you will have a solid reason to conduct or cast off the camp.

4.    Encourage engagement – Games, leagues, biking trips, camps, team picnics, neighborhood games, one way or the other keep your club positively engaged. 

5.    Keep an eye on the dropouts. You need to understand why kids leave and when do they leave the most. This kind of information will help you work on your weak areas and build on your strengths.

6.    Feedback – You may be doing everything right, but you will never really know until you hear that from the horse’s mouth. Feedback from players and their parents will help you understand your strengths and weaknesses, and help pin point things you need to work on.

7.    Analyze – Many a times parents don’t bother spending time on giving you an honest feedback, but at the same time you see that your drop-out rate is higher than the industry average, you know it’s time for some introspection. You will have to ask yourself and your coaches some tough questions and look for tougher answers. But trust, this exercise will help straighten out some rough creases.

A good business practice is to focus on team’s victories, players’ overall development and parent contentment, and in that very order. You fall short on any one of these components, and you will see a decline in your club’s athletic and financial performance.


Read More
      edit

Monday, 14 October 2019

Published Monday, October 14, 2019 with 19 comments

Not Your Responsibility Sports Parents!



Being responsible sports parents is perhaps the best way to support your budding athlete. But there’s a fine line between being responsible and overly protective. Parents who cross the line actually may cause problems for their child and can also lead to end of the child’s sports career.

The question is, where do you draw the line? While it can be can be subjective, here’s a general rule for identifying where you are responsible as a sports parent and where you are not.

Things you are responsible for as sports parents

As a sports parent, it is your duty to give the child the best possible exposure, be it finding the right team, the best you can afford, providing for the apt sports gear, taking care of dietary requirements, getting logistics arranged for practice and the matches and of course, helping with financial requirements.

As a parent, one important responsibility is to provide a warm, friendly and conducive environment for your child be it for sports or for school. A child who does not have parents’ support is insecure which can lead to a whole lot of behavioural and psychological problems. A child who has supportive and understanding parents, is confident, willing to take risks and more likely to succeed as a student and as an athlete. Buying your child the best possible equipment and exposure cannot replace the support and security that the kid gets from her parents and like we said, a conducive home environment.

Things you are not responsible for as sports parents

You are not responsible for your child’s success – As harsh as it may sound, but you not responsible for your child’s performance. Like we said, you can provide the best of the exposure and be supportive also, but this does not guarantee success. Trying to take the burden of your child’s performance, you not only complicate your child’s life, but make things hard for yourself as well. You try to solve things for them, take control of their lives, fix their problems and get in the way all along.

By accepting that performance is your child’s problem, you give space and freedom to the child to act, learn and grow. They learn to fight their own battles, discover their core strengths, learn what they can change and what they can’t, and figure it out on their own.

Along with your love and support, space is what your children need.

Another thing you need to accept as a parent is, there are no quick fixes. Do not try and iron out the creases, there’s a process and the child needs to evolve though it. The child needs to struggle and break their cocoon from inside, you will only damage it by trying to help out.

For instance, a very promising athlete, but your child’s performance suddenly dipped. You rush to engage a new club, a new coach, bring in any quick fix you can think of in desperation. And it’s natural too, since you are investing in your child’s future. But think about this, we as adults have our lows and highs, our phases, so would the kids. At this time all your child requires assurance from you that she can tell you if something is bothering her, she can count on you and you are there. Rest she will figure out on her own. Let her. Kids, especially teenagers may not express it as often, but they value your love and support and it gives them inner strength. That is best thing a child can get from a parent.




Read More
      edit
Published Monday, October 14, 2019 with 0 comment

Sports Music For Kids



Here’s a sports hack coach, music can actually warm up kids for a game pretty well. So, while there’s a sea of music out there, here’s a playlist that’s perfect for kids, no obscene language, no cursing, just pure motivation kind of music. Hope the kids enjoy this.

