Friday, 27 March 2020

Published Friday, March 27, 2020 with 0 comment

Coronavirus – Dealing With Your Child’s Anxiety

Every institution of the society is affected by coronavirus, and youth sports is no exception. Games, tournaments and the entire season has been cancelled. Youth athletes who practised, prepared and worked hard for the season, have to deal with disappointment. And that is a lot to ask. But again, sports training is not just about the game skill; it also teaches physical and emotional strength, resilience and the spirit to move on no matter what. The disappointment of cancellations and restrictions are huge, but good sports training provides the solidity to deal with it. The problem is that kids may not realise, and may not judge the situation and the response it demands. We as parents, coaches, leaders and mentors have to guide kids to being strong and focused during these testing times.
Here’s a little help, a few tips helping concerned adults into counselling kids to deal with the anxiety and stay tough.
Acknowledge the disappointment
Your child may not be very verbal about it but the disappointment may reflect in their behaviour. The child may have increased tantrums, may be cranky or plain sad. Don’t disregard this feeling. Talk to the child. acknowledge that the cancellation of the season is not fair given the efforts they put in, and it’s okay to feel bad.
Give them the life lesson they need
Tell your child that there are some things that cannot be controlled. And those are the things that actually call for putting your best-self forward. Tell them to focus on things that can be controlled like making a schedule to stay active. Given that they have so much time in hand, this could be their chance to build up on their strengths.
Plan of action
Apart from giving them motivational talk and life lessons, there a few actionable activities that coaches and parents can do to keep the spirits of the child up.
  • Keep in touch with the team. Send motivational messages on the InstaTeam messenger.
  • Ask team players to keep posting videos and pictures of their healthy routine including exercises and healthy food.
  • Plan virtual team activities like watching a sports movie together, or a specific workout together as a team.
  • Help your child create a time table which includes study time, work-out time, social media time, hobby time and TV time. Do not be strict but ensure the child sticks to the routine.
  • Try and get involved in the workout with your child. this will be great for motivation and bonding. The child will feel like doing it too.
  • Tell your kids why it’s important to take care of the body and build immunity to fight the virus.
  • Encourage them to stay in touch with their friends. The game is cancelled, team isn’t. It is during these testing times that your true team spirit is put to use.
  • Tell your children to talk to you or the coach if they are feeling anxious, overwhelmed, fearful and depressed. Encourage them to talk and seek support if they need it.
Youth sports is a great platform for the overall development of athletes and fine, disciplined individuals. It always will be. During these testing times it’s important to apply all the team and life skills that sports training teaches. Kids need to be motivated at this time. InstaTeam is a great platform to motivate and connect the team. The problem with other media is that there are all sorts of posts there. Most of it might be the kind of stuff you do not want your child to get exposed to, at least not at this time.

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Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Published Wednesday, March 25, 2020 with 26 comments

Covid 19 - Home-Workout Drill For Young Athletes

Covid 19 may have restricted our children’s lives to homes, closed the outside world, and stopped game practice completely, but it cannot dampen their spirits. In fact, now more than ever, staying active and staying spirited is important.
A good workout will help get over anxiety and also strengthen immunity, which is very important to fight the virus. Here are some resources that will help you choose the right work-out routine for your child. There are various different schedules and methods mentioned in these websites; a good idea would be to verify the exercise schedule with the coach. Also, it is very important to stay connected during this difficult time of social distancing, so as you and your kid do their daily exercises, upload pictures and videos with your team on InstaTeam. This will encourage other players from the team to start a healthy exercise themselves, and will also keep their spirits up. Here’s to a heathy and happy team – cheers!
This website has strength training drills for young athletes. They also have game specific training to improve on game skills.
Erica Suter
This article by Erica Suter has general strength building exercises that youth athletes must know irrespective of the sport they play. The article also focuses on right and wrong postures for the exercises, which is very helpful.
Break Through Basketball
As the name suggests, this website is focused on basketball players. They have workout drills for kids aged 7-14. The drills are organized by category, with each category focusing on a game skill. Interesting read.
Although YMCA has a host of resources for youth sports athletes, this particular article has detailed exercise information for athletes playing Tee Ball. It’s a 18-page detailed document containing everything you should know.
Coach Brian
Hear it from the horse’s mouth. Coach Brian, a youth sports coach tells exercises good for kids, athletes or non-athletes. Most of these exercises can be done in your backyard.
Sports Engine Community
Sports Engine Community has resources for youth sports from across the internet. This could be a good place to explore some of the best information articles on your specific sport.
These are some of the resources. The internet is full of information that can be helpful. But since This is about physical training that will directly affect your child’s physical and emotional well-being, it is always a good idea to check with the coach before you finalize a plan. And yes, once you have the workout drill figured out and okayed by coach, don’t forget to share it on InstaTeam.

