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How to Create a Sustainable Volunteer Program for Your Sports Club or League

By | Baseball, Basketball, Coaches Resources, Events, Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Other, Soccer, Track, Uncategorized, Volleyball, Wrestling

Ruth Nicholson, June 17, 2021

Good volunteer program design decreases administrative costs, engages club members, increases program support, shares the workload, and improves support for coaches so they can devote more time to players.

Volunteers are not free. The average value of a volunteer hour in the United States in 2020 was $28.54 USD (see www.independentsector.org/volunteer_time). This figure – which is also available on a state-by-state basis – can be used in annual reports, grant proposals, and financial statements to support your organization’s work.

The five (5) steps to building a successful volunteer program are knowing what you need, inviting participation, preparation and training, doing the work, and volunteer appreciation.

 

1. Know What You Need

The first step in building an efficient and sustainable volunteer program is understanding how your organization is put together. From that foundation, you can identify what specific volunteer jobs need to be filled.

For example, there are three general categories of volunteers that may be needed to support an individual team (depending on the team’s level of play).

It is important to develop a written job description for all your volunteer jobs, regardless of size or complexity. The four (4) basic components of a job description answer these key questions:

  • 1.    What are the skills needed to do this job?
  • 2.    What are the job tasks?
  • 3.    With whom will the person work?
  • 4.    What supplies and equipment are needed to do the job?

Outline the skills needed for each job, both knowledge and physical abilities. Then, describe the responsibilities of the position, including the specific tasks and activities and the time it will take to complete them. Describe if the job is a one-time shift of work or if it requires working in bits of time over a few days, weeks, or months. The job description should also clarify who is the supervisor or coordinator for the work and who else is involved in the project. This clarifies expectations about who is on the team doing the work, how communications should flow, and who to go to when the volunteer has questions. Finally, identify what supplies and equipment are needed to do the work and who provides them.

 

2. If You Don’t Ask, They Can’t Say “YES!”

When you approach people to invite them to volunteer, be specific about the help you are requesting. Use the job description to both inform the potential volunteer and make yourself and your organization look good and well-organized. Describe both the benefit of the volunteer job to the organization and to the volunteer.

 Remember to make the volunteer job both meaningful and manageable. If a volunteer job requires more than an average of 10 hours a week, you are setting up a situation for volunteer burnout, turnover, and potential loss of institutional memory.

 

3. Preparation and Training

This step involves both ensuring that your volunteers have the knowledge to do the job, as well as the right supplies and equipment. Let your volunteers in on your organization’s institutional knowledge and “the way we do things here”. Make sure they have clear instructions about the job they will be doing, which may include written instructions with diagrams or pictures, oral explanations, or a physical demonstration of how to accomplish a task. Also let them know who to contact if they have questions or need help.

 

Your written job description should contain a list of supplies and equipment needed to do the work. Use this as your checklist. Let your volunteers know who is providing the supplies, including how they are acquired and delivered to the job site. In addition, clearly communicate what happens to any leftover supplies after the job is completed.

 

4. Get Stuff Done!

After all the planning, it is time to do the work! This step is all about supporting your volunteers doing their jobs. Know who is going to actively support and supervise the volunteers as the work progresses. Set the organizational priorities and have a back-up plan in the event something goes amiss, such as a volunteer no-show or a lack of supplies.

Also, incorporate volunteer feedback and suggestions into the job. Your volunteers may identify different ways to get things done and have ideas about how to improve the work in the future. Listening to recommendations and incorporating new approaches will more deeply engage your volunteers and build their loyalty to your organization. Volunteer engagement is often more important than job perfection.

 

5. Say “THANK YOU!”

A key component to retaining volunteers is remembering to thank them for their time and contributions. Express your gratitude in ways that align with how your volunteers see themselves and their talents. Those who see themselves as technically skilled will appreciate being recognized for their expertise. Others who are caregivers and peace makers will respond well to your gratitude for their looking out for everyone on the team. Those volunteers who are well-connected with people in the community will appreciate being thanked for their knowledge of who to call to engage resources and how to get things done.

