sportsYou Coach Spotlight: Q&A with Coach Alex Latorre - Photo by sportsYou Photography
Sep 12, 2019 3 min read By Lauren Dubinsky

Coach Alex Latorre was born and raised in Brazil as part of a missionary family. “Soccer is basically a religion down there, so it was in the blood,” he remarked.

Alex moved to America to attend high school as well as college and continued to pursue his passion for soccer. Remarkably, he was drafted as a college sophomore to play soccer professionally for a year.

After completing his degree, Alex received a call to coach at York College in Nebraska. He’s been the head of the men’s soccer program for the past three years and is set to take over the women’s soccer program this year.

The men’s soccer team has flourished under his leadership. Last year, they achieved their first winning season in 15 years and defeated a team they haven’t beaten in 11 years.

sportsYou: What would you say are your greatest challenges as a coach?

Alex Latorre: Communication is the main thing. We used to use WhatsApp to communicate but the one thing that bothered me was that when I made a comment and somebody made a comment back, it pushed mine up high and some players would miss it.

I was trying to find something that was kind of like Facebook in that you post something and they can make a comment under my post, so it doesn’t get pushed up and disappear. I was also looking for something that would let me communicate better with my players. That’s how I got started using sportsYou.

“Communication is the main thing.”

I just took over the women’s team and the one thing they like is how organized it is. A big part of that is the sportsYou calendar. I can post everything on the calendar, so they don’t have to ask a thousand questions because it’s all on there.

sportsYou: How do you communicate with your players to help them improve year to year?

AL: One thing I really believe in is building a relationship with the players and having a culture within the program. By building that relationship, it creates opportunities to sit down with a player and tell them how they can improve and get better. I have that respect from them because I built that relationship.

We obviously practice and do a lot of drills but it really comes down to being on the same page. We do classroom meetings and go over soccer tactics and my expectations. It all comes down to communication and being upfront about my expectations for each player so, they’re not shocked when something happens.

Coach Alex Latorre's players in action

sportsYou: What’s the number one quality you look for in a player?

AL: The number one thing I’m looking for is character. During the recruiting process, I ask the player questions to see if they’ll fit in the program. I have a philosophy called P.H.D., which is positive attitude, hard work and discipline.

“I have a philosophy called P.H.D., which is positive attitude, hard work and discipline.”

I feel like if you have those three things in your character, you can only get better. It doesn’t matter if you’re the worst or the best player because if you have those qualities there is only always going to be room for improvement.

sportsYou: Do you have any advice for young coaches?

AL: It’s not always about wins and losses. What matters the most are the relationships and building character because that is what’s going to last forever.

If you work on those things, you will start winning. I proved that in my first year as a head coach. Every year we were breaking records in my school. That is what I would recommend for new coaches coming in.

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How a superintendent decided to use sportsYou - Photo by sportsYou Photography
Aug 19, 2019 3 min read By Lauren Dubinsky

About three years ago, the superintendent of instruction and technology for the Bethpage Union Free School District (BUFSD) in New York met with the athletic director to discuss a new communication app that was generating buzz at other schools in the county. After thoroughly evaluating the sportsYou app, they decided it was the right fit for their sports teams.

“I’ve been exposed to a lot of different apps that have these types of programs and procedures and hadn’t signed on to any of them because they had fallen short, in my view as a coach, in a couple of the areas that I needed fulfilled,” said David Schneider, the former superintendent of instruction and technology and current superintendent of the district.

sportsYou was the first app that truly convinced David to establish an app as the main vehicle for coaches in his district to communicate with players and their family. David also uses the sportsYou app as a coach for the Syosset Soccer Club.

“It was the most comprehensive app”

BUFSD heavily utilizes Google services in their district, so sportsYou’s integration with Google sign-in and its ability to attach documents was a major selling point. There was no easy way to upload links and documents with the other apps.

Schneider uses sportsYou to have parents fill out Google surveys, which are then directly imported into his Google drive. He also likes the connection between the sportsYou calendar and his personal iPhone calendar.