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Monday, 23 March 2020

Published Monday, March 23, 2020 with 23 comments

Tips To Manage Youth Sports Tournament

Youth sports tournament is not as difficult as it may seem. In fact, if you understand and manage the key components well, it’s quite an easy task. The important ingredients of a successful tournament are – communication, a well-equipped venue and promotion. Here’s understanding the details of each of these elements.
Communication here refers to internal team, coach and staff communication. Clear and concise communication is the key to a well-coordinated event. InstaTeam helps create seamless connect within the team cutting out the clutter. Game specifics, last minute requirements, schedule changes, every scheduled and unscheduled event is communicated to all relevant people in real-time. Notifications and automatic reminders ensure the teams, players and coaches are on top of the game, always.
Well-Equipped Menu
Great venues make for great tournaments. Well-equipped fields bring out the best performance. A well-equipped venue has so more than a manicured field, it has ample perking facility, easy accessibility, convenient seating for the audience, and most importantly, clean and hygienic restrooms. It’s also important that the fields are groomed in between games.
A Great Organizing Team
The success of the event is not determined on the last day of work. The success of the tournament starts with the day it is planned. It starts with the right schedule, communication, booking venues, administering and coordinating with the participating teams, and executing the event. A well aligned team, with great coaches who can provide the right game input, are the key to a tournaments success. Another important aspect that often gets overlooked in good umpires. Good umpires are a catch and during the tournament season they become an even rare find. Make contracts with umpires as soon as you make the game schedule.
If you are planning a tournament, you will need a strong support for communication, coordination and management. InstaTeam’s sports management features help by automating scheduling, communication, rosters, tournament calendar and so much more. InstaTeam acts as this thread that brings together all aspects of tournament and team management together. Automatic reminders and notifications will help people come in sync with the tournaments schedule, payment option will keep you’re the matters in sync, real-time communication will ensure there is no slack in communication, and a host of other features will help having a successful event.
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Friday, 20 March 2020

Published Friday, March 20, 2020 with 0 comment

Youth Sports – Food And Game Day

It’s game day. Your child is excited. The day is going to be very demanding – both physically and emotionally. While the coach will take care of the pep talk, game strategy and planning, you as the parent are anxious and keen to help. Let the coach deal with game skills and strategy, any more advise from you might interfere with what the coach has planned and directed. The one thing that you can really help with is nutrition. The right food can help the child get the necessary energy, keep the child physically and emotionally active, and can also help keep up the performance.
Here’s a good game day nutrition plan. However, for specifics you should get in touch with a sports nutritionist or a diet consultant.
Pre-Game Breakfast
The time interval between the breakfast and the game should ideally be between 3-4 hours. Plan your day accordingly. The pre-game breakfast should have some fresh fruits, juice or skimmed milk, eggs and some carbs in form of bread or potatoes. The nutrition should be balanced in a way that provides required fuel to the body and mind.
During the Game
During the game it’s important to stay hydrated. Since body loses its hydration as the child seats, the water and minerals in the body need to be replenished. But the intake of water or other hydrant should be in small quantities, 2-4 sips at a time, and in short intervals. Add some lemon juice and a slice of lime to lukewarm water, add some sugar and salt, and keep in a flask that will maintain the temperature. Take this drink 1-2 sips at a time in short intervals. This is all natural sports drink full of home-made goodness. This will work better than the expensive sports drinks available in the market.
After the game, the kids would be hungry, tired and drained. A rush of natural sugar will do good at this point. Serve some fresh fruit, low fat yogurt, fruit sorbet or smoothies.
Post-Game Dinner
Post-game dinner is important. The muscles that have been through wear and tear during the game need to heal. The body needs to replenish the lost energy and muscle during the game. hence the dinner should include a healthy and hearty portion of nutrition of to help body get the minerals and vitamins it needs to replenish. The meal should include whole grains, protein, dairy, fruit and vegetables. Whole grains can be in form of wheat bread or wheat pasta with vegetables and low fat cheese and tomato sauce. Or if you are not including the vegetables in the pasta, have some greens or a salad in the side. To complete the meal have a dessert with fruit, like apple pie , yogurt parfait or fruits and yogurt trifle.
Upload the pictures of your child’s game day nutrition on InstaTeam to encourage healthy food habits. Share your healthy food ideas on InstaTeam with your team to inspire the team.

