Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Published Tuesday, February 23, 2021 with 0 comment

Healthy Habits Challenge

 


Need an engaging activity for your team?  Here’s a healthy-habits challenge.

 

Given below are some healthy habits you can take inspiration from and make a routine for yourself. Then follow that routine rigorously for 21 days. Studies have proven if you do something for 21 days without a break, it becomes a habit.

 

·         Wakeup early and get some fresh air

·         Have 1.5-2 liters of water every day

·         Exercise at least 4-5 days a week

·         Eat healthy meals with fresh fruits and salads included, at least one meal a day should be wholesome and healthy

·         Spend some time with nature listening to nature sounds

·         Dedicate some time every day to do something you love, like a hobby

·         Save some money every week and keep it in a jar

·         Get adequate sleep

·         Call a loved one, friend or family anyone, at least one phone call in a week

·         Give up gadgets for few hours every week

·         Read a book

 

Make day-to-day routine for a whole week considering your time and task priorities and responsibilities. Try and incorporate the habits given above in a week’s time. Identify buddies within the team and share your healthy-habits schedule with your buddy.

 

There will be times when sticking to the schedule might not be practically possible. There’ll be times when you might be tempted to simply quit. Proactively work on your problems. For instance, you might be habituated to eating fried food, which can be a major road block to eating healthy. See if adding an ingredient of your choice to the salad helps. See if you can distract yourself and try and control the craving. Ask your healthy-habit buddy or others in the team how are they doing it. Something will work, it has to, since you really want it to.

 

Sharing experiences, overcoming obstacles together helps keep everyone motivated. Have team meetings once or twice every week to check performance on the schedule. Share your progress with the team on InstaTeam and social media. Also, do maintain a written record of tasks you performed and things you couldn’t every day. Do let us know in the comments below if this worked for you, or if something else did.

 

Wishing you all the best for your healthy-habits challenge.

 

Stay healthy. Keep InstaTeaming.

 

 

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Published Tuesday, February 23, 2021 with 0 comment

Fundraising Ideas For Your Team

 

Planning on raising funds for your team?

 

Fundraisers can be super fun learning opportunities for kids, raising money for their team – planning the event, marketing, managing – remarkable experiences preparing them for real life.

 

Here are a few ideas for your fundraiser. Let the kids pick which one they like the best.

 

·         Car wash – Car wash is perhaps the oldest and the most used fundraising ideas. But it still works. If the kids are planning a carwash, ask them to check what supplies they already have, before going all out purchasing new supplies.

·         Handmade Holiday cards – This can be really fun. Kids can get together to create cards with perhaps parents’ help. It will be a fun art and craft exercise too.

·         Lemonade party – Let kids make the lemonade that can be sold at the venue. Add a few refreshing snacks, invite the neighborhood and voila! You have a party going.

·         Walkathon – This can be a great fitness activity. Kids might need the adults involved in the planning, but this event will be a great way to involve the community.

·         Rent a team – This is a great idea too. People in the neighborhood can rent the team for a weekend to complete some chores or whatever you need to get done around the house.

·         Pet wash – Let people bring their furry friends for a fun bath day.

·         Instagram campaign – Kids will be champions at this already. Ask them to think of a creative way to raise money through Instagram.

·         Fitness session – Enroll people for a fitness session and let kids be the coaches.

·         Minute-to-win-it games – Ask kids to pick up games from the popular game series and sell tickets for participating.

·         Carnival – Invite the neighborhood to a fun carnival, with the good-old-world charm. Sell cotton candies, popcorn, lemonade and bunch of other things to raise money.

·         Fun photo shoot – All you’ll need is a professional camera, photographer and some fun backdrops. Ask parents to help.

·         Social media challenge – Ask kids to think up of a challenge they can promote on social media. The challenge goes viral and you make the money.

·         Team caps – The thing with baseball caps is – another one doesn’t hurt. Have your team logo printed on it and sell the caps to make money.

·         Garage sale – All kids can gather junk or unused extra items from their houses and organize a sale.