“It was the most comprehensive app,” he said. “There would just always seem to be plenty of holes in each of the other apps that I was exposed to prior.”

Before smartphones and apps were commonplace, coaches communicated with their teams via email. But the obvious drawback with email is that people don’t always check their inbox.

“It’s so much easier than using email because with email you don’t have push notifications”

“It’s so much easier than using email because with email you don’t have push notifications,” said Schneider. “The expectation on response time is now far longer for email than it is for any sort of text message.”

He added that having different ways to manage notifications when he posts on the feed and sends chat messages allows for very consistent communication back and forth.

Schneider likes that sportsYou as a company is open and responsive to feedback. The R&D team was quick to listen to his needs and work toward improving the app.

“In our first season they assisted entering in the scheduling of all of the games and that eased the perceived burden,” he said. “It’s really easy to use but everybody was afraid of how much work it was going to be, and these are volunteers that are doing this work.” Quickly Schneider and his teams found that it was easy and that the sportsYou app became a natural compliment to their team communication and management workflows.

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sportsYou Coach Spotlight: Q&A with Coach David Schneider - Photo by sportsYou Photography
Aug 2, 2019 5 min read By Lauren Dubinsky

David Schneider is the national staff instructor for United Soccer Coaches and the superintendent of schools for the Bethpage Union Free School District. But David still finds time to be a coach for the Syosset Soccer Club.

Before that, David was head of the Long Island Junior Soccer League for 11 years. He also spent a few years in the pool of players for the U.S. national Olympic team and played a few years in the Northeast Professional Soccer League.

David is big on inspiring his players to give their maximum effort and fostering a sense of team camaraderie. sportsYou had a chance to speak with him about the different strategies he deploys to accomplish that.

sportsYou: What are the main challenges you face as a coach?

David Schneider: The challenges as a coach is to continue to find ways to get your players to give you their maximum effort each time you’re with them. The hope is that if you accomplish that, it will then also translate into them giving their maximum effort when they’re not with you. Especially if you ask them to do things off the field outside of your normal practice and training time.

With sportsYou I’m able to post things that become resources for the players on an easy-access platform. Whether it’s simple things like a workout or other things that aren’t so simple like a reflective assignment, they all go to this one place and get it there.

sportsYou: Are there any strategies that you deploy from year to year to help your players improve?

DS: The most important thing isn’t a strategy because strategy has its limitations. It’s more about culture. We build a culture of learning and improvement, which is the replacement for a culture of winning. The kids have so many more years ahead of them if they choose, so it’s important to have that positive culture of learning and wanting to improve and get better each and every day.

We build a culture of learning and improvement, which is the replacement for a culture of winning.

There are some strategies that we use to do that and much of that is how I handle relationships that we build with the players and their families and the relationships that we help the players build with each other. The challenge with soccer, especially on Long Island is that it’s very, very easy for you to think that the grass is greener elsewhere.

The player movement problem is incredibly high on Long Island, yet I’ve been able to maintain all of these players since a very young age. The only times that I lose players are when they’ve decided that they no longer want to compete at this level and make that level of commitment. They step away from the game, which is in essence a failure of mine too, but it’s more because of the choice between soccer and other things. It’s because they have to focus on their grades or can only play the one sport and hockey is the bigger sport for them or something like that. But that has happened with only two or three players out of my many years coaching.

sportsYou: Could you give examples of ways that you try to foster camaraderie among your teams?

DS: We’re playing a lot of smaller games of which the groupings are constantly being changed, so there isn’t going to be a group of players that stand out differently than any other group of players. We’re always doing things where the players have to rely on one another. The activities don’t allow one person to be able to run the show and stand out on their own. Soccer is very heavily dependent on teamwork to be successful.

Also, in any moment of failure such as a missed kickball or misplaced pass, the manner in which we speak to each other and the language that we use is very important. I work very hard to instill a sense of growth mindset in our players. That’s the belief that talent is something that can be developed and not something you’re born with. You start with the idea that when someone says they can’t do it, your response is you can’t do it yet and if you keep working on it then you can get there.

