Monday, 25 November 2019

Published Monday, November 25, 2019 with 1 comment

A Holiday Message for Your Team – Reduce Your Carbon Foot Print




 
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead


Holidays are all about love and care. Holidays is the best time to make choices that reflect our love and care for nature. We don’t have to wait for an order by the government, or a speech by a politician or a movement by an activist to show that we care, we can start doing it right away, right now, right here by reducing our carbon foot print. Here’s a list of things we can do in our daily routine that will help the planet.

·         Minimize personal car trips. Use public transport and carpooling as far as possible. The InstaTeam app’s carpooling facilitates carpooling with auto routes, navigation and many convenient features.

·         Choose environment friendly, energy efficient options everywhere you can. For instance, all the kitchen and home appliances have energy-efficiency ratings listed in them. Choose products that consume less energy like LED lights.

·         Recycle, reuse and shop used. Instead of buying new products every time, use what has been already produced. When your kids outgrow something, share it with someone, donate it.

·         Avoid shopping for stuff that is heavily packaged. Discourage packing that is unnecessary. For instance, when you buy toothpaste, leave the box packing in the mall after you get it billed. This will discourage the manufacturers to use heavy packaging for the products that do not really need it.

·         Turn off the lights and other electricity consuming products before you leave a room. Make it a compulsion for your kids.

·         Use water judiciously. Do not waste it, it is one of the most precious resources.

·         Eat fresh whenever you can. Discourage packaged food.

·         Recycle whatever you can. Make a compost for all the wet kitchen garbage.

·         Make neighborhood environment alert clubs. Spread the word.

·         Discourage neighborhood stores to send flyers.

·         Plant a tree.

Here are a few apps and sites that can help you in your pursuit of saving the environment.

·         Trace your carbon footprint.
·         Learn how to recycle over 350 items.
·         Track water wastage.

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Published Monday, November 25, 2019 with 1 comment

Holidays And Youth Sports – Make Them Special




It’s Holiday season, the season for friends, family and fun. Should there be a break for youth sports practice too? Or should it be practice time because there’s this refreshed holiday energy that can be put use to? A dilemma mostly all coaches and parents feel.

Between taking a complete break and keeping holidays occupied, there can be a fine midway, which would work best for all involved. Through experience of dealing with coaches and parents over the years, what I’ve learned is most families are rather willing to take their kids somewhere during the Holiday break. But the practice or game should really be planned after consulting parents because if too many parents are opting out of it, it won’t make sense.

Most parents won’t be comfortable with a game schedule that conflicts with their Holiday plan. So, to make a schedule that works, it is highly recommended that the coach calls for a parent meeting well in advance before the Holidays, so that a schedule can be worked out, if you are planning to have game or practice during the Holidays that is. Here are some ideas of the coach can engage with the team during Holidays:



·         A friendly match in the team with parents involved in the game too.

·         The evening of the game can be a player and family gathering, maybe with a barbeque dinner. It can be good bonding time for the players and their families.

·         Or, the coach can decide to have a little ice-cream party for the kids after the game.

·         The coach can decide to give achievement awards to all the players in the team – best runner, best passer, best smile, just something to delight the little players. Plus, the parents will be super happy too.

·         There can be a fun games competition – frog race, sack race, three-legged race etc.

·         A funfair with all teams of the neighborhood involved.

It’s not that losing out on the practice during holidays will ruin the kids’ talent, or a little practice more during Holidays will do magic to their skills, it’s about Holidays and the magic they do to you. Just think about Holidays and making your team feel special. The magic that this will do to your team, nothing will match it, not even continuous practice.

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Friday, 15 November 2019

Published Friday, November 15, 2019 with 0 comment

Managing Volunteer Sign Ups – Team Assigned




In youth sports, volunteer signups play a major role. Some clubs/teams enable parents to pick up their own volunteer jobs during the game. This is a good strategy because parents pick up jobs that they are comfortable with, but at the same time because of work commitments and time issues, parents just don’t signup. In such a scenario, team assigned jobs are a good option, since they work. Again, with team assigned jobs, the coach/admin do consider the parent’s time availability and comfort level with the assigned job.