 

Create your fundraiser on InstaTeam to get an awesome experience of hassle free management of your fundraiser.

 

Download InstaTeam now if you haven’t already.

 

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Published Tuesday, February 23, 2021 with 0 comment

The Secret To Retaining Athletes Within your Sports Club


With so much of competition in youth sports training, retaining players is perhaps as difficult as getting them on board. There’ll always be someone out there offering training for a lower fees, giving freebies, having a better facility or a more lucrative deal. With competition offering something better or cheaper, anything to grab that piece of pie, how do you ensure that your players keep coming back year-after-year?

 

Here are a few tips to help you win your athletes for long, and for good. 

 

Have a long term strategy

Victory – short-term strategy. Getting the skills that lead to victory – long term strategy. Developing athletic skills may not lead to instant wins, but it will elevate the teams’ game skills, players’ confidence and eventually, wins too. Keep parents appraised about your plan. Have skill development plan and report-card, share them with parents and the players.

 

Teach life skills and not just game skills

This does not mean you suddenly turn into a life coach telling them about righteous living, it just means that you implement the sports-code-of-conduct seriously. For instance, discipline is a life skill kids learn with sports, make sure they adhere to it. Similarly, other important by-lessons of sports can be sportsmanship, team spirit, respect, humility in winning, accepting defeat gracefully and more, are life lessons that will touch players for life.

 

Make them play hard and party harder

Hanging out with the team and socializing together can be a great gift. The team that bonds well plays well. Moreover, in this era of digital friendships, socializing with friends can be a great gift, and the team will stick together, no matter what.

 

Have a ‘listening’ culture

From the club management to coach to players, encourage a culture that respects views, feedback and suggestions. You can have SOPs for suggestions and feedback at all levels.

 

Invest in skill development

If you have to make a choice between directing funds towards facility aesthetics or buying new equipment, choose the latter. Make skill-development your top priority at all fronts.

 

Get InstaTeam

InstaTeam not only automates and facilitates team management, it also makes communication effective and efficient. Features like group notifications, number privacy, automatic reminders, calander sync, car pooling etc. make it a great resource for sports parents who have to adjust that extra bit of child’s sport in to their already busy schedules.

 

 

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Monday, 22 February 2021

Published Monday, February 22, 2021 with 0 comment

The Team App Coaches Recommend – InstaTeam



Coach Hendrick has been a very busy man. All coaches are. Coach Hendrick worked with a school in Springfield, Clark county in Ohio. The sports faculty in the public school works on a restricted budget which means coaches are the whole sports department that there is, well, more or less. Coach Hendrick’s responsibilities included coaching, coordination, communication and everything that comes in and around sports. From preparing each player’s progress report to collecting money for the jerseys to making arrangements for game day, all of it was his responsibility. While all of this was manageable, coach Hendrick’s day was occupied with admin work and lesser time left for coaching.

 

During a sports meet in the Montgomery, Hendrick came to know of InstaTeam. He downloaded the app and insisted his high school team players and the parents of junior teams use it for all communication. At first he had to face resistance. Parents would still come down to the school to talk. They wouldn’t use the app. But Paul Henrick was insistent. Eventually it did become the preferred mode of communication. Parents and players loved how InstaTeam wouldn’t let them forget an important event, they would get automatic reminders. Coach Hendrick obviously loved all the conveniences. And now that he works with a youth sports club in Columbus, handling 4-5 teams at a time, he is absolutely in awe of the app. InstaTeam takes care of all the communication, coordination and admin work, while coach Hendrick spends most of his time doing what he does best – coaching.

 

“InstaTeam is the ultimate tool for a coach. It automates and manages all the mundane work coaches usually despise”, says Hendrick. “I would recommend it to every coach and sports parent”, he adds.

 

In a similar incidence, Coach Mario Fernandez wrote to InstaTeam showing his appreciation for the app. “InstaTeam has solved the communication issue I faced for years. Parents would want an update, and every time I’d send one, parents would start discussing about it on the WhatsApp group. The long unwarranted discussions would bog me down. But with InstaTeam, I send the important message through notification, parents get the message and that’s it. Saves me a ton of time and energy.” Coach Fernandez also happily recommends InstaTeam.