  1. Go Big or Go Home – What We Live For, American Authors
  2. Enter Sandman – Metallica, Metallica
  3. Back In Black – Back in Black, AC/DC
  4. Paint It Black – Aftermath, Rolling Stones
  5. Centerfield – Centerfield, John Fogerty
  6. Hall of Fame – #3, The Script
  7. Crazy Train – Blizzard of Oz, Ozzy Osbourne
  8. We Will Rock You – News of the World, Queen
  9. Monster – Awake, Skillet
  10. Welcome to the Jungle – Appetite for Destruction, Guns-N-Roses
  11. Eye of the Tiger – Rocky III, Survivor
  12. Thunderstruck – Razor’s Edge, AC/DC
  13. TNT – TNT, AC/DC
  14. Kryptonite – The Better Life, Three Doors Down
  15. Lovin’ Every Minute of It – Lovin Every Minute of it, Loverboy
  16. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Escape, Journey
  17. Centuries – American Beauty, Fallout Boy
  18. Come Out and Play – Smash, The Offspring
  19. Jump – 1984, Van Halen
  20. Whoomp! (There It Is) – Whoomp, Tag Team
  21. Fortunate Son – Willy and the Poor Boys, Credence Clearwater Revival
  22. Man – Lift Your Spirit, Aloe Blanc
  23. All About That Base – Meghan Trainor
  24. Let’s Get it Started – Elephunk, Black Eyed Peas
  25. Me and My Gang – Me and My Gang, Rascal Flatts
  26. Play That Funky Music (White Boy) – Wild Cherry, Wild Cherry
  27. Kick the Dust Up – Kill the Lights, Luke Bryan
  28. Comin’ To Your City – Comin’ To Your City, Big and Rich
  29. Livin’ on a Prayer – Slippery When Wet, Bon Jovi
  30. Take Me Out – Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand
  31. Revolution – White Album, The Beatles
  32. Heart of a Champion – Sweat, Nelly
  33. Swing – Dangerous man, Trace Adkins
  34. The Final Countdown – The Final Countdown, Europe
  35. Cruise – Florida Georgia Line, Florida Georgia Line
  36. Small Town Throw Down – Brantley Gilbert
  37. Jump Around – House of Pain, House of Pain
  38. Keep Your Head Up – Andy Grammer, Andy Grammer
  39. Eye On It – Toby Mac
  40. Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough – Off the Wall, Michael Jackson


Read More
      edit

Friday, 11 October 2019

Published Friday, October 11, 2019 with 0 comment

Get Used To InstaTeaming



 In an ideal world, a team management app recommended for the team should be embraced instantly and all team communication and administration should be routed through it. That too, with an app like InstaTeam, that has features that make your life so easy and sorted, that it’s almost addictive.

But, this is the real world, and reality is always a little harsh. The coach may recommend using an app, call for a team meeting where he initiates people with the features, helps players and their parents familiarize with the app, and do everything perfect, there still will be people who would defy using the app. And it’s not really technology phobia, because these people are anyways using their smart phone, it’s not even inertia, perhaps they are just being stubborn or lethargic or a little bit of both. While this can be really frustrating, it’s important to understand that there will be people like this, and there needs to be a strategy to get them to use the app. Here’s a little hint on how to get people to actually use the team app.

Make the app compulsory

The first and foremost thing you must do is make the app compulsory for all team communication. Since initially people might not be in the habit of checking the app every now and then for updates, every time you put a massage, or add an event, or make any changes to the schedule, make sure you send a text message or an instant message asking them to check the InstaTeam app for an announcement. If you keep doing this people will get in the habit of checking the app for updates.

Notifications need to be turned on

While giving the briefing about the app, ask people to keep notifications on for InstaTeam. Since it’s natural for people to miss it in the first go, repeat and reiterate the point that people should keep notifications turned on. It’ll just take a little initial push, after which people will get used to the convenience of getting the notifications.