The feedback loop that we provide our players is very important and it’s the same kind that I expect of my teaching staff here as the superintendent of schools.

The feedback loop that we provide our players is very important and it’s the same kind that I expect of my teaching staff here as the superintendent of schools. The type of feedback and language that you’re using when things don’t go perfectly, as they don’t so often in sports, is very important.

You can have a higher level of expectation without being demeaning and you can speak in a productive way to provide good feedback so that they can learn from their mistakes and not get discouraged by them. This helps the players stay motivated to continue to work towards progressing to get better.

sportsYou: Is there any advice that you would give to soccer coaches who are just starting out in the field?

DS: The most important thing you tell anybody who is working with kids is that if you think about three words that describe your favorite coach or teacher, I guarantee you that those words are going to deal with the way in which that person treated you. They could be kind, nice, funny, respectful or demanding.

None of those words are going to have anything to do with knowing the ins and outs of your sport or of your content. It’s all going to be about the manner in which you treat people. The real power of being a good coach and teacher is not how well you understand the ins and outs of the skills of the sport. That stuff is easier to learn and connecting with kids is much harder to learn.

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sportsYou Coach Spotlight: Q&A with Coach Julianne Tierney - Photo by sportsYou Photography
Jul 19, 2019 5 min read By Lauren Dubinsky

Julianne Tierney has a lot on her plate. She is a special education teacher and the high school softball, volleyball and basketball coach for the Bethpage Union Free School District in Bethpage, NY.

You can tell from the enthusiasm in her voice that she loves her job as a coach and takes it very seriously. Team bonding is something she is especially passionate about.

She took some time to speak with sportsYou about how she fosters those bonds and other ways she sets her teams up for success.

sportsYou: If you could pick one thing, what would you say was the highlight of your career as a coach so far?

Julianne Tierney: When we had a 13-inning game at our Autism Awareness softball game last year against East Rockaway. It was a big fundraiser game and we played an awesome game. That was one of the best moments so far.

One of my students threw out the first pitch at the beginning of the game and the girls wore light blue jerseys. The game went into extra innings because we were tied the whole game but we won with a walk-off.

sportsYou: What would you say are your greatest challenges as a coach?

JT: It’s mostly things that go on off the field like the relationships between the girls. You want to create that family environment. It’s not something that’s necessarily hard to do but it’s something that takes work. You have to create team-bonding experiences and things like that.

“You want to create that family environment. It’s not something that’s necessarily hard to do but it’s something that takes work.”

In all three seasons, we do a lot of team bonding days where we play team-building games and we talk about things that don’t always pertain to the sport to grow individuals as people. For softball this year, we went on a trip as a team to Disney and that was such a great experience for everybody.

You don’t really have a lot of time as a high school coach. Every day, you only have about two hours of practice but it takes a lot of extra time to do the team-building things and to make sure that they’re having a good experience with that.

I think that to be successful on the field or on the court, you have to have that team camaraderie. You have to trust the person next to you. I think that comes first before anything that goes on out on the field.

Coach Julianne Tierney

sportsYou: What made you decide to use the sportsYou app to communicate with your teams?

JT: At the beginning of my coaching career, I used TeamSnap a little bit but the sportsYou interface is a lot better. sportsYou is easier to use and it’s easier for kids to sign up for. The other app didn’t have push notifications but with this app, when you get a message it’s like getting a text message instead of an email.

I really like that you can invite the family members so everybody can see anything that gets posted. I put all pictures on there as well as the schedule. You’re able to chat with individual parents or team members. It eliminates any issues with contacting them through a personal phone.

I also like how you could see who viewed each post. You’re able to see which girls have seen it and which girls have not seen it. The app also makes an album of all the things that went on during the seasons. It allows everybody to be on the same page.