 

Conclusion

How much time does your organization spend preparing for success in your volunteer programs?

The real secret to building a successful volunteer program is in the preparation. Consider how much time a coach spends preparing a team for competitions. There are considerably more hours of designing and conducting training sessions than there are hours in actual games.

The recipe for success for a successful volunteer program is three (3) parts preparation (knowing what you need, inviting participation, preparation and training) plus one (1) part doing the volunteer work plus one (1) part gratitude.

 

Ruth Nicholson is an internationally certified professional facilitator, mediator, and organizational alchemist helping sports organizations better support players and coaches. She is the founder of GO! offering proven governance, leadership, and administrative tools. 

 In 2020, Ruth was inducted into the International Association of Facilitators Hall of Fame. She was a co-creator of the international 2019 Think Tank to Improve Youth Sports which engaged over 60 speakers from two dozen sports. In 2018, Ruth was a finalist for the Hudl Innovator of the Year award for youth soccer. Her work has engaged sports enthusiasts in North America, Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America.

Outstanding Off-Field Teams – The Secret of Successful Youth Sports Clubs and Leagues

By | Baseball, Basketball, Coaches Resources, Events, Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Other, Soccer, Track, Uncategorized, Volleyball, Wrestling

This article was written by Ruth Nicholson. Ruth is an internationally certified professional facilitator, mediator, and organizational alchemist helping sports organizations better support players and coaches. She is the founder of GO! offering proven governance, leadership, and administrative tools. 

In 2020, Ruth was inducted into the International Association of Facilitators Hall of Fame. She was a co-creator of the international 2019 Think Tank to Improve Youth Sports which engaged over 60 speakers from two dozen sports. In 2018, Ruth was a finalist for the Hudl Innovator of the Year award for youth soccer. Her work has engaged sports enthusiasts in North America, Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America.

3 Critical Elements to a Successful Club

For successful clubs and leagues, three critical elements make or break an organization’s success.

The three secrets to a successful club lie in balance and partnership between

  1. High-quality coaching and coaching support
  2. Effective governance and leadership that provides direction to club programs
  3. Efficient operations that make the best use of staff and volunteers to support players and coaches

The people who serve in these roles make up the “Off-Field” Team.

Here’s a breakdown of each of these 3 critical core competencies.

Quality Coaching and Coaching Support 

Without good coaches, players will have a difficult time developing and improving their skills in their sport. The real secret is that there are two key components of the quality of coaching in a club.

Behind the scenes, there is the coaching support system. This includes the club’s coaching recruitment and retention system, coaching leadership (often in the person of a technical director or coaching director), professional development and coaching education opportunities, and administrative support for coaches at both the club and team levels. The club’s player development philosophy and training curriculum are also a part of this system.

Coaching skills and knowledge about how to work with players tend to receive more attention and scrutiny. One of the most important criteria a player’s family uses for selecting a club is the quality of the coach for whom its child will play. Whether volunteers or paid staff, coaches spend a significant amount of time off the field preparing for training sessions and games, as well as their self-improvement. Much of this effort is invisible to players and their families even though it contributes significantly to the quality of the player experience.

 

Governance and Leadership

A great many clubs are non-profit organizations led by boards of directors made up of parent volunteers. This means that the leadership of clubs is made up of people who deeply care for the success of the organization (or at least the success of their child athletes). It also provides an ongoing challenge for parents to separate their advocacy for their children from their legal and fiduciary responsibilities to the organization as officers and leaders of the organization.

The most efficient organizations have clear roles and areas of responsibility for their board members. This enables them to focus on organization budgeting and funding, policy development, setting program priorities and direction, and delegating activities and program implementation to others. Clubs may have a mix of professionally paid staff and volunteers (including coaches) to deliver the club’s programs, but board members need to resist the temptation to micro-manage club activities. Engaging a broader spectrum of staff and volunteers not only spreads out the work but also invites more people to become invested in and supportive of the club.

Engaging a broad spectrum of people is also a critical component of attracting club members, engaging sponsors, acquiring grants, and implementing fundraising programs. The leadership of board members is key to making these activities successful. Without adequate funding, the operations of the club are compromised.

