Thursday, 24 December 2020

Published Thursday, December 24, 2020 with 3 comments

Most Valuable Christmas Lessons You Want Your Young Athlete To Learn


The true spirit of Christmas has gotten lost in the compulsive consumerism extravaganza this Holiday has become. It’s all about the d├ęcor, drama, feast, fiesta and not to forget, the over-the-top gifts. Its rather sad to see how our kids picture Christmas, and it is not even their fault. This is what they have seen and this is what they have learned.

 

If this bothers you too, here are the simple things that truly define Christmas. Teach them to your children, your youth sports team or your class, these will be enriching lessons for every child.

 

Gratitude

There are people with no families, no money, no limbs, no home, no one to love and care. We on the other hand, take all our life gifts for granted. Tell your children to first acknowledge all the gifts they have and then be thankful for them.

 

            The activity

Make a list of everything that you love and value in your life, everything including your relationships, material things and anything else you can think of. Let them know that all of these are privileges or gifts that they are blessed with, and then there are those who are less fortunate.

 

There’s greater joy in giving

Come December and parents get involved in finding that perfect gift that would bring a smile on the child’s face. The problem with this system is that the gifts never end. We get our children what they want and when they want it. So practically, they keep getting gifts year round. This time of the year, teach your kids the joy of giving.

 

The activity

Buy something that can be of use, warm clothes, blanket, warm socks, food, anything. Involve your kids in wrapping these gifts. On Christmas eve, drive around the neighbourhood to find homeless people and make your kids give them the gifts. When these people open the gifts and see, tell the kids to notice the joy. For your kids, this experience will e more gratifying than receiving gifts.

 

Family is important

Many a times, kids get overwhelmed with their parents and siblings. If your child is a teenager, there’s a bigger chance of them getting worked up with family members. Holidays are a good time to tell your kids the importance of a well-knit family, the importance of the love and care they find at home.

 

            The activity

Use this time of the year to spend some quality time with your kids. Play family games together, cook together, have a movie night, start a holiday tradition if you already don’t have one.

 

Kindness is one of the greatest of virtues

Kindness not just towards one another, but also towards other creatures, the earth and everything around us. A loving touch, gentle smile or a kind word can do wonders to us. Kids need to understand the importance of these gestures.

 

            The activity

Ask your kids about the one person who annoys them the most. They need to write down one good quality about that person. Encourage your child to go and tell that person of this good quality. This will be a great life lesson for kids.

 

 

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Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Published Wednesday, December 23, 2020 with 2 comments

10 Ways You Can Help Your Team Stay Happy and Healthy During Pandemic


It’s been a tough year. The pandemic has been harsh on one and all. People have had their own battles during the pandemic, some have suffered financially, some have lost a loved one, some have been going through anxiety, then there’s Covid fatigue and so much more.

 

If the mental and emotional well-being of your team has been bothering you, here are a few ways you can motivate them and lift their spirits up. Here are a few suggestions that you can encourage your team to do.

 

1.      Take a social media break. Too much of pandemic news can be bothering. The team can always stay in touch with InstaTeam that already cuts the clutter out of communication.

 

2.      Make new personal fitness/training goals. Lay a lot of focus on training because perhaps that’s the only physical activity that most of them are doing. Sharing goals and throwing challenges brings out a healthy competition that helps keep the mind alert and in-action.

 

3.      Spend time in nature, watching the sunset, taking a hike, going biking, in whatever way you can. Even if you cannot manage this on a regularly throughout the week, do it at least once or twice a week. It will make you feel rejuvenated.

 

4.      Practice yoga or deep stretching at least two sessions in a week. This will relax the soreness from the week-long workout sessions. Besides, yoga is known to relax both, the body and the mind.

 

5.      Follow a routine. Sleep in time. Waking up late skews the body’s natural steroid cycle which in turn affects health.

 

6.      Eat healthy. This not only benefits your body but is also good for your mental health.

 

7.      Workout with the team.

 

8.      Support each-other in the team because that’s what the team does, they’ve got each-other’s backs.

 

9.      Share motivating content on InstaTeam.

 

10.  Support other teams/athletes overcome the anxiety of the pandemic. Helping someone is the surest way to feel good about yourself. It’s an instant mood lifter.

 

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Monday, 21 December 2020

Published Monday, December 21, 2020 with 1 comment

Re-opening Resources

 


Here are a few resources to help you prepare for a safe re-opening and steadily carry on with operations there on. These are a few documents and checklists that will help cut the clutter, confusion and put the POA in place.

