How did coaches and team parents manage 20 or 30 years ago without email and the Internet? How did they communicate directions, schedules, games, and rain outs? Either there was less communication or there were many more phone calls being made. Somehow my parents\’ generation got it done. Kudos!
Email and the Internet have certainly made team administration much easier. Today, there are a host of options available to coaches, team parents, and leagues to make management and administration almost effortless. Given the huge percentage of the population now online, it no longer makes sense not to use these services.
I will start reviewing team websites. WePlay is up first.
At first glance, WePlay is your standard team site. However, upon closer examination, it is much more.
- WePlay offers the standard modules such as teams, rosters, schedules/calendars, photo and video uploads, email notifications, and document uploads.
- A nice feature gives parents the ability to set up and manage children\’s accounts.
- The calendar module needs some work: there is no export feature to personal calendars and the dates and times have to be typed in since there is no calendar or time graphical interface.
However, WePlay distinguishes itself from other services in three main areas: cost, partnerships, and community.
- Cost–WePlay is 100% free.
- Partnerships–WePlay has an impressive list of professional athletes and partner organizations on their team. A partial list includes Brandi Chastain, Payton Manning, LeBron James, and the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA).
- Community–According to Drew Shamrock, a member of the WePlay marketing team, WePlay, \”is more interested in building a thriving youth sports community, not just another place for a team to upload their schedule and roster.\” Some of the community features include:
- The ability to connect with favorite professional athletes.
- Access to soccer drills.
- A soccer hub which includes a \’coach-of-the-week\’ feature and other soccer-related information.
- Giving and receiving \’props\’ for a job well done.
- An answer page where visitors can get answers to youth sports questions from other parents, coaches, and players.
- Online games.
Coaches and parents, let me know which sites and services you use. If there is a company offering such services, let me know if you would like a review.