The need for good governance and leadership also applies to for-profit clubs, especially those founded by coaches or former players who are experts in their sport. There is a tendency to believe that game knowledge trumps the other types of expertise, including that needed to run an organization. This perspective can lead to serious organizational problems. It is critical that whoever is leading the governance of the organization – an owner or a board of directors – is always aware of how decisions impact and support players first, while also tending to the realities of budget, staffing, and program delivery.

 

Operations and Administration

Individuals, sponsors, and grant-making organizations will not give money to clubs that do not have their organizational acts together. Although the day-to-day operations of a club can seem mundane, without player registrations, fee collection, field and facility reservations, registration for competitions, and uniform and equipment procurement, no club can provide athletes training and competition opportunities.

Club administrative activities should support players and coaches in a way that aligns with and implements the club mission and strategic plan.

The operations and administrative activities of a club are often overlooked because people believe they are too busy to build or maintain efficient business processes. This can be further complicated by

  • High turnover and burnout rates in volunteers,
  • The concentration of institutional knowledge in only a few people who may leave when their child leaves the club,
  • Lack of understanding of the number and complexity of the jobs needed to run a club, and
  • An assumption that coaches will pick up the slack even when their skills, knowledge, and interests lie with pushing players, not pushing paper.
  • Staffing and the development and maintenance of a good volunteer management program is one of the keys to a successful club. Well-designed and implemented volunteer programs can have participation rates of 85-100% and return rates of over 95%.

What about Parents?

The three components of the Off-Field Team are functional elements. Parents may play a role in one or more of those components as coaches, board members, or in administrative support roles at the team or club levels. The success of a club rests with how well the people in these roles work together to support players.

The Alpha Dog Syndrome and Conflict

Each of the elements of the Off-Field Team has specific responsibilities and expertise needed to support players and coaches. Parents also have specific responsibilities and expertise to add to the mix.

  • Board members and club owners are accountable for the overall legal and financial management of the organization.
  • Coaches are in a position of leadership with their teams and within the club. They are the subject matter experts in the sport with expertise in how to work with and develop players.
  • Operations and administrative staff (including volunteers) manage non-coaching club operations.
  • Parents are responsible for their children/players.

When We Play Out of Position, We Trigger Conflict

The competition belongs on the field between players, not within the Off-Field Team between adult egos and power games. In successful clubs, the members of the Off-Field Team are all respected sports people with different skills, clear roles, and appropriately integrated responsibilities.

 

Characteristics of Successful Off-Field Teams

  • Understand their club’s mission and player development approach
  • Respect the roles of the three (3) components of the Off-Field Team: Coaching, Governance, and Operations
  • Understand why rules and processes exist and look for ways to streamline them
  • Actively work to communicate and collaborate within the Off-Field Team to support players
  • Remind each other that when they get lost in details, politics, or organizational administrivia, that Compass Point North Always Points to Players.

The Governance and Operations elements exist to support Coaching. Through the Coaching element, they all support Players. The three parts of the Off-Field Team are equal in importance because they play different roles. They need to be in balance with each other for the club to be successful.

MaxOne and PlayyOn Agree Upon a Multi-Year Partnership Agreement

By | Baseball, Basketball, Coaches Resources, Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Other, Soccer, Track, Volleyball, Wrestling

MaxOne to build and launch a fully branded version of the MaxOne Virtual Coaching Platform (VCP) and mobile app named PlayyOn Train, available in GooglePlay and the App Store.

MaxOne on March 1, 2021

MaxOne, the youth sports industry’s most powerful Virtual Coaching Platform (‘VCP’) for coach’s delivery of on-demand and live remote training, announced that it has partnered with a leading provider of sports and recreation management online software tools, PlayyOn, Inc. 

Offered to teams, leagues, and organizations, MaxOne’s best-in-class platform increases athlete engagement with custom-built training programs sent directly to a player’s phone. Additionally, the app helps to increase team unity and motivation with program-wide leaderboards and maintains drill and workout histories to show benchmarks and measure improvements. 