 

We have been receiving several emails, testimonials, feedbacks and likes from coaches across the country who are happy and content with InstaTeam. While it may seem like we are tooting our own horns, but it makes us proud when all we work for, pays. At the same time it also makes us nervous, because we have some really big expectations to stand up to.

 

Thank you coaches for giving us that place in your teams. We haven’t till date, and won’t ever, leave any stones unturned to keep the place we’ve earned.

 

If you haven’t yet, download the InstaTeam app for enhanced team management experience.

 

 

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Published Monday, February 22, 2021 with 0 comment

Finding The Ideal Coach For Your Sports Club

 


Finding the ideal coach is the holy grail of youth sports club. Players’ performance, teams’ accomplishments, parents’ appreciation and the club’s overall success depends on it.

 

If you are hiring coaches, here are a few things you should look for:

 

Experience

Every thing else comes later, experience is the primary quality you should look for. If your coach has experience, and a successful one at that, they already know the tricks, techniques and everything it takes to build a winning team, they wouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel. More so, with experienced coaches, parents are also feel confident and are more comfortable enrolling their kids in.

 

Love of the game versus passion for teaching

It cannot be one thing over the other, both these things have to be in perfect balance. Your coach should love the game as much as they love teaching. Teaching involves making a connect with the kids, being able to relate to them, being able to motivate them, while teaching the game requires rugged, stony training. A good coach knows how to juggle roles between an approachable friend, persevering guide and a tough game coach.

 

People skills to deal with parents

Youth sports parents can be the most difficult lot to deal with. High hopes coupled with often unrealistic expectations make parents very difficult. If you look at it, it’s kind of justified too. They are spending a lot of money on sports coaching, a little anxiety is called for. The coach needs to make them a part of the process and not make them mere spectators. But at the same time, the coach should know where to draw the line and not let participation cross over to the side of interference, so essentially someone who knows their way around people.

 

Once you have someone who meets all the essential qualities and skills, give them the essential training and acquaintance to the conduct and culture of your club. You can also prepare a ‘Code of Conduct’ document if you don’t have one. Additionally, create a team of all the coaches in the club, and initiate your new coach to InstaTeam or your preferred mode of communication. Treat your coaches like you’d want them to treat your players. Motivate, make them work hard, make them play harder.

 

Wishing you all the best for your new hiring. Stay fit, keep InstaTeaming.

 

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Thursday, 11 February 2021

Published Thursday, February 11, 2021 with 0 comment

Tips For League Planning


If you are hosting a league, you already know how big a task it is. Coordinating with all the teams, arranging logistics, scheduling, booking game fields and a countless other tasks that need to be arranged, all of it can overwhelm you and you can get lost before you know it. Planning the league is key to a league’s success.

While you plan your league, here are some tips that can help you with the planning process.

 

·         Start with breaking down the league into smaller functions: like game scheduling, booking venues, participating teams’ coordination, logistics, game tickets, administration etc.

·         Identify smaller tasks in each function and list them. Further break down into smaller tasks, till the smallest bit is listed down.

·         Set goals and assign deadlines for each task and bit. Work your way upwards, smaller bits, to tasks to function goals. For instance, mark the date for making a list of potential venues, then a date for coordinating with them and then checking with league schedule and booking venues etc.

·         Assign a team or person responsible for each function. Then each team can create their own task schedule on InstaTeam by creating events for each bit and task.

·         Mark the tasks that can be delegated to volunteers. Assign a team leader to ensure volunteers stay on track.

·         After the completion of each task, go back to the planning table to realign the goals.

·         Keep all league related communication strictly through InstaTeam. This will help cut through the clutter and focus on the bit that matters. More importantly, there will be no scope for mis-communication or misunderstanding. Instant messaging apps can get overwhelming with all the unnecessary chatter that sucks a great deal of energy and time.