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Monday, 16 March 2020

Published Monday, March 16, 2020 with 6 comments

After-School Routine – Tips For Sports Parents And Players

For all the parents who are running around managing everything in the house, at work and the determination to provide all the exposure you can to your child such that they lead happy and successful lives, we understand how difficult it can be. Typically after school there’s homework, housework, snacks, extra-curricular activities/hobby classes, sports, dinner, bath and bedtime. After having done all this, there’s hardly any time and energy left; parents and children are drained alike. If this is true for you, read on, some of these tips may come in handy.
Family Calendar
Danielle, a sports mom in Minnesota, created a family team on InstaTeam. The benefit – she scheduled all planned family events for the whole year on the team calendar. Every there there’s a new event, like a party invite or a game practice or parents visiting etc., as soon as the event is scheduled on the calendar, the whole team (family) comes to know about it through notifications. If the event is overlapping a already scheduled event, the InstaTeam app instantly shows the overlapping. Danielle’s team works beautifully with InstaTeam, they are able to juggle beautifully with no incidences of forgotten events, missed practices or miscommunication.
Create A Meal Plan for the Month
When there’s a lot on your plate and mostly you are running around, the first thing that is usually compromised id the food. Overwhelmed with work, you will soon find yourself falling into the fast food rut, which will be a setback for your and your family’s health. Then follows lowered immunity, increased risk of infections, sick days, doctors and medicines, which puts a pause on all your constructive hard work. If you create a meal plan for the entire month which has details of all the meals and snacks for each day of the week, and keep food prep in the freezer for the entire week, your life will be so much easier. The internet is full of food ideas that can be prepared and stored in the freezer. Slow cooker casseroles or broths are healthy, warm, fresh and great for family dinner bonding.
A routine is important. Insist on everyone in the family having a routine. For instance, as soon as kids come back from the school, they must complete their homework, pack next day’s lunch in advance, and have their snack. This way you won’t waste time when you are back from work, you don’t have to worry about all this, you can take kids to the classes or practice, where-in you can finish off the spill-over from work while the kids are in the class. Create a routine that works best for you and your family, insist everyone sticks to it. Any deviation from the routine, let the family be notified on the InstaTeam app. This also helps instill discipline in children, which is one of the most important of life skills.
Not every event may need to be attended to, you would need to prioritize . You would also have to learn to say no to things that are not important. Your priorities will depend on the activity, its importance and relevance in your lives and future, and finally how emotionally attached you might be.