Under the partnership agreement, MaxOne has built a branded version of the MaxOne VCP, named PlayyOn Train as a ‘white-label’ solution made available to PlayyOn’s entire ecosystem of teams, league, camps, training programs, and sports programs everywhere. PlayyOn will promote PlayyOn Train to their community of teams, coaches, and parents in the youth sports ecosystem. Together, PlayyOn and MaxOne will work to enrich and extend the youth sports experience, providing training technology for virtual programming, coaching, drills, and engagement.

“A partnership with PlayyOn aligns with MaxOne’s mission to deliver elite training experiences to every athlete in every sport,” stated MaxOne CRO Todd Grant. “Thousands of coaches in the PlayyOn community will now be able to support athletes with customized coaching and programming enhancing and supplement in-person practice and training.”

“We are excited to partner with MaxOne to provide virtual coaching tools within PlayyOn’s own Virtual Coaching Platform, PlayyOn Train, powered by MaxOne’s virtual coaching technology,” said Sally Ann Reiss, CEO at PlayyOn. “Training in person can now be complemented by training virtually. No longer does learning only have to happen in a gym, field, or classroom. PlayyOn Train allows you to timeshift your world so you can train anywhere, anytime.” ” 

About PlayyOn, Inc.

PlayyOn is an online platform for managing amateur sports and recreation. PlayyOn provides a suite of online solutions for millions of organized events and programs all over the world providing a free-to-use platform for collecting online registrations, publishing schedules, and centralizing communications. The software supports the management needs of coaches and participants alike and is being used by a variety of activities including basketball, baseball, football, soccer, cheer, chess, robotics, sailing, and more. PlayyOn is the online ecosystem of grassroots sports and recreation.

About MaxOne

MaxOne’s Virtual Coaching Platform (‘VCP’) empowers organizations, coaches, and athletes with a digital solution to train, connect and grow together, anywhere. With an increasing list of demands, directors and coaches need to be smarter in the development of their training programs and in the use of their time and resources. MaxOne’s VCP features cutting-edge training tools, creating the most sophisticated and engaging on-demand digital training experience available.

____________________

Grand Rapids, MI

For additional information, visit maxone.ai

What’s New? March Product Release Notes 2021

By | Baseball, Basketball, Coaches Resources, Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Other, Soccer, Track, Volleyball, Wrestling

MaxOne on March 26, 2021

The MaxOne team has been busy in the early parts of 2021. We have three exciting new features launched into MaxOne’s virtual coaching platform and even more exciting updates coming soon. Learn more about the new features; Athlete Feedback, Goal Setting, and Live Training Integrations with Zoom and Uplift, below!

New Releases

Athlete Feedback Questionnaire

We know how important it is to receive results from athlete participation in workouts. More than just results, it is important to know how your athletes are doing on a psychological level. This is why we have introduced the ability to ask your athletes questions within MaxOne workouts. Whether you want to know their daily eating habits or the difficulty of the exercises for each athlete, you now have the ability to receive that feedback in real-time through MaxOne’s Athlete Questionnaire Feature. 

It has been set up where you have the option to create your own questions to make it more personal for your athletes. This feature is found under Training Libraries within the Questions library. By creating your own question in this library, you will have the opportunity to add these questions to new or existing workouts by clicking “Add a question block” while building a workout.

 At any time you will be able to pull a report to see how your athletes have answered the questions that were assigned to their workouts found inside the questions library. This will give you a line of sight into how your athletes are doing on a more personal level. Learn more about this process on MaxOne’s Help and Support page, here.

Goal Setting

Improving athlete performance is of the utmost importance. For there to be improvement, there needs to be accountability. You already know about MaxOne leaderboards which can be used to encourage competition within the team. However, competition alone does not set clear expectations for the athletes. That is why we have created the option to set goals for each athlete based on the specific drills you’re assigning them through the MaxOne app. 

This feature allows you to set goals for each of your athletes individually and gives you a line of sight into the progress that your athletes are making for each activity as they work toward their own goals. 

