With recovery in full swing for nonprofit associations across the country, summer sports programs are once again rocking and rolling. As summer comes to a close and we inch toward a fall jampacked with programs, many sports directors are looking for ways to increase efficiency and improve participant experience. Playerspace’s Chris Capone hosted a webinar with sports and athletic directors from organizations across the country to discuss how they’re using Playerspace league management to prepare for fall programming.
If you missed the webinar, we’ve highlighted some of the main takeaways from the conversation between Patrick Bryant, executive director of sports of the YMCA of San Antonio; Garrett Brolsma, associate vice president of Valley of the Sun YMCAs in Arizona; and Curtis Carlson, athletic specialist at Covington Parks and Recreation in Washington.
Use Time More Wisely
One of the biggest things Patrick, Garrett, and Curtis all reflected on was how their organization’s sports department was able to better utilize their time with the help of Playerspace. Before, their staff was tied down with cumbersome manual processes that required them to take reservations and sign-ups one-by-one and keep teams organized through printed registrations and coach sheets. If a participant’s parent called the front desk with a question or team change request, they’d have to riffle through stacks of paper or binders to find the correct information. With Playerspace to digitize those processes and organizational systems, sports departments were able to trade time spent behind the desk for face time with participants to make a greater impact.
Patrick says the job of a sports director encompasses two major types of work: administrative and experiential. With Playerspace, directors can attend games, increase visibility, and create relationships with participants. Garrett agrees that with more time to focus on the experiential portion of their job, they’re able to start thinking creatively about their programs and leagues to provide the best possible experience for participants.
Improve League Processes
When running a sports league, there are five main concerns: scheduling, team building, communication, risk management, and front desk usage. Playerspace provides a solution set to accommodate for each.
The capabilities available for scheduling through Playerspace makes juggling multiple sports programs and venues, hundreds of teams and, thousands of participants a breeze. The system digitally creates schedules and match ups at timeslots that correlate with open facilities. With the Coach Conflict tool, coaches can enter blackout dates and the scheduler automates schedules to accommodate them. Additionally, for coaches who coach more than one team, the system fully guards against double booking. Once a schedule is made, parents and coaches can check a full season schedule that’s updated in real time. They’ll also receive customized message reminders for practices, games, and any last-minute schedule changes that occur.
With Playerspace’s team building feature, both players and coaches can make requests and the system automatically accounts for them when creating teams. Additionally, organizations can choose to group participants into teams based on geographic location through addresses to put children who go to the same school on the same team. If a child is moved to a new team, the communication lists and registration information is all transferred automatically.
The bigger a sports department gets, the harder communication can become. With so many people involved, from coaches and parents to participants, volunteers, and officials, successful sports programs depend on airtight communication to run smoothly. Playerspace eliminates confusion and inaccuracy by organizing all communication efforts in one convenient location. Coaches and directors can easily create custom lists based on teams or programs and communicate via the Playerspace portal, by email, or by text with ease. With a message history feature, directors can keep track of how coaches are communicating with their teams and programs can increase their communication success rate by tracking down and amending errant email addresses. Additionally, all messaging is brand compliant with custom slots for font, text size, and logos so participants never have any doubt where a message is coming from.
With safety an increasing concern for parents, Playerspace’s risk management feature is key to ensuring that your program is safe and reliable. Directors can easily pull reports to see which of their assigned coaches have and have not completed their background checks. If there’s ever a question about a coach, it’s easy to find their completed paperwork in an online filing tool that’s searchable by users.
Front Desk Usage
With a system like Playerspace, a sports department can go from being people dependent to system dependent. Rather than relying solely on a sports director to answer all questions related to sports programs, from parents confirming practice locations to coaches calling in sick, an organization’s front desk or other team members can take control and manage minor requests. With Playerspace, front desk staff can easily look up player and team information online to provide the best possible service to inquiring parents. The positive experience could even result in attaining new Y members from participants who appreciate the level of attention and care.
For each of these sports directors, 2020 was a time to reassess their operations and determine new ways to run their departments more efficiently and effectively. With sports coming back stronger than ever and fewer options due to COVID-19, organizations are receiving record sign-ups. With the help of Playerspace, they’re not only ready for the influx, but they’re prepared to take their programs to the next level and provide the best possible experience for all involved.
Ready to see how Playerspace can help your department prepare for fall sports and beyond? Book a demo.