 

1.      Covid 19 Contact Document

Although the contact information is basic and everyone has it in the office, but this information should be printed and put up on the notice board and also widely circulated to all the teams on InstaTeam. This document should contain the following information:

 

·         Primary point of contact in the office, handheld phone number, email

·         Secondary point of contact in the office, handheld phone number, email

 

2.      Assign a Covid 19 warrior team. This team needs to have members responsible for each of the following:

 

·         Hygiene and sanitization

·         Player and parent precautions

·         Staff precautions

·         Emergency situation handling (in case of a positive case)

·         Post-Covid support

 

Standard operating procedures for each of these need to be defined and circulated amongst the staff. You need to have the detailed plan for business continuity in case there’s a suspected or confirmed outbreak of the virus in your premises. Also, write down the detailed plan of what happens when there’s a positive member of the staff or a player/parent (who are visiting the centre) is positive.

 

3.      Ensure the proper cleaning equipment and chemicals are there. If not, are you willing to outsource it to professional cleaning service providers?

 

4.      Basic preparedness

 

a.      Ensure there are hand sanitization stations at all entry and exit points and near all training areas.

b.      Ensure there is ample supply of sanitizers, hand wash, paper towels, tissues and other hygiene things.

c.       Have posters put up with messages emphasizing sanitary habits and social distancing.

d.      Discourage people to touch surfaces by putting up signs.

e.      Draw place marks keeping the 1.5-meter distance in mind where children train. 

f.        Make a detailed leave policy just in case staff is sick or they need to go in self quarantine.

 

5.      Conduct regular trainings to ensure that staff, parents and players are all aware of the precautions they need to take and the next-steps just in case there’s an emergency.

 

 

 

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Sunday, 20 December 2020

Published Sunday, December 20, 2020 with 1 comment

Youth Sports Clubs: Prepping For Holidays


Although this is not like every Holiday season with Covid 19 still having its dark shadow cast on Holiday season of 2020, but it still is the Holiday season. The emotion remains the same, the sentiment remains the same and the importance also remains the same. More so, if your brand can make a connect with your clients during these testing times, the benefit would far exceed a regular promotion.

 

If you are looking for ideas to help create a sensitive promotion strategy, here are a few ideas.

 

Empathy is the key

 

You cannot have the ‘we are here to sell you club membership’ approach to ‘we are here for you’ approach. Offer free ‘immunity boosting workout’ sessions or offer advise from your coaches wherein they give tips to stay healthy and happy in a time like this. Before you freeze in on your promotion, gauge the sentiment in your target areas. If there’s a lock down, down play the selling and go all out with offering help, if the number of cases are coming down, then tweak your promotion strategy accordingly. Take socialmedia’s help to gauge sentiment.

 

With existing clients, offer them discounts, easy instalment plans or extend training period, whatever you can afford to do. Many people have lost their jobs, the economy is in doldrums and fiscal deficit is at its peak. Be sensitive to these things. Offer the best you can afford. Keep them engaged with virtual sessions, live-streaming trainings, group counselling etc.

 

Ho, Ho, Ho.. Tis The Season…

 

It may be in the middle of a global pandemic, but it still is Holidays. Let the joy spread, but don’t overdo it. Don’t blow the whole ‘celebrate’ on people’s faces. Little thoughtful gestures is the key. Here are a few ideas:

 

1.      Get Christmas goodies packed in small boxes, leave it outside people’s houses in the neighborhood. Put in a sweet message.

2.      Organize a neighborhood potluck wherein you set up the table, people make food, pack in in disposable boxes, leave their box on the table and take a random box. It could be fun group activity that does not violate social distancing norms.

3.      Make a video that does not talk about the pandemic, rather takes people’s minds off it.

4.      Organize a carol singing night wherein people stand outside their houses and sing Christmas carols together. You can have the carol booklet printed earlier so that people know the sequence.

 

At the end of the day, you are still running a business and you still need people to come back to you when all this is over. Keep your focus group engaged. Create health and fitness workouts free virtual sessions. Have people sign in and live stream the sessions on InstaTeam. This can be a good way to have a window of engagement open. Moreover, with features like sessions scheduled and the calendar synced, automatic reminders etc. People get to see the professionalism with which you operate.

 

The pandemic is not forever. Things will open up eventually. This sort of engagement will make people remember and come back to you when its time.