To set goals for your athletes, simply select an activity under the Training Libraries and click the ‘target’ icon to set goals for that activity. This is a great tool to give athletes something to work towards and for coaches to measure their progress. Results for each athlete can be found under the Athletes tab when you click on the individual athlete. For a more detailed description of this process, find a step-by-step guide in MaxOne’s help and support page by clicking here.

Live Training Integrated with MaxOne

Live Training with Zoom

Live Training has arrived! You saw the update last month that live training was coming, well here it is! You are now able to set and schedule Zoom training events right from the MaxOne web app. The MaxOne zoom integration can be found under a new tab on the left-hand navigation bar labeled “Live Training”. The zoom integration comes at no additional cost for MaxOne users as long as you have a preexisting Zoom account. Just navigate to the “Live Training” tab and select “Get Started”. Follow the prompts to link your MaxOne and Zoom accounts with ease.

Once your Zoom account is linked, you can assign live zoom sessions from the MaxOne calendar, or can send over live virtual training via the assignment calendar. Athletes can open and enter Zoom meetings directly from the MaxOne calendar inside their mobile devices. 

Live Training with Uplift

While we are excited about being able to use Zoom straight from the app, we are also eager to bring our customers the option of using Uplift’s robust virtual coaching platform. Uplift is an incredible tool that is perfect for one-on-one or small group coaching. With the ability to live replay and annotate on the screen for the athletes to see, it provides an incredible coaching experience for both the athlete and the coach. Although Zoom is great, it wasn’t built for coaching. The Uplift live training option is made for coaches to use during virtual training. If interested in adding Uplift to your MaxOne account, you can click “I’m Interested” found under the Live Training drop down in the web app to talk with a MaxOne representative. Learn more about Uplift, here.

Ready to try out some of these new features? Login now.

Otherwise, wait to hear from us next month with more improvements to the MaxOne platform! In the meantime, with all the excitement of MaxOne’s new features, don’t hesitate to schedule a call with a MaxOne Support Representative if you have any questions on implementing these features into your MaxOne account: Schedule a call with a MaxOne Support Representative

How to Keep Families Cheering for Your Youth Sports Club or League

By | Baseball, Basketball, Coaches Resources, Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Other, Soccer, Track, Volleyball, Wrestling

MaxOne on March 23, 2021

9 Simple Steps to Help Keep Families Cheering for Your Youth Sports Club

Are you running a competitive program? You used to be the only person in town, now parents have a variety of choices. How do you as a club admin recruit new players? Here are the 9 ways to continue to grow your organization in a competitive landscape.

1. New athlete orientation

Every new athlete should be set up for success from the start. Your orientation process should teach new athletes not only about the team, but also the organizational culture and how they can contribute and thrive. Don’t shortcut this important first step, as the training and support you provide from day one can set the tone for the rest of their time.

2. Communication and feedback

Keeping open lines of communication is integral for athlete retention. Your athletes should feel they can come to you with ideas, questions, and concerns, and they expect you to be honest and open with them about improvements they need to make in their performance. Make sure you connect with each athlete regularly. See how MaxOne can help.

3. Training and development

You as the director and your coaching staff must make it a priority to invest in your athlete’s development and seek every opportunity for them to grow and improve. For cutting-edge organizations, this means providing a well-thought-out curriculum so youth athletes are advancing their knowledge and level of play. In many cases, this is a combination of in-person practice and virtual assignments, where a coach can be proactively involved in the athlete’s day-to-day life. Providing a road map for development is something many organizations strive for, but few actually master. See how MaxOne can help.

4. Create an Inviting Culture

It’s inevitable that athletes and their families will form relationships and become friends as practices, games, and events start to take place. Top organizers work hard to create a second to none culture that families enjoy being a part of. If this is something you ignore, you’ll see that families who leave the organization will bring others with them on the way out. See how MaxOne can help.

5. Annual performance reviews

Even if you’ve met with athletes throughout the year to check on their progress, never skip a regular big-picture conversation. This is when you’ll discuss short and long-term goals and talk about their future inside of the team and organization. You should never make promises you can’t keep, but talking through potential advancement scenarios together is a great way to build confidence and motivation for your athletes.