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Friday, 13 March 2020

Published Friday, March 13, 2020 with 2 comments

Event Ideas To Increase Your Sports Club Business

Events are a fun way to attract people, spread the word and increase memberships. The best part is that the community is involved in the event, it’s not one-sided communication. And with the bonus of social media, there’s a fair chance your customers will do the talking for you if they genuinely enjoy the event. Everyone loves a good social moment, and they love to share it too.
If you are wondering where to start, we have listed below a host of events to get your party started and keep it going!
Grand Try-Out
Is it try-out season for you? Great! Make it huge. Create social-media posts, let everyone know when and where are the try-outs happening. Get jerseys printed, caps monogramed and get a professional look for all staff, coaches, admins and managers involved in the try-outs. Have some tetra-packs of healthy juices served to players attempting try-outs. For all you know this might be the start of a healthy business relationship. Have some membership offers for those who join, some giveaways for all who enter the try-out.
Fun shouldn’t be limited to try-outs. Bring the party on for the anniversary too. Give membership discounts to kids showing exceptional talent. Offer free demos, door prizes, swag bags and so much more. Focus on communicating your achievements in short, for instance number of years in business, selections in league teams, college scholarships, success stories, etc.
Contests and Challenges
Before you think of contests and challenges, remember you must have a strong social media presence. Once you have the presence, get some challenges going. Fun contests not only help grab attention, but also get current and potential members engaged. While some of the challenges can be on game skills like athletic skills, others can focus on soft-skills like best-buddy challenge, or healthy-eater challenge. A Detroit based youth sports club had a youngest-champ challenge in which participants had to upload their childhood pic with a baseball bat on the clubs FB page. The child who would be the youngest with the baseball bat, won. Both the contests and the pic went viral.
Parents’ Sports Day
As a youth-sports club you might be coaching little kids, but your real customers are the parents. It’s important to keep them engaged. But before you schedule this event, it would be a good idea to take an opinion from the parents asking if they are available, and if yes when. The catch with this event is, that it has to be fun for the parents too. Be sure the event is not eating into people’s long weekend, or an important Holiday, or worse, it’s scheduled on a weekday. If this event is imposed, it would rather do more harm than good.
Bike Rally
Get all the sports teams of the club together at least once a year for bike rally. Make proper arrangements with start point and end point. Also arrange for midway coolers, hydrants and refreshers. Have jerseys designed for all the participants with your club logo printed. At the end point serve some healthy refreshments and take advantage of the time and space people are with you. Have banners displaying your club’s highlights, achievements etc. But remember to do it subtle and classy, don’t overdo it. Over-the-top marketing may just sound like adding to the marketing noise around, and it may be a put-off. Remember, balance is the key.
Neighbourhood Tournament
Invite other teams from different sports clubs around to participate in the tournament for fun and friendly matches. This will give you a wide platform to show your club’s benefits. It will also provide great exposure to your own club’s teams.
Club Barbeque
Barbeque is a great idea since it’s just an evening’s commitment which is not like asking for a lot from the parents, and the team bonding along with parents and club coaches, admins and staff is a great idea. Any good team has the coaches and parents on the same side of the table and not opposing each other. Besides, it’s a great social-media moment.
Club Camping
You can take team players for a team camp during their sports break. This will be a great way to keep players engaged even during the break, will be special bonding platform for the team and will also be an awesome social-media feed.
Sports clubs are not new to fundraisers. Use the InstaTeam app to plan, execute and manage the fundraiser event.
For all the above mentioned events, you can plan and schedule the event on the InstaTeam app. InstaTeam’s automatic reminders and notifications will keep all participants, members and staff on top of the game, and the media including photos and videos, can easily be shared on all your social media accounts.

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Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Published Wednesday, March 11, 2020 with 0 comment

InstaTeam’s ‘Payments’ Feature

InstaTeam’s ‘Payments’ feature makes accepting payments easy and swift for your club, while giving your customers the convenience of an app. It helps your customers to make payments easily, syncs and credits the same to your account swiftly and, instantly updates the payment information on the app, such that you know who’s paid and who hasn’t.
InstaTeam’s payment feature can provide customers with round the clock accessibility to their accounts, which also means the benefit of payments being availed processed during non-office hours. InstaTeam’s payment feature allows more flexibility for sports clubs and teams to utilize options such as automatic recurring payments to ensure customers are prompt on paying scheduled fees. InstaTeam also has diverse and well-equipped program that allows clubs to deliver a personalized digital billing experience to our clients that accommodates to their customers’ needs in a fast-paced digitally ran space.
Sports clubs utilizing e-billing provide not only a user-friendly alternative to their customers but also have the added satisfaction of knowing their paperless billing is an eco-friendly solution. A great option to help streamline the club’s billing and help the environment at the same time is by capitalizing on the opportunity to send digital bills or even better, notifications and alerts.
We understand it is indeed important that communication between both the club admin and their customers is quick and easy access. InstaTeam’s features can send instant acknowledgement of fee payment, the instant personalized way to reach out to customers is another long stride towards facilitating on-time payments in the youth-sports industry.
Data indicates that over the past ten years, people are becoming increasingly inclined towards sports and fitness, shelling out thousands of dollars to cover on their child’s athletic training, which of course, correlates with the increasing number of youth sports clubs receiving truant or outright missing payments. Digital-payments is the way to go. But the payment gateways and other legalities makes this tough for smaller clubs or single teams. InstaTeam’s app brings to the professionalism and accountability of sophisticated digital payment system, without you having to shell out extra bucks or hidden fees.