Team coordinators/admins can also consider having a fine mix of both parent-assigned signups and team-assigned signups. While assigning volunteer jobs to parents, the coordinator can keep one or two jobs open for parents to sign-up.

If your team is still deciding a strategy for volunteer signups, here are ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ of team assigned signups to help you make decide better.

Ups

·         When the admin or coordinator assigns jobs, there is surety that the job is covered and all jobs are allocated.
·         The admin/coach can then concentrate on the game since they know the best person is on the job. Plus, there is no discrepancy amongst parents since the admin will try their best to rotate jobs.

Downs

·         When parents pickup their own jobs, they are willing to do them. when they are assigned the job, they may not be as willing.
·         Parents may not be available for the job due to last minute commitments or work emergencies.
·         Last minute changes can be very difficult to adjust as parents may not have the time cushion to accommodate a change, especially if they are often.

Here are a few tips how teams can manage parent signups using InstaTeam –

·         InstaTeam makes volunteer signup extremely easy. Just within a few taps a parent can sign-up for a job.
·         If there are open sign-ups and parents haven’t signed up, admin can send targeted emails or notifications on the InstaTeam App reminding parents to sign up.
·         If a parent has a last-minute change they want to accommodate, encourage them to find their own replacement. InstaTeam’s personal chat feature allows parents to get in touch without compromising the security of their number.

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Published Friday, November 15, 2019 with 3 comments

Managing Volunteer Signups – Self Assigned


 
There can be various ways to manage volunteer signups. The two broad categories being self-assigned jobs and team assigned jobs. This article takes you through the process to make signups easy and smooth.

From photography to food, there’s a whole bunch of activities to be managed during a game, and volunteering by parents becomes a must. In the InstaTeam app, the coach or administrator can create a sign-up event in which parents can pick up jobs for the game. These signups can either be limited to a game or can be for the entire season, depending on what suits the volunteers and the administrators the best. For instance, if a parent is good at photography, she can choose to do photography for the entire season. At the same time, the parent can choose a particular job for the entire week or specifically for a game.

Signups during registration

Some clubs or teams prefer volunteer signups for the entire season. While taking the registration at the beginning of the season, parents can choose the job they want to take up for the season. The coaches and admins need to list out all the jobs required for the season, and parents can choose their pick. The details and frequency of each job must be clearly listed such that parents can make an informed choice.

Ups:

·         Even before the season begins, everyone has a clear understanding of what they are doing and what others are doing. There’s no room for confusion, misunderstanding or miscommunication.
·         Volunteers can be better equipped and can plan to be available since the activity is clearly marked in the calendar. They also have a fair idea of the frequency and gap to help better plan.

Downs:

·         People can have meetings, sudden commitments or emergencies that were not accounted for while the plan was being made. In absence of plan B, this can be a fiasco.
·         If parents are picking up their own jobs, the early bird would get the best, or easiest of jobs. For parents who turn up late on the scene, may not get as much choice.


Weekly Signups

While it may be tough for most working parents to commit themselves for the whole season in advance, a weekly plan looks more doable. A week’s planning is not such an impossible task.

Ups

·         A week’s planning can be dome and required arrangements can be made. It is more practical and workable.
·         Everybody gets to do a little bit of everything. One person being struck with a particular job can be monotonous and depressing in some cases.

Downs

·         People would have to sign-up every week and pick jobs. Some might forget, some might miss out.
·         A lot of management would go into taking jobs since every week the volunteer roster changes.


Signup on per game basis

The InstaTeam app allows coaches/admins to create sign-up events while they are creating an event on the app. Parents can pick up jobs for the game.

Ups

·         Everybody gets to do everything.
·         It’s flexible. Since there is no prior commitment, people can easily pick up what suits them for that particular day.