My players definitely like using it but in the beginning, it was a little bit of a transition for them. For softball and basketball this year, we used sportsYou for everything.

Coach Julianne Tierney

sportsYou: Do you have any strategies to help any of your softball, volleyball or basketball players improve from year to year?

JT: As a coach, you have to invest in the individual player as well as the team. Everybody has their own set of skills and I think it’s important to work on team building and team strategy as a whole but to also invest in players as individuals.

“I know how to teach kids skills but the trust factor is really important. As soon as they trust you then they’re able to learn from you.”

Trust is also a factor. I have a lot of experience because I played volleyball and softball in college. I know how to teach kids skills but the trust factor is really important. As soon as they trust you then they’re able to learn from you.

sportsYou: Is there anybody who inspired you in your career as a coach?

JT: I had a lot of great coaches. I actually coach now with one of the coaches that I had. But I would say that my dad was the best coach I ever had. I always wanted to be a coach like he was. He wasn’t a high school coach but he was always my coach and I learned a lot from him as I was growing up. He was a big supporter at all my games in high school and college.

sportsYou: Do you have any advice for new coaches?

JT: I think it’s important to control what you can control and not get worked up over the small things. It’s a lot more than sports because you want to teach them to be good people. I knew that going into coaching.

You have to remember as a new coach that coaching and playing are very different. Sometimes they’re not always going to be able to do the things that you did when you were at your best. You need to invest in their development. You have to teach and build their skills so they can get to that level.

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How one coach kept in touch with his team while overseas caring for his sick son - Photo by sportsYou Photography
Jul 12, 2019 3 min read By Lauren Dubinsky

On February 15th, Jim DeLine got a call in the middle of his fourth-grade physical education class that his son contracted sepsis while on vacation in the Philippines.

By the time he was transferred to Beijing, the infection spread and he went into septic shock. His blood pressure was 6040, heart rate was 150 and temperature was 104. The doctors were hoping to save his leg but were unsure if he was even going to live.

The doctors were hoping to save his leg but were unsure if he was even going to live.

Like any father, DeLine dropped everything and traveled to be with his son. He was in the middle of the archery season and six weeks from the state tournament but that was all going to have to wait.

“The first call I got is that I needed to get there,” he said. “It started out as a 10-day trip and ended up being 14 or 15 days.”

DeLine was under an immense amount of stress but he didn’t have to worry about his archery team back home. His assistant coach and the parents took the reins and kept in touch with him via the sportsYou app.

“They sent photos, videos and inspirational private chat messages on sportsYou,” he said. “sportsYou was a great place to keep the community together for community-specific needs.”

“sportsYou was a great place to keep the community together for community-specific needs.”

His son made it through that life-threatening ordeal but is currently having some issues with his other leg because he has been compensating so much for the affected leg. DeLine noted that he’s, “not totally out of the woods but he’s physically safe.”

Coach Jim DeLine is a physical education teacher and archery coach at Highland Park Elementary School in Austin, Texas. DeLine first started using the sportsYou app in January of this year. Prior to that, he tried another app but found it to be too complicated to set up. “One of my biggest pet peeves is when I learned the interface on one device then when I use it on another device, I have to relearn it because everything looks different.” said DeLine. “The sportsYou interface on the phone is super user-friendly and the interface on the phone and on the computer don’t vary too much.”

In the beginning, DeLine faced a challenge to get the players and their parents to migrate over to the sportsYou app. He overcame that by continuously referring them to sportsYou when they ask for information such as practices and games which is found on the sportsYou calendar.

He is an administrator for his team on sportsYou and is able to see what his high school team posts. DeLine noticed that the high school players are very effective communicators using sportsYou.

“I get to see their chats and it’s really cool,” said DeLine. “They talk about meeting each other for lunch and remind each other about yearbook pictures. It’s great to see them banter and be teammates.”