·         Have a to do list for each day. Encourage the team to have one too. The day then starts with a clarity, and can be planned well.

·         At the end of each day, go back to the planning board, tick the tasks completed and realign goals as per proceedings of the day. Then create your to-do list for the next day.

·         In the middle of all the planning, do not forget to take budget into consideration. With each task, align a budget. This will help keep your finances on track.

·         Keep all related documents centrally. Since most of the planning is going to take place digitally, there will be less documents and files involved. Nevertheless, keep these things handy in case of need.

·         Communicate, communicate, communicate.

 

 

 



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Thursday, 4 February 2021

Published Thursday, February 04, 2021 with 1 comment

Hacks To Improve Team Communication


Communication is really vital to performance, especially for a youth sports club where the victory is directly dependent on team-work and discipline within the team. Communication issues can be fatal for the team’s performance. And the problem with communication issues is that most of the time you do not know of them until its too late. So, whether or not you think your team has communication issues, these hacks will come in handy.

 

Say it

Most of the times we assume it’s understood, but that may leave a confusion lurking. Even if it means repeating yourself, it’ll be worth it. If you feel a certain player needs to work on their team-skills, say it. Assuming that the child will realize on their own will further deteriorate skills. Similarly, if you feel the interference of a certain parent is having negative influence on other parents, say it, politely but assertively, say it. Avoiding confrontation will not solve the issue, it’ll worsen it.

 

Be open to listening

If there’s a thought popped up in a player’s or parent’s mind, it’s in best interest that it be discussed. Your openness to listening will resolve most of the issues while they are still budding. Not only will the team parents appreciate it, the team’s attitude and performance will also go up a few notches.

 

Encourage feedback and suggestions

You’ll be surprised how valuable some suggestions can be, and how much room for improvement is there once you become open to receiving feedback. It is also true that in youth sports, being very open can drain you of your energy, as some parents can be overwhelmingly interfering. But that should not stop you. You can organize the system of feedback and suggestions. Have a parents meet before the season begins, that would be a good platform for suggestions. You can have a discussion with all the parents and then decide what would be good for actual implementation. Similarly, have a system for feedback like a feedback form or a one-on-one meeting with parents.

 

Overcommunicate

Suppose you made change in the game schedule, and now you expect parents to check the schedule and update their calendars as well. Not happening. Make sure you communicate the change. Then make it a point to send reminders a night prior. It wouldn’t be inappropriate if you send a reminder the morning of the game day as well.

 

Use InstaTeam

InstaTeam not only automates communication but also facilitates it. Push notifications, automatic reminders help parents get the schedule right. Multi-screen and across-platforms access ensures parents and players get the right message at the right time, no matter what. You don’t have to waste a whole lot of time and resources on mundane communication, InstaTeam makes it instant.

 

Here’s wishing you and your team good luck with communication.

 

Keep InstaTeaming!


 

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Monday, 1 February 2021

Published Monday, February 01, 2021 with 1 comment

How To Successfully Manage A Remote Team


 

By now you must have experienced how difficult it is to manage a team remotely. Up until now it seemed like the pandemic was getting over, but apparently it’s not going as fast as we would have hoped. And now it’s all the more tough because team members are done with the remote training, they want to play the physically, running on the field, with their teammates, fighting, playing and having fun. Players are having feelings of isolation and loneliness. They aren’t motivate to participate online. And there are number of other problems associated with online training.

 

If managing your team remotely is bothering you, here are a few tips to help you sail through these rough waters, and keep the team together until game resumes.

 

Make it interactive

Although we have video and live streaming to our disposal, online training can get monotonous and isolating. It is important to make the remote training sessions interactive and engaging. Give them a task, ask them questions, make them participate. See if the players are not responding and showing signs of stress or anxiety. Conduct counselling sessions or chat sessions where players get to talk about their fears and anxieties.

 

Use video

With the video turned on, you will be able to see your team players when the training is conducted. This exercise will help the players as well since they get to see and talk to their friends which is the second best thing to face-to-face conversation. Try and foster the kind of communication that happens in person.