 

 

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Friday, 11 December 2020

Published Friday, December 11, 2020 with 9 comments

Important Tips For Managing Freelance Instructors for Youth Sports Clubs


Sports coaching is not just about developing game skills. It involves the all-round develop of the athlete which then complements game skills and brings out champions. All-round development means that from time-to-time you may require services of a specialist to teach new skills to the players. For instance, a football club in Florida teaches their players taekwondo to improve their flexibility and agility. Similarly, another swimming team is taught yoga to work on stretch ability and perseverance.

 

Now to get all those specialist instructors on-board can be an expensive affair. A freelance involvement makes complete financial sense. If you are planning to engage a freelance instructor, here are a few things you should clearly outline before you get started:

 

1.      Nature of engagement

Although most instructors may verbally agree and commit to taking classes, but you should have a contract every time you engage an instructor. In the contract clearly outline the time span and remuneration for training. It should also clearly outline that this is not an employment but a contract.

 

2.      Responsibilities

This should define things like professional standard to be maintained, the kind of training with levels that will be taught, administrative responsibilities, work ethics, detailed schedule, with all the information put on InstaTeam.

 

3.      Financial obligations

Although, remuneration is clearly defined, financial obligation should be outlined too. Things like costs for covering transportation, insurance, training gear etc. should be spelled out clearly too.

 

4.      Non-compete clause

If the instructor is teaching at multiple clubs, you might want to define when and to what extent the instructor is required to refrain from taking up similar kind of training for competition. Also, clearly define what would include competition, names of clubs, clubs in the vicinity or something else.

 

5.      Violation and termination

While discussing termination may not be how you start a contract, but trust us, this is how you should start a contract. Clearly define the actions that would be considered violation and all the things that could lead to termination of the contract.

 

Taking these measures brings in clarity and is a good way to ensure that any such engagement would have fruitful outcome for all involved, mostly for the team.

 

 

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Monday, 7 December 2020

Published Monday, December 07, 2020 with 1 comment

Watching Over Your Team’s Health


 

In wake of the pandemic that has changed our notion about health and safety, it is essential that every club/coach keep a tab on their sports team’s heath. Coronavirus has been reported to have long-term effects on some people’s health which may not show up for months. Some have their lungs affected forever, in some cases even brain fogging has been reported. Hence health monitoring should be done irrespective of whether the game has resumed or not.  

Here are a few tips to help you monitor your teams’ health.

The first step is to get the basics in place. Here’s a list of essential measures for health monitoring.

·         Make sure the roster on InstaTeam app is updated with latest, verified contact information.

·         Have a contact matrix in place. Team players should know who to contact in case of emergency.

·         Share all important communication and Covid related information as received from the government or authorities.

In case of online training:

·         Make sure the team members are well aware of the day, time and training agenda for each session well in advance.

·         You can conduct live training via the InstaTeam live steaming feature.

·         Ask team players to mark their attendance on InstaTeam as and when you schedule the training.

·         Take feedback and understand if you need to make some changes in the method of conducting training to make it more engaging.

·         Keep yourself connected with your teams. Conduct regular counseling sessions to keep the team motivated.

·         Keep a tap on players who miss sessions. Find out about their health.

·         Encourage team players to take up bike rides in the neighborhood. Cycling is a great exercise and perfect for social distancing.

·         Bring in variety in your training and on-line sessions to keep the team engaged.

·         Counsel kids on healthy eating to boost immunity.

With vaccine development in its final stages, it is just a matter of time when we will be able to resume normal life. Until then, stay safe and ensure your team’s safe too.

 

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Published Monday, December 07, 2020 with 0 comment

Your Team Needs The Holiday Cheer Now More Than Ever


It’s the Holiday season like no other we have known. Coronavirus cases are on the rise, however desperate we may be, things are not returning to normal, not until the vaccine is in place. The good news – vaccine is in its final stages of development. The not-so good news – we may have to go through the Holidays with Coronavirus, its fear, its spread, social distancing and masks.

This is the kind of time that needs hope and reassurance. This is the kind of time when you change your role from the game coach to life coach. Let your team know there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

If you’ve been thinking of ways to engage and motivate your team/s during Holidays, here are a few tips:

 

Host a virtual Secret Santa Party

Secret Santa is a fun tradition. Who says with Coronavirus there can be no Secret Santa? Here’s what you can do – randomly assign team members’ names to each other. Set a price limit. The team players will have to choose a gift online and have it directly mailed to the receiver. Then on or before Christmas, schedule a Christmas party for the team, where-in everybody gets to open their gifts.