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sportsYou Coach Spotlight: Q&A with Coach Jim DeLine - Photo by sportsYou Photography
Jun 26, 2019 6 min read By Lauren Dubinsky

Jim DeLine is a physical education teacher and archery coach at Highland Park Elementary School in Austin, Texas. His team won back-to-back state championships and recently finished fourth at Nationals out of 200 teams in Louisville, Kentucky.

When he isn’t busy with his team, he coaches high school archery and helps out with the middle school team. sportsYou had an interesting chat with Jim about this fascinating sport and the positive impact it can have on youngsters.

sportsYou: How did you get your team prepared for the state championships?

Jim DeLine: We try to do what every other coach does by trying to make sure that they practice regularly and they’re mentally prepared. For our particular fifth graders, this was the biggest tournament that they will have gone to. We’ve gone to small tournaments but this was held in a huge venue with over a hundred targets.

The kids were shooting 200 at a time. We try to get them prepared so that they go in with a mindset that they can handle any challenge and that nothing’s going to surprise them. But if there is a challenge that they’re surprised about then we want them to be prepared for the unexpected.

For fifth graders in a sport that’s so intensely mental, we try to help them get their brains wrapped around what the competition is going to be like. It is a big part of what we do. Other than that, we practice. In between actual practices they practice at home by using something called a string bow, which is a training implement that helps develop muscle memory.

sportsYou: How was archery introduced to your school district?

JD: We’ve had archery in our curriculum since 2012 but we’ve been coaching it for the last three years. We had a club and a little intramural squad with a tournament but we started the team in 2017.

It started through the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP). They have a two-pronged approach. One is to get archery in the schools and teach kids about it and the other involves a very vibrant competitive arm. There are tournaments all over the country leading up to state tournaments and then leading up to the national tournament in May.

In order to compete at any of these tournaments, your school has to document that you’re actually teaching archery as part of the regular physical education or agricultural science curriculum. You have to check that box off first before you can actually go and compete.

What’s very cool about this particular sport is that it checks off every differentiation, cultural diversity, social/emotional learning and gender equity box. It checks off every box that we have in education that we’re trying to bring to kids to impact and change lives. Teams need to have boys and girls on them and team scores have to include boys and girls scores on them.

You don’t have to be the strongest, the fastest or the tallest to be able to be successful.

You don’t have to be the strongest, the fastest or the tallest to be able to be successful. Every year we have two or three athletic stud boys that think that they can do anything because God gave them the talent to run and jump. Then you’ll have a girl who is just 65 pounds wet who learns to shoot an arrow better than them. It’s because she understands that she’s got to wrap her brain around technique and form and how to use the muscles the right way.

sportsYou: What is your greatest achievement as a coach?

JD: Last year, we had 10 kids on the high school team. One of them had Down syndrome, two of them had different degrees of autism and one boy was recovering from brain cancer. He’s a senior now and this was the first time that he could stand up since he was a freshman. We also had a kid that I thought was a heavy metal rocker but turned out to be the first chair cello in the entire region.

All of these kids came together and were absolutely horrible at archery. They’re still not great shooters but they had fun and we did qualify for state championships. My daughter was there the entire day rooting on her teammates. My proudest moment was seeing her take charge of her team and doing it in a graceful way.

Another proud moment was watching my daughter shoot a perfect 50 at 15 meters. A perfect 50 is about the size of a coffee cup and you have to put five arrows in that space at 15 meters.

sportsYou: What challenges do you face as a coach?

JD: Time is always a challenge and also perception. Every year we seem to have parents that question what we do and why we do it. One of our policies is that we don’t cut kids. We’ll figure out a way to pay for the things that need to be paid for like jerseys, permit fees and bus costs if we travel somewhere. We fundraise and have scholarships.

We always have to be mindful that we are putting forth a positive perception that this is an extracurricular part of our entire school. It’s wonderful and offers kids great things across the board but we also need to make sure that people understand why we do it.

We always go back and reflect on our core values, which are to keep the kids safe, help them grow and teach them to win.