 

Be a counsellor 

Quite honestly, you are not really being the coach on virtual sessions, might as well be the motivator, influencer, counsellor, friend they can connect with. Your main task now is to keep the team together. In this tough time out of sight cannot mean out of mind. Try and connect to each player, in the team and individually. Talk to them. Motivate them. Do some fun sessions with them.

 

Focus on their needs

They need to work out, they need to be motivated, they need to be counselled, they need to feel connected; the moment you start focusing on their needs, the virtual sessions will transform.

 

Keep security in mind

Cyber security should be a primary consideration when you conduct virtual sessions. Do not allow kids to record the sessions. Use a safe platform like InstaTeam for live streaming. Make sure any sensitive information is not shared on public domains.

 

Technology can help make virtual training possible, but it still doesn’t eliminate the need to human component. Remember, all you need to ensure is that players get some physical work out done, they stay motivated and do not fall prey to loneliness or any other anxieties.

 

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Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Published Wednesday, January 27, 2021 with 1 comment

Choosing The Right Diet Plan For Young Athletes


For all the knowledge and research that has gone into diet, it has created more confusion than clarity. Everyone has their own version of healthy diet, and interestingly no-one is really wrong. You have a diet related experience, you’ll find a research or study that proves it, or there’s a particular regime you feel comfortable with, look hard enough, you find research to support that too.   

 

As crazy as this sounds, there is a rather simple explanation to all this. There is no right or wrong diet plan, it’s what works for your body.

 

If you’ve been bothered about your young athlete’s diet and have been trying to read up, here is a brief description to some famous diet plans. You can choose what best works for your child.

 

Important: Before you make your choice and freeze on a diet plan, do consult the coach or a certified dietician. A nutrient rich, healthy diet plan is a must for young athletes as their body needs the nutrition to grow alongside that extra push for sports.

 

Keto Diet

The basic principal behind keto diet is that it restricts intake of carbohydrates and replaces them with fat. This way the body adapts to burning fat in the body for energy. This diet has gained popularity amongst people who are trying to lose weight, and has proven to give good results too, but this diet is not recommended for kids. Keto diet limits the intake of carbohydrates, and children require carbohydrates for adequate physical and mental development. Keto diet, for children, is only prescribed in case of terminal illnesses like cancer and epilepsy. If your child is putting on weight and you are bothered, then too keto diet is not recommended, since it may cause impaired growth. There are other healthy options for losing weight you should consider.

 

Intermittent Fasting

Another popular diet regime for losing weight. While this diet plan puts no restrictions on the kinds of food you can consume, it binds you in a time frame. In its most common form, the 16/8 schedule, people need to fast for 16 hours a day and eat only during the 8 hour window. This again is not recommended for kids. Although, there aren’t a lot of studies to prove why this diet does not work for kids, by simple logic it can be deduced that any diet plan that puts a restriction in any form, also restricts growth in one way or the other. And the risk is not worth the try.

 

Vegan Diet

Many people are shifting to plant based diet for ethical reasons. Some are also adopting it because this diet is high on fibre, and lowers the risk of heart disease, diabetes and even some forms of cancer. This diet does not pose a threat to a child’s growth, but lack of nutrition does. If you decide to follow vegan diet for your child, be informed that you must take professional help to make a proper diet chart and adhere to it. If the child is missing on essential proteins and nutrients from meat, eggs and dairy, that nutrition should be taken care of by plant-based nutrition. You may need to include a lot of nuts and fruits. Infor the nutritionist if the child id allergic. This diet regime would need a lot of work in terms of preparing the right food, sticking to the nutrition requirements every single day.

 

Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean  diet is the closest to healthy eating, so say some experts. It consists of emphasis on whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes and cuts back on refined carbohydrates, sugary beverages, processed foods and saturated fats. That said, growing children, especially young athletes need sugar rush and for a reason. So eliminating breads, cakes, cookies and juices (containing sugar) may not be a great idea. Again, if you are willing to switch over to the Mediterranean diet, you should do it with a professional’s consultation.

