There are hundreds of thousands of youth sports coaches in the United States. Most of these dedicated individuals are volunteers, coaching not for money or for victories, but because they love the game and want to be a positive influence on the kids they oversee. However, coaching can be tiring, draining, and physically and mentally taxing. Many coaches only do so for a couple seasons (if not just one) before the commitment outweighs the benefits.
As a league administrator, your responsibility is to make coaching as stress-free as possible so that volunteers don’t burn out but instead want to come back year after year. Time is a serious concern for coaches: Often, what’s required to run a team goes beyond just the hours devoted to practice and games. And this is where the burnout often occurs—coaches feeling as if they simply can’t devote this extra time.
Team management software can help your league’s coaches. The features of these online platforms are designed for your convenience and efficiency, which can be easily extended to the volunteers who make your organization great. Here are three ways team management software saves your coaches time:
Coaches may struggle getting news, updates, action items, and other important communication to the parents of their players, as well as to league admins and other coaches. A dozen phone calls take far too long; email lists help but aren’t perfect and are difficult to use from a smartphone. League management software allows coaches to easily send emails—from any device—without worrying about copying and pasting addresses or hitting reply all. Furthermore, the platform supports texting so that parents can be instantly notified if a coach needs to cancel or switch a practice.
Almost all coaches have experienced this bottleneck: They need player or parent info but cannot find the email or spreadsheet file that contained the team’s roster. Email addresses sometimes don’t easily identify who has the account, and few coaches have the time to input every cell and home phone number into their phones and contact lists. Team management software provides quick access to rosters whenever coaches need it. Moreover, if a family changes email addresses, adds phone numbers, or updates allergy or emergency information with the league, that data is automatically applied to the roster without any additional, time-consuming finagling from the coach.
Parents can help
Youth rec coaches who try to do everything themselves may not necessarily be doomed for failure, but they are increasing the chances they will be fried by the end of the season and not want to return to volunteer next year. Teams at this age and skill level should be little communities, and as such, other parents often will step up to help—if given the chance. Team management software can help in a myriad of ways. Coaches can put out calls asking for help assisting in practices, assembling snack schedules, organizing car pools, and so on. Online software can take over from there with message boards, streamlined communication capabilities, and easy-to-use features. For example, if a parent volunteers to update team stats every game, he or she can be given access to do that and not be befuddled once on the website. Coaches devote enough of their time simply by volunteering; team management software easily transfers some of that load to willing, supportive parents.
What are some reasons coaches in your league don’t return the next season?