We always go back and reflect on our core values, which are to keep the kids safe, help them grow and teach them to win. Sometimes people just see bows and arrows and they don’t really see the depth of what’s going on and how it impacts kids on levels that I don’t think they get impacted on in other programs.

sportsYou: What advice would you give new coaches of any sport?

JD: Kids first — plain and simple. The bottom line is it’s supposed to be fun and we want to teach kids values. For example, we tell them, ‘the dream is free but the work costs extra.’ We want to teach kids things that they can do to set goals.

You need to be ridiculously faithful to the little things and understand what you can or cannot control. All those things are wrapped around any sport. They’re also wrapped around life. The bottom line is that we want to keep kids safe, we want to help them grow and then teach them how to win.

How we define winning isn’t necessarily state championships.

How we define winning isn’t necessarily state championships. That’s great and that should be a goal but we want them to think about whether they shoot a personal best, helped a teammate, were professional, used manners and represented our school well. Those are all things that you can check off as wins.

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sportsYou Coach Spotlight: Q&A with Coach Maria Nolan - Photo by sportsYou Photography
Jun 13, 2019 6 min read By Lauren Dubinsky

If you’re a fan of New Jersey high school volleyball, it’s almost impossible that you haven’t heard of Maria Nolan. She’s currently the head coach of girls volleyball at Immaculate Heart Academy and prior to that was a coach at Secaucus High School.

Throughout her career, she won 28 state championships and held the title of #1 team in NJ nine out of the past twelve years. sportsYou had the opportunity to sit down with Nolan to discuss her successful career and what it took for her to get to where she is now.

sportsYou: What would you say was the highlight of your career as a coach so far?

Maria Nolan: There have been so many highlights during my career but one of the most exciting was receiving the Disney American Teacher Award in 1998. There were 12 categories, such as math, science and English, with three teachers in each. I won the Athletic Coach category. Disney televised the show internationally from LA and Scott Hamilton presented me the award.

Producers came to my high school, which at the time was Secaucus High School. My  players and the rest of the student body were part of the video that they produced. It was just so exciting.

I can’t say there’s been one match or one year that stands out as the highlight because I’ve had so many fantastic memories through coaching. Once in a while a team will come along and I’ll think it was the best team I ever coached. But then I’ll think back to other teams that were up there with it. I’ve truly had remarkable experiences through the years.

sportsYou: What are your greatest challenges as a coach and as a teacher?

MN: When you get a new group, which will be happening soon with the start of the season, it’s always a challenge. You work with the players individually and as a group to help them become confident and believe they can achieve. You have to mold the group into a team that will get along and work together for the good of the team. That’s a big part of coaching and the greatest challenge for me.

One of the things I like to do is figure out how to put the right combination of players on the floor to get the best results. It’s not always the way the players or parents want it to be, which has definitely been a challenge over the years. But when you see it come to life and your team is doing very well, it’s so rewarding. The best is when you see the players gain confidence and really enjoy it. That’s what keeps me coaching year after year.

Coach Maria Nolan

sportsYou: How do you communicate with and manage your team?

MN: We use the sportYou app. We used two other apps before and neither one was great. I had trouble with them. Harrison Hefele spoke at New Jersey’s athletic association, NJSIAA, and explained sportsYou. I mentioned what I didn’t like about the other apps and sportsYou was able to give me better results. Using sportsYou has enabled me to communicate better with my team and their parents.

Our calendar is on it, which is great. A fabulous feature is to send alerts if there are any changes. I’m also able to email and chat with people. Sometimes when I send an announcement, a couple of the parents ‘like’ it and will remark.

sportsYou: What are your strategies for helping players improve year to year?

MN: A lot of repetition, a lot of communication with them to let them know what they need to work on and communicating a lot while we are working with them. Sometimes parents will tell their children to find out what they need to work on. But our feedback is constant throughout the practices. They hear what we are saying to them on how to improve, so it’s doesn’t necessarily require a meeting.