 

The verdict: any one diet plan may not be the way to go for your child. Talk to the coach, other parents on the team, talk to a sports nutritionist and that is the diet plan you might want to stick to. Your investment in your child’s sports training, in terms of resources, money, time and effort is way too much. A imbalanced diet will eventually interfere with it. You wouldn’t want that, would you?

 

Hope this helped! Download InstaTeam now, and create a nutrition support group for sports parents.

 


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Sunday, 24 January 2021

Published Sunday, January 24, 2021 with 3 comments

How To Boost Productivity Amongst Volunteers

When it comes to volunteers, sports club managers expect efficiency and accountability, which is a fair ask provided they are given a conducive environment which helps them perform to their potential. Here’s how you can help boost your volunteers’ productivity.

 

Bring in Accountability

Volunteers can be overwhelmed with managing multiple things at the same time, which slows productivity and brings in scope for error. A good way to change this is by creating events on InstaTeam and marking due dates for each task. This will help bring in transparency in their job and make them accountable for the tasks assigned to them.

 

Use Recognition and Rewards

Most volunteers are not paid or very scarcely paid. Any recognition and reward for a job well done helps them keep motivated. You may even choose to incentivise them by announcing the reward before the work is completed. Rewards may not necessarily be financial, they can something that volunteers look forward to, like a recommendation letter. Including them in the planning process can be a huge incentive too.

 

Give Them The Right Tools

Manually struggling to do the task may get overwhelming. Use technology to sort out the basics and beyond. For instance, InstaTeam’s tickets feature for events allows selling event tickets at the venue without using a separate card reader, the app can accept payments from credit and debit cards. This makes selling tickets a whole lot easier and faster and helps boost productivity.

 

Eliminate Distractions

Social media and instant messaging apps can be a huge distraction for teens and young adults. Have a policy for social media usage. Team communication can be taken care of through InstaTeam.

 

Allow Them Reasonable Breaks

Overworking is not necessarily equal to enhanced productivity. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Let them take their steam off during reasonable breaks, and then they’ll be ready to perform.

 

 

 

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Thursday, 14 January 2021

Published Thursday, January 14, 2021 with 6 comments

Is Your Child Unwilling To Take Online Training For Sports and Fitness?



It’s been almost an year and the mask, social distancing and virtual life just doesn’t seem to end. Everybody’s sick of it, especially kids who are spending an insane amount of screen time. There’s online school, online homework submission, online study groups and then online training for their favourite sport. Unfair, but what is, is.

 

Online training is a great way to bring the team together, bond and do some physical training together. There are kids who do not get any other physical activity other than the online physical training. That said, it still is screen time. Other than ill effects on eyesight, increased screen time is also causing mental and emotional disturbances in children. There have been reported cases of children with sleep disturbances, behavioural problems, attention deficit,  and in some cases, even depression. So, if your child is not willing to participate in online training, we wouldn’t recommend insisting on it. Let the child decide for themselves. However, this virtual training abstinence should not come at the cost the child’s health, because physical activity is a must for growth and development.

 

Here are a few things you must ensure if the kid refuses to take virtual physical training:

 

·         Designate a fixed time during the day when the kid needs to go cycling around the neighbourhood with friends. Cycling helps maintain social distancing and is a great physical activity too. Plus, a little interaction with friends helps in mental and emotional upliftment.

·         If your child is missing the virtual training, ensure that they engage in some other physical activity during that time. If not physical activity, then something else perhaps like an indoor activity, study walking the dog, or playing in the backyard, but it should not be replaced by some other activity on the screen, like playing video games or watching something on Netflix.

·         Other than time for cycling, ensure your child gets some exercise time. Since kids are missing out on running, jumping etc. which they’d do while playing, they still need that kind of exercise for proper growth and healthy body.

·         Keep a check on the kid’s diet. A lot of kids are over eating, eating junk or just eating because there’s nothing better to do.

 

Hopefully, things will get back to normal soon. But before that happens, we need to take care and caution and make sure we engage in healthy habits. 

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