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Published Wednesday, March 11, 2020 with 0 comment

How To Sell Your Team Merchandise Online

We all love team merchandise. Be it a last-minute jersey before Friday’s football game, a team sweatshirt for Father’s Day, or a tee for their mom at the early morning marathon meet – team monogrammed stuff is cool. Plus, the earnings that merchandise brings can help get extra earnings for the team which can come handy at so many places.
Even when the whole merchandise thing is so obvious, actually selling the merchandise can be a handful. But this is the digital era, and perhaps one of the best times to sell. Read on to see how you can set up a digital shop for your team merchandise and earn big with it too. Here are a few options how you can do it.
Add eCommerce To Your School’s Website
Good news is that if this is an unknown territory for your sports club, adding an eCommerce function to the club’s website is actually simple. Most website platforms have the built-in feature that allows adding up eCommerce later at any point you may wish to. The feature has the full functionality of eCommerce with features allowing you to add products, accept payments and track sales. If, for some reason your service provider does not have the flexibility and scalability option, there are tech companies who can easily provide this add-on feature with your existing website.
Once you have your eCommerce up and running, it is time to spread the word. It’s time to leverage the digital age marketing tools. Create social media campaigns. Create Instagram stories. Get the team players to share it on their social media accounts. You can also get professional emailers designed, and given the fact that you send these emails out from your team’s side, parents are more likely to read it.
InstaTeam already has it!
Why reinvent the wheel? InstaTeam app already has the feature that allows selling within the app. This can be from game tickets to parking passes to team merchandise, all of it. In fact, with InstaTeam, you can also look at getting the ecommerce feature amplified if you wish so. The app can be customized to suit your sports club’s specific requirement.
Even if this sounds a little cliché, times really are changing and times are changing fast. To stay relevant, one just has to keep pace. So if you still haven’t worked on digital shop for your merchandise, it about time you do now.
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Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Published Wednesday, March 04, 2020 with 0 comment

Staying Relevant With Notifications

It’s past the digital era now, it’s the screen era. People are glued to their screens, most of the work is dependent on screens and almost all the communication has gone to the screens. Work or no work, people are glued to their screens. If you wish to engage your players or their parents, you need to be where they can easily find you – on their screens.

Texting has become a very important form of communication lately. InstaTeam helps your club utilize text messaging in the form of instant notifications, which helps engage parents and stay relevant.

Have you been taking advantage of push-notifications for your club? If you still haven’t utilized the power of push notifications on InstaTeam, here are some benefits that should motivate you to.

Instant Communication

Sudden change in venue? Cancelled game? Last minute requirement? An injury? All these are things we don’t usually plan for, but they happen. And when such a thing happens, you as the coach, or admin, or manager, would want to manage the situation, rather than sit and make phone calls to inform people. InstaTeam gives you the power of push notifications which will take care of the communication part in just a few taps. Even better, if you make a change in the schedule, the communication will reach the entire team as automatic notification.

Get The Power of Automatic

InstaTeam app utilizes the power of texting in two forms – push notifications & automatic reminders. Your life as the team coach or team admin becomes so much easier when you team parents are automatically notified of what needs to be told to them. Just make these simple settings to create automatic reminders for situations like:

  • Change in event (date/ time)
  • Change in venue
  • Due date of club fees
  • Overdue club fees
  • Team-members’ birthdays
  • Promotional/ campaigns/promotional notifications

Staying Relevant

Usually parents will be connected to you during the season since there’ll be practices, games and a lot going on. But during breaks, it is equally important for you to stay relevant. The club should be on top of the parents minds even when their child is not going to the game regularly. You can keep sending text messages that have exercise routines for kids during breaks, nutrition tips for summer (if it’s a summer break they’re on), Holiday food Dos and Don’ts (during holidays), simple tips to balance sports life with academic life, and more.

The catch is – the texts should be short, sweet and not annoyingly frequent. The messages should lead to a link for more information, which you could link to either your website or your social media. This will give you traffic advantage, which will help the club’s marketing.