However, we do sit down with the players and set goals. We’ll ask them what they want to improve on. The coaches then tell them what we think needs improving. We’ll then come to an agreement on what to work on for the next two weeks.

sportsYou: Is there anyone in particular who inspired you in your career?

MN: In graduate school the sports psychologist, Dr. Bob Gilbert, from Montclair State University was very instrumental in helping me communicate better as a coach and teaching me the importance of finding the right strategies. I actually invite him to my camp so he can talk to the campers every year.

sportsYou: Do you have advice for young coaches?

MN: I’ve mentored so many over the years. It’s gratifying when they tell me that they’ve learned so much and it’s been a great experience. I feel good about that. When mentoring, you have to keep an eye on them, train them, work with them and guide them. Sometimes you also have to tell them if things aren’t going well and how to change and improve and that’s not easy.

I don’t know that young people understand how much is involved in coaching. To be an assistant coach is very different than being the head coach. There is so much on your shoulders and so much to do and be concerned about. I’m constantly thinking of what I need to do next and what I might be forgetting, so it’s very consuming.

When you coach, you need to get in touch with the media, get all of the stats in right after you’re done playing while you’re tired and want to take a break. It’s not easy.   There is a lot to it. You have to work along with players, parents and the administration.

Once you’ve had success, you want to continue to be successful. When you are on top, there is added pressure to remain on top. Last year was an amazing season because we didn’t expect to do that well since we had only one senior. We finished number one in the state the year before and we were concerned if we could do that again.

We just took it little by little, one day at a time and somehow we finished number one again. Now because of that, there is added pressure this season. It never ends as far as pressure goes. But despite all of that, it is rewarding. If it wasn’t, there is no way I would still be coaching.

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Why coaches should use the sportsYou app to communicate! - Photo by sportsYou Photography
May 2, 2019 3 min read By Christina Wright

Good communication is one of the key ingredients for success in almost every facet of life — and team sports is no exception. Todd Sheldon, a varsity-level football and track coach at Mandan High School in North Dakota, said his communication tool of choice is the sportsYou app.

Two weeks before the season starts, he holds a meeting to inform the parents that he will be communicating with them exclusively through the sportsYou app. He tells them they will receive detailed information on what will happen at each practice so the players know to bring the appropriate gear, clothing and other essentials as well as money for food or a packed lunch.

On the app, the parents can view the team calendar, pictures and videos from practices and send instant messages to Sheldon or another parent. The parents typically communicate with each other to organize their own group activities that revolve around the practices and games.

“That way they are not checking 15 different places or looking at emails,” said Sheldon. “They can get it as an app on their phone and get all of the updates as they happen.”

He has held coaching positions at different schools since 1996 but has been a coach at Mandan High School since 2004. He remembers the days when the only way to communicate with the players and their parents was through printed handouts, which he described as “painful and time-consuming.”

About three to four years ago, he was using a different app to communicate with his teams but the features were too rudimentary. It only allowed him to send 100-character messages and there was no way to share the calendar or images.

The sportsYou app has been a very useful tool for Sheldon. He added that sportsYou saves coaches significant time and that it’s most effective if you consistently use it. A couple sports teams at his school don’t use it on a regular basis, so when the coach eventually does send a message, the team and their parents don’t notice.

“The upside of sportsYou is that when you use it and engage in it, it’s going to be successful for everyone - and save time and effort,” he added.

Another thing Sheldon wants other coaches to be aware of is that system updates on the iPad could interrupt the use of sportsYou and other apps. To prevent that, he said to simply make sure to reload the apps after system updates are finished.

“The sportsYou app has worked really well for our football and track program — so well that our baseball program is now using it and our wrestling program has used it over the winter,” said Sheldon.

The boys soccer team and girls volleyball team also plan to start using sportsYou in the fall.

In this current era of smart devices, you can see why it’s a smart idea to use sportsYou as the main tool for communicating with your team and your parents. At the end of the day, we all have busy lives and smart devices are the most convenient way to disseminate information. And remember what Sheldon said — use it and engage in it and sportsYou will be successful for everyone!