6. Recognition and rewards systems

Every athlete wants to feel appreciated for the work they do and how they contribute to the team. Make it a habit to thank your athletes, parents, and staff when they go the extra mile, whether it’s with a sincere email, a gift card, or an extra day off. When you show your appreciation to athletes, explain how their hard work helps the organization. Some organizations even set up rewards systems using leaderboards that incentivize hard work and contribution. See how MaxOne can help.

7. Fostering teamwork

When your athletes work together, make sure everyone, not just your team’s stars, has a chance to contribute. Further, foster a culture of collaboration by accommodating individuals’ playing styles and giving them the latitude to make smart decisions.

8. Acknowledge milestones large and small

Whether the team just won a big game or beat a rival team, seize the chance to celebrate together with a shared meal or group activity. See how MaxOne can help.

9. Hire good coaches, and coach consistently

Your coaching staff is the backbone of your organization. Put in the hard work to bring in top talent, and find ways to coach your coaches, and create consistency from the top down. The last thing you want when an athlete moves up year after year is inconsistent coaching and training, leaving them confused and considering other options. Similar to developing an athlete, it is a great idea to share videos and clinics coaches can attend in person or virtually. Many leading organizations have developed their standardized coaching curriculum that is taught every year. See how MaxOne can help.

It’s smart to revisit your organization’s retention strategy at least once a year. That includes staying current on the best practices in developing an attractive organization-wide culture and strong athlete, parent, and coach relations. That’s the way to keep talented athletes happy when it comes to playing for, and training with your program.

Interested in learning more about MaxOne?

MaxOne is the leading Virtual Coaching Platform in Youth Sports. Join 20,000+ programs that use MaxOne’s platform to train, connect, and grow together, from anywhere. Schedule a call today.

MaxOne Forms Partnership With ACES Nation To Enhance Virtual Training Curriculum

By | Baseball, Basketball, Coaches Resources, Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Other, Soccer, Track, Volleyball, Wrestling

MaxOne on March 23, 2021

ACES Nation, a team of former college and professional athletes that develops high-level individual and team-based training curriculum has partnered with MaxOne to enhance their virtual offering with the implementation of a custom branded ACES Nation all-in-one team management and athlete development platform. 

The ACES Nation team recognizes and understands the challenges that athletes face every day when it comes to communication, accountability, affordability, and expectations. To combat these challenges, they are revolutionizing the approach to youth sports by connecting athletes, parents, and coaches via digital access to world-class programs in a single comprehensive platform.

The programs include resources such as performance training, sports nutrition, college recruiting, mental training, leadership development, guaranteed college scholarships, and online fundraising.

MaxOne is the leading Virtual Coaching Platform designed for coaches and athletes to train, connect, and grow together, from anywhere. With the touch of a button, hundreds of on-demand videos, and individual or multi-week training programs are available at the athletes’ fingertips. Performance data is tracked on live leaderboards, allowing athletes to see where they stack up for specific exercises, drills, and overall effort creating a culture of competition and accountability. 

Youth sports organizations and athletic departments will be using ACES Nation’s All-In-One Platform for athlete development and performance improvement. ACES Nation wanted their own branded app that would give them the ability to customize features around their business model and provide a digital solution that would source and deliver content for sports organizations to use with their athletes. The partnership with MaxOne will include a customized, white-label product that ACES Nation will be providing to clubs and schools throughout the United States, and around the world, known as “ACES Nation Connect.” Together, ACES Nation and MaxOne will enhance the virtual coaching experience for programs around the world through technology, engagement, constructive coaching and training, and the athletes’ love of the sport. 

“The world of youth sports desperately needs what Tim and the ACES Nation team have built”, says CEO at MaxOne, Jason Mejeur. “Their out-of-the-box training services allow coaches to spend more time on team-building, strategy, and skill development. MaxOne is excited to be the software that powers ACES Nation to the next level.” 