Higher Engagement

Notifications get immediate attention. Comparing that to emailers that are unread, or phone calls that are unanswered, or flyers that are thrown away, notifications are read even unintentionally at times. The key to making your content getting noticed is staying short, crisp and intriguing, such that team parents follow the link for more.

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Published Wednesday, March 04, 2020 with 0 comment

The Hidden Power of Team Parents

Did you ever realize that team parents can be your brand ambassadors representing your sports club and the sources of free advice? Each parent has untapped potential for the benefit of your club, a power that can help your club on many levels. To keep this power up and running, you must treat team parents like they matter. Here are a few tips:

Welcome Suggestions

Most of the time, especially for coaches, suggestions from parents may seem like unnecessary interference you’d rather avoid. But if you find a way to respect suggestions from parents, you’ll be surprised how most of it will actually help better the training or facility. You can encourage parents to send suggestions via the InstaTeam app as a text message to the coach/admin, or put up the good old suggestion box. It’s important that note each suggestion, thank the parent for their suggestion and share how the suggestion was incorporated in your process/facility/training. If for some reason you could not use the suggestion, make sure you thank the parent and let them know why it was difficult incorporating their suggestion. You will be surprised what magic listening does.

Social Media Shout-outs

The social spotlight does wonders to people. Appreciate people for being cooperative, helping, volunteers, or in whatever way the parent got involved with the team. The fact that they take time out from their busy schedules to be around for the team, in whatever possible way is a tremendous effort in itself. Acknowledge and appreciate that fact, and shout about it on social media. Everybody loves being a hero.

Value Feedback

Feedbacks are not meant to downgrade your training or point fingers, they actually help getting in a new perspective. Work around that idea. Like with suggestions, thank parents who give you feedback. Keep them in the if you are implementing the feedback, and let them know with reason if you aren’t. Listen and acknowledge.

Keep Them Engaged

Every once in a while, call for parent meetings. Depending on how busy or available your group of parents is, you can organize fun events like parents’ sports day or biking trip with parents. The key is making the parents feel belonged, heard and giving them enough reasons to make ‘social media worthy’ moments. If they share these moments on their social media, you know you have brand ambassadors.

While it may require meticulous planning and may take up your time, but once you have their morale built up on positive vibes, you will know it’s been totally worth it.

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Published Wednesday, March 04, 2020 with 0 comment

Tips To Save Time And Make The Most Of Your Sports Management Experience

Are you a manager or a volunteer busy running the show around a sports club? Here are some handy tips that will help you save time, keep you better organized, reduce stress and get others to get involved and help out too.
Planning is the key
Before you get in the day to day grind of sports club routine, take out some time to sit and plan. Write down your expectations from the season. Break the overall objective into small objective by asking ‘how’ at every step. For instance you plan to have a ‘successful season’, ask yourself how will this happen. Break it down to minimum number of wins required per team, then number of new enrollments required, then training specifics, games, practice all of that can be defined.
Block time for volunteering
Since you are volunteering, it is possible that you have a day job, and your personal/family time. There’s a fair chance you’ll always be pressed for time. Before you get into making a schedule for your club, make one for yourself. Block out the time for sports management, and don’t let anything else get in this time slot. Only when you make a strict routine, will you be able to effectively manage things both personally and professionally.
The ultimate time saver is having someone help with a task. Make a list of things that you are okay to delegate. Give necessary training/instructions, and use the saved time to concentrate on critical tasks at hand.
Get InstaTeam
This is the age of automation and if you don’t have an app working for you, helping you, sorting your tasks, simplifying your work for you, you are missing out. InstaTeam is a sports management app specifically designed for coaches/admins/managers to help them organize, automate and simplify team management tasks. Use the InstaTeam app to:
  • Create rosters
  • Create digital records of players
  • Schedule the season
  • Put fees information
  • Send notifications
  • Schedule events in calendars including games, practices, important meetings, meeting follow-ups etc.
  • Encourage parents to use InstaTeam for any team/game related communication
  • Store team media including pictures, videos etc.
Using InstaTeam app for communication helps reduce communication errors, misunderstandings and unnecessary chain mails. You’d be surprised as t how much energy and time this would save.
Staying organized is not as tough as it may seem initially. In fact, if you get the InstaTeam app, the task’s a breeze. Download the app now if you haven’t already, and get ready for a more efficient and productive way of team management.

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