What’s in it for me?

It’s one thing to make using the app compulsory, and quite another to actually get people to listen and engage. Remember, convenience is the incentive. InstaTeam is not just a digital notice board where you can check official team messages, but you can organize your schedule, upload/check team photos and videos, make payments, carpool and do so much more. Just get people to use each of the features once or twice and then they’ll get used to the convenience and ease of InstaTeaming.

InstaTeam – the front door of team experience

Chuck Boris, Assistant Coach for a Buffalo based youth sports club feels using an app has changed team life, and for better. “When we used email as our prime communication tool, 30 percent of the parents never opened them. Now 80 percent of the parents (and 100 percent of the players) actively engage with the app almost on a daily basis”, says Chuck.

InstaTeam has made team life easier, faster and more effective. Communication is prompt, all information is digital, actions are instant, overall team life is sorted for all involved – coaches, parents and players. There is a big reason why InstaTeam team management app is receiving so much welcome attention.




Read More
      edit

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Published Tuesday, October 01, 2019 with 0 comment

Youth Sports and Child Privacy



Have you noticed that how much of personal information about your child is with her youth sports team? The roster almost has it all, and for leagues that still rely on paperwork, all of that information is very conveniently available at a single place for anyone who looks keenly enough.

Over time, some leagues have become paperless and collect and store player information digitally. But in absence of a proper privacy policy or encryption, it is even easier to steal digital information, all it takes is a simple Google search. In most cases, with social media accounts being the norm, just a name search can open up all the personal information available in the team roaster, along side social media accounts, all some data-thief needs to do is put two and two together. This can be very fatal if you consider what personal information combined with social information is worth.

When questioned, youth sports leagues argued why it was important collecting personal information. And rightly so, they need the information for a number of reasons - to verify legitimacy, keep the information handy in case of emergency, health insurance, medical clearances and for team’s official records. For medical and insurance purposes, the information is often shared with third party vendors. Parents need to be particular about the way this information is collected, stored, accessed and shared with relevant parties.

In case you are wondering how is this information vulnerable, for starters most roster contain parents’ information which is at a risk of potential identity theft for financial or medical fraud. Many a times, the child’s identity is also at a risk of theft as this can go undiscovered for years. And then the obvious risk of exposing information like child’s details along with whereabouts to a whole world out there has its potential dangers. To add to the menace is social media and digital footprint. For anyone who knows a little about data manipulation, this is all vital information too inviting to miss out on. Then there is always the risk of marketing companies using the information for their datamining and market analysis. While this does not sound as scary to begin with, the legitimacy is definitely questionable. The scariest part is, for many apps and businesses out there, sharing information is a working business model.

Many states in the US have now privacy laws regarding protection of personal information. But since sports leagues do not necessarily fit in the same category as K12 schools, parents should be extra watchful of their ward’s personal information and privacy policy. Parents should make it a point to read the privacy policy carefully, and in absence of one, should insist on written clarity as to the reason of collection of information, and procedures around storage, access and assimilation of information.

The InstaTeam Assurance

InstaTeam respects each player’s right to privacy. The team member information is set as Private by default which means other team members cannot view the contact information of the team member. However, the team members can change their privacy setting and make their information visible to other team members, but this strictly remains their choice. Team admin’s contact information is visible to the team, so that admins can be reachable, but any other information remains private.

At InstaTeam, we do not share member information with any third parties for any reason whatsoever. We are sensitive to your privacy, and are not in the business of selling users’ information.

InstaTeam app uses your current location to show the teams in your area. The GPS information on phone is also used for enhanced features in the app such as driving directions, maps, carpool signup and selecting a venue for the event. Camera and photo gallery access allows sharing of photos with other team members and for sharing on social media, which again is the users’ discretion.

With InstaTeam your privacy is secure. For any further clarification do feel free to mail us @ info@instateam.net.


Read More
      edit