“Jason’s incredible knowledge and leadership, along with his extremely talented team at MaxOne, has given ACES Nation the ability to turn a long-time vision into a reality”, said ACES Nation founder, Tim Livingston. ” Now instead of providing multiple individual programs, MaxOne has given us the ability to deliver a complete integrated solution to sports organizations on a single platform. Thanks to MaxOne, ACES Nation now offers one of the most comprehensive sports management software solutions in the world.” 

About ACES Nation 

ACES Nation founder, Tim Livingston, is an entrepreneur and former athlete who is passionate about helping people in the community. From that stems a business that Tim has created centered on “transforming futures, improving lives and enriching communities through the power of sports.” ACES Nation’s mission is to improve the lives of student-athletes and their families by taking a fresh approach in helping sports organizations better prepare, guide, and empower athletes’.

About MaxOne 

MaxOne’s Virtual Coaching Platform (‘VCP’) empowers organizations, coaches, and athletes with a digital solution to train, connect and grow together, anywhere. With an increasing list of demands, directors and coaches need to be smarter in the development of their training programs and in the use of their time and resources. MaxOne’s VCP features cutting-edge training tools, creating the most sophisticated and engaging on-demand digital training experience available. 

____________________

Grand Rapids, MI

For additional information, visit maxone.ai

3 Reasons Zoom is NOT sufficient for Virtual Sports Coaching in 2021

By | Baseball, Basketball, Coaches Resources, Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Other, Soccer, Track, Volleyball, Wrestling

MaxOne on November 23, 2020

How Zoom is Being Used in Virtual Coaching

There is no question that COVID-19 has accelerated certain trends in youth sports. For years early adopters have been utilizing innovative Virtual Coaching tools and platforms to supplement in-person practice and play.  Now, more so than ever before accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Virtual Coaching is quickly becoming the ‘new normal’ as sports organizations transition to hybrid and remote training models for the unforeseen future. 

The spike in the adoption of virtual coaching tools includes the adoption of digital platforms previously only  used for business applications (e.g. Zoom, Google Hangout), social media, and other tools for sharing documents. Here’s some data from a recent survey of youth sports programs adopting new technologies during 2020.

  • 60% of organizations began using Zoom or other web-based platforms
  • 30% using social media such as Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook
  • 10% sending training and workouts via email

Zoom. A Great Resource for One to Many Broadcast Communications

For some, Zoom serves as a great resource for one-to-many group instruction, allowing coaches to broadcast live and have collaborative team meetings. . For programs with only this one-to-many broadcast communication model  in mind, a tool like Zoom is sufficient. For those youth sports programs seeking to achieve a more dynamic live coaching experience, Zoom is not a viable option. Zoom just wasn’t built to be a live remote digital training experience built to help coaches coach athletes more effectively.

While Zoom has served sports programs as a temporary workaround, it will ultimately not provide the comprehensive solutions required for effective virtual coaching for several reasons.

 

1. Zoom is Not Built for ‘Live’ and Engaging Coach to Athlete Coaching

One of the most reported issues sports organizers and coaches face with business-focused meeting tools like Zoom is that they don’t facilitate team-building opportunities or customizable training capabilities like:

  • Live video replay, movement analytics, and annotation
  • Individualized workout building and assigning tools
  • Player feedback, performance logs, and leaderboards
  • Cohort training based on age or competitive level
  • Archive digital assets such as skills and drill videos
  • On-demand training from anywhere 

The lack of sport-specific offerings has been shown to cause significant problems like low athlete engagement, lack of accountability, and no coaching consistency.

2. Zoom is Not Sufficient as a Standalone Communication Platform

Many online meeting tools also lack any communication capabilities outside of when the meeting is currently in session. Effective, multi-channel (i.e. text, chat, and email) messaging is a key component of successful virtual coaching. Also, many coaches have reported experiencing significant emotional and physical drain after using programs like Zoom; this is commonly called “Zoom fatigue.” While it can offer simple real-time 2-way communication, Zoom’s potentially negative side-effects can be mitigated by combining dynamic live coaching sessions with a cadence of programming delivered on a schedule pre and post-meeting to deliver skills & drill, technique, and educational content on a scheduled calendar, with push notification reminders on the player’s phone.