 

Go social with a cause

The one thing that this pandemic has taught us is that gratitude and kindness go a long way. Apart from this being an important life lesson, it is what will bring happiness and satisfaction in these unprecedented times. Create a virtual fundraiser on InstaTeam. Each team member must upload a short video of themselves saying what charity/cause they support and why. Upload the videos on social media and let people contribute towards the cause they relate to the most. All the money then goes to the cause that wins.

 

Send Holiday Goodies to your team members

Pleasant surprises make Holiday all the more special. Have a basket or box of goodies delivered to your team, right outside their front door. Make it small, it’s the gesture that matters. Home baked goodies will be the best.

 

Holiday Photos

Ask all the team members to share Holiday photos. You can have a theme like funny Holiday pictures or just the ones that spread Holiday cheer. Share the pics on InstaTeam photos. If the team-members are okay with it, upload the pics on team’s social media pages.

 

Carolling

Bring the team together on a virtual meet and record carols of the whole team singing together. The kids can then go out in the neighbourhood with their tablet or smart phones and play the carol video while singing along. Nothing brings out Holiday cheer like carols.

 

Just a matter of time, and things will be back to the way they were, the ‘old’ normal and teams will be together playing again. This is a good time to bring teams mates closer and keep them motivated. Use this time for good, there are better times ahead.

 

Stay healthy, stay safe.

 

Keep InstaTeaming!

 

 

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Thursday, 3 December 2020

Published Thursday, December 03, 2020 with 2 comments

Holiday Season Eating Tips For Athletes


The one thing that most people dread about Holidays is the food. There is a surplus of sugary foods, fried food and the binge eating that can take a serious toll on health and fitness. Staying fit and on your fitness regime becomes a challenge. As athletes this challenge becomes all the more  grave, since any slip in health and fitness can directly affect performance.

If you are in this situation, don’t sulk. Here are some healthy eating tips that help you enjoy Holidays to the fullest without compromising your health.

1.      Eat before the dinner

If you about to attend a Holiday dinner, never go on an empty stomach. On an empty stomach, the cravings are going to be so strong that you won’t be able to balance your fiber, proteins and carbs, you’ll straight head to the sinful food you’ve so successfully been avoiding. Eat something that will settle the pangs and leave room for some food. Have a salad or a fruit. Also, drink a lot of water. That will settle the false alarms of hunger.

2.      Eat consciously

If you sit in front of the television and eat, you most likely will eat more. Take smaller portions and smaller bites. Indulge your senses. Diverted attention will only lead to over eating.

3.      Find a friend

There must be one of your teammates or someone else who needs to control their diet too. Buddy up. Having a conscious eater by your side will help you get the strength to fight your cravings. In fact, both of you can also help each other by keeping a check on one-another.

4.      Choose your sin

If you are celebrating Holidays, it’s just natural to indulge a little. Don’t deprive yourself of that pleasure. Choose any one goodie that you would love to indulge in. Relish it in reasonable portions. Do not over indulge.

5.      Exercise

Late nights, hangover, unbearable cold, let nothing keep you from exercising. Do not get into self-pity and go easy. No exercise could mean a direct effect on your performance and being an athlete, whose passion is sports, you wouldn’t allow that, would you?

Share your Holiday experiences and fitness regime with your team.

Happy Holidays! Stay healthy. Stay safe.

Keep InstaTeaming!

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Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Published Wednesday, December 02, 2020 with 3 comments

InstaTeam versus Social Media


Given their busy schedules and lack of time, many coaches take to social media for communication and coordination. Social mediums such as Facebook and WhatsApp seem like a good shortcut to sending messages but this doesn’t necessarily facilitate communication. Wondering why?

Here’s where social media have the limits.

 

InstaTeam

WhatsApp /

Facebook etc.

Mass messages in one go

P

P

Images and video sharing

P

P

Scheduling

P

O

Automatic rosters

P

O

Availability management

P

O

Automatic reminders/notifications

P

O

Total sync with team website

P

O

Fee/payment management

P

O

Fundraiser organizer

P

O

Messages on multiple platforms like email and text messages

P

O

Carpooling and auto sync navigation

P

O

Automatic team calendar

P

O

 

 

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