Downs

·         Since there’s no commitment, chances are jobs may not be taken at all.
·         Again, it’s a repetitive task, so choosing every time can become a hassle.



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Published Friday, November 15, 2019 with 0 comment

Our Thanksgiving for The Awesome ‘Thank You’ Moments





Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Gratitude is in the air, and we are constantly thinking of people who make our journey so special.

A lot of our users write to us at InstaTeam and thank us for solving a part of their tasks, routines and life in general. We take this opportunity to thank them for the support. We also want to thank people who wrote to us giving us feedback, a little nasty at times but we appreciate it, it helped us better InstaTeam to make it easier, fast and more convenient.

Here are some of our customer emails that encouraged us to become better. Thank you indeed!

“There is no way all of this convenience would come for such a nominal fee. It’s like a personal assistant and an admin team working for you at the cost of a phone rental. It’s simply awesome.”

tess.mjonas84, Team-Ad Free Subscription Holder


“Fantastic app. Such an efficient and streamlined way to organize team work. It makes team life so much easier.”

Nicole.sandy, Coach


“Easy to use. Fast and efficient. Perfect for keeping it organised. Happy to use.”

stephenG, Sports Parent


“There is so much to team management – game schedules, managing practice games, attendance, volunteer signups, fees and so much more. InstaTeam digitalises all of the above and makes it convenient for the parents and team admins. It’s incredible.”

Nate Bunger, Team Admin


“Communication is my biggest take. I love how all important team messages are conveyed instantly, and responses can be made real time.”

Bruce Lavett, Sports Parent


“Instead of drowning in endless trail of emails, important messages just get through. There’s clarity and communication, not confusion.”

J. Sheffeild, Sports Parent


 “I used to keep writing on stickies and putting them on the fridge, such that I didn’t miss a game or practice for both my sons, but invariably I would end up missing out on something, it was a juggle together. Thanks InstaTeam, I have never missed anything ever since, and am a lot relaxed.”

Sara Brown, Sports Parent


There are so many more testimonial we’d like to share. Thank you all for taking out time to write to us, means a lot. Thank you for all the kind words. We hope to keep hearing from you.

Wish you a warm and joyous Thanksgiving. Happy holidays!





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Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Published Wednesday, November 06, 2019 with 0 comment

Collaborative Coaching


 
In the era of internet and connectivity, collaborative coaching only makes sense. There is always a possibility that that something new comes out of collaboration, from taking to other coaches, seeking parents feedback, exploring online resources and getting ideas from players themselves. So, if you’ve been feeling that you’ve exhausted your tricks to motivate the team, it’s probably time for collaborative coaching.

Collaborate with other coaches

Here’s a great way to get in touch with other coaches. The InstaTeam App shows teams in the vicinity. You could get in touch with the coaches of these teams and discuss ways to bring the zing back in tour team. You could also form a group that gets together monthly or weekly to discuss ideas. You could also collaborate with other teams and plan seminars, health camps or bring in some national level athlete for motivational talk. If you have a big group, you can plan big events together.

Collaborate with parents and players

While we strictly advise parents to leave the coaching to the coaches, every once in a while, it’s good to ask for suggestions. This is indeed a great way to include parents, encourage cooperation, and get some ideas too.

Internet to your rescue

There is a sea of resources on the internet that can seek inspiration from. From learning pro tips to getting the secret of the best clubs in the world, you can get plenty ideas for bringing in a new life in your training. You can also get tips to better technique, ideas for team motivation and activities to keep team spirited and pepped up through the season.

TV time together still works

Take some time off practice and make the team sit together for some TV time. Play inspirational videos of pro teams, make them learn about the strengths of their favorite players. Allow them to have a visual taste to success, help them mentally prepare for the grind and help them understand the commitment and hard work that goes into the game to get success. You can also show the players a recording of their own game. They will see and understand what they are doing wrong, what needs to be worked upon and how they can build upon their personal and the team’s strength. This is a great way to help players understand the strategy for the game.


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