  • Fight fatigue by combining Zoom with customizable training programs that allow players to proceed at their own pace – taking breaks as necessary to retain their focus and concentration.

 

3. Zoom Does Not Support Sustainable Program Growth

Zoom does not provide the framework nor workflows to help a youth sports program generate new and incremental revenues.

The alternatives to online meeting tools and social media applications are modern Virtual Coaching Platforms (VCPs) designed specifically to facilitate remote communication, athlete training, and team building. 

Comprehensive and customizable VCPs like MaxOne provide organizers the ability to assure players and parents that their program can offer safe, compliant, highly effective, and engaging virtual experiences, and help:

  • Create additional revenue streams to support the long-term financial health of the organization.
  • Mitigate the risk of future organization impacts due to COVID recurrence.
  • Differentiate program offerings with the most powerful virtual training experience available

Interested in learning more about Virtual Coaching Platforms?

Regardless of how COVID-19 continues to impact youth sports, new research clearly shows that forward-thinking organizers are focused on becoming more flexible, ensuring operational continuity, and providing the most value possible to players and parents.

Experience the power of MaxOne’s Virtual Coaching Platform, and book a call today.

[Webinar] Best Practices for Virtual Training in 2021 – Club and League Administrators or Coaches

By | Baseball, Basketball, Coaches Resources, Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Other, Soccer, Track, Volleyball, Wrestling

MaxOne on March 17, 2021

Best Practices for Virtual Coaching in 2021

Join MaxOne, the sector’s leading Virtual Coaching Platform (‘VCP’) provider, alongside SportsEngine Inc. at their on-demand webinar hosted by Todd Grant, Chief Revenue Officer at MaxOne. Todd will speak on best practices for navigating Virtual Training in 2021, the state of the Virtual Training industry, how successful clubs and organizations are adopting Virtual Training, and ways that your club can generate more revenue using with a Virtual Training offering.

Click here to watch the full webinar

What’s New? February Product Release Notes 2021

By | Baseball, Basketball, Coaches Resources, Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Other, Soccer, Track, Volleyball, Wrestling

MaxOne on February 3, 2021

MaxOne has rolled out a few new changes within the platform that we are eager to announce. We have made some advancements to the video playback feature, and we’re introducing two new exciting features set to launch in the upcoming month. Stay tuned to learn more about the product enhancements MaxOne is developing to improve customer experience. 

New Releases

Improved Video Playback Experience

The experience for all MaxOne users when watching video’s inside of the platform has been optimized for quicker speeds and better overall viewing quality. The enhancements will also allow the video content that any MaxOne user adds to load quicker for athletes on mobile, improving their experience.

Coming Soon

In the coming months, MaxOne has some exciting new features set to release, including Live Training. Read on to learn what else we’re releasing soon.

Live Training with Zoom and Uplift 

Live training is officially scheduled to launch inside the MaxOne platform in February. Live training events, which users will be able to conduct via an integration with Zoom, can be created, scheduled, and configured using the event or assignment calendar inside the MaxOne platform.

Live training events that coaches have created will show up for athletes in the workouts tab, where a countdown timer will announce the start of the live event. This will be  replaced by a launch button 15 minutes prior to the start of the class, which will take the athletes to the Zoom app where they will join the scheduled live session. 

Expect to see this integration go into effect within the next month. Look for an additional integration regarding Live Training in the MaxOne platform when we launch the MaxOne integration with Uplift later in the month of February as well. Learn more about Uplift, here

Enhanced Director Features

Over the next few months, we’re adding additional features that will help to improve the experience for director and admin level users.

One of those features includes the ability to share content (activities, drill, workouts, etc.) across multiple teams within the same organization, saving time and allowing the director to reach more athletes.

In addition, new features like messaging, calendars, and permissions are also in process of being built. Keep an eye on these types of improvements in coming months.

Ready to try out some of these new features? Login now.

Otherwise, wait to hear from us next month with more improvements to the MaxOne platform! In the meantime, if you have questions please email info@gomaxone.com so a member from our support team can assist you!