Ready to learn more about how to smartly and easily manage your team? Register now for sportsYou's FREE Team Management Platform Webinar.
How to keep your team connected during the offseason - Photo by sportsYou Photography
May 1, 2019 2 min read By Christina Wright

You already know that sportsYou simplifies communication between teammates, coaches and families in one comprehensive platform. But did you know that it also serves as a way for teams to stay connected once the season is over?

Being a part of a team builds relationships on and off the field between players, coaches and parents. It is well established that when the season is over the friendships continue – and sportsYou can be used to keep everyone connected and to grow friendships.

During any particular sport season, whether it be baseball in the spring or basketball during the winter, the sportsYou app keeps teammates, friends and families connected all year long - even after the winning touchdown.

#1 Keep posting to your feed

Our team and group selection contains everything you need to keep you in the loop with your team once the season is concluded. sportsYou gives you all the useful and necessary tools you need through group chat, document sharing and schedule management to touch base with your circle.

#2 Use sportsYou chat

These tools are ideal for off season activities such as group workouts or party plans with your teammates – rather than creating mass group texts, in hopes that everyone from the team was included. sportsYou creates a supportive environment for offseason activities which allows every player, coach and family member feel a sense of belonging to a community.

#3 Share your memories

Sending videos, pictures and files are now easier to share than ever before! sportsYou allows you to share memories to your teammates, friends and family efficiently, which directly results in stronger relationships.

#4 Use smart tools to stay organized

Frustrated by time-consuming scrolling through your camera roll to find the winning away game from last year? No more frustration! sportsYou keeps all of your pictures in an organized fashion, so digging for pictures in your phone’s cluttered camera roll is now a thing of the past.

With sportsYou, your team relationships, your ability to communicate and your memories live on - even though the season has ended!

Ready to learn more about how to smartly and easily manage your team? Register now for sportsYou's FREE Team Management Platform Webinar.
The Power of Pictures - Photo by sportsYou Photography
Apr 3, 2019 2 min read By Christina Wright

The age old idiom “A picture’s worth a thousand words” is low - we lean more towards a million. sportsYou makes sharing pictures easier than ever and keeps them in an organized fashion so that you can find the exact picture you’re looking for every time. Here are some of the ways sportsYou guides in staying connected while keeping you and your inner circle close together.

We wish we were there!

More often than not, family members cannot make it to every single game, especially if they are away games.

If Dad missed his daughter’s winning goal yesterday, he’ll be able to find the uploaded pictures of the victory with just a tap on the sportsYou app!

By giving access to amazing picture moments, everyone feels included, and part of the moment.

Family comes first

Every once in a while we all enjoy taking out the old family photo album and sifting through memories with our loved ones. But, we now live in a time where our photo albums are locked in our phones or backed up to the cloud. Oftentimes there are events in our lives where we wish we had more pictures, but because we don’t they become more of a distant memory as time goes on. sportsYou allows you to retrieve pictures from memorable athletic events that you may have forgotten otherwise.

The more pictures of your sports teams and family on sportsYou, the more memories you can share together!

We’re in this together

When you share pictures on sportsYou, you are not just keeping a record, but rather you are helping build a stronger foundation for you and your community. With so many photo opportunities to partake in on a daily basis, everyone in your community is brought together through this memory building activity – and all you have to do is share pictures. Sharing pictures within your team or group is an act of generosity and caring. The more you share, the more everyone feels that wonderful sense of belonging - of being important!

Reliving your accomplishments all over again

Celebrating any achievement and our friendships can be relived over and over again by revisiting pictures from the past.

We think of our identities through pictures, and so it is important to capture joyful moments in our lives through pictures. The joyful memories of teammates, friendships, celebrations, games, action on a field or court, coaches and families come back to life instantly with just a glance of a picture. That’s the power of a picture.

Ready to learn more about how to smartly and easily manage your team? Register now for sportsYou's FREE Team Management Platform Webinar.
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