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Customer Spotlight: Batting 1.000 Baseball & Softball Academy

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About Batting 1.000

Established in 2011, Batting 1.000 Baseball & Softball Academy is dedicated to providing top quality instruction and a professional workout environment for teams and the individual player. Located on Long Island, NY, Batting 1.000 is home to a number of travel teams whose goals range from learning the basics at the lower levels to helping players get stronger and faster in order to showcase their skills for a network of collegiate coaches.

Batting !.000 Baseball And Softball Academy

The Challenges

Up until 2013, Batting 1.000 was using a combination of a home-grown website and email as their primary forms of communication and team organization. The executive was finding it difficult to keep everyone informed, especially when it came to making last minute updates to the schedule in case of a rainout or field change.

Another issue related to their website provider is that the technology wasn’t staying current. Most notably, it wasn’t mobile friendly, which was something parents were beginning to expect by 2013. If the academy was to grow, the management team agreed that they needed to update both the design of the site and the technology that powered it.

Finally, with part of their mandate dedicated to helping their players get to the next level, Batting 1.000 felt as though they weren’t showcasing their players as well as they could be. Posting a video to youtube was a way for them to get a player’s highlights online, but it wasn’t a very convenient viewing experience for the college coaches they were connecting with.

Batting !.000 Baseball And Softball Academy

The Solution

Having used TeamPages with another youth baseball team, Jim was already familiar with what it could offer the parents in his organization, however, it wasn’t until he started a free trial of the club management software that he fully understood all of the tools available to administrators.

“It was so intuitive that I taught myself to use it. If I ever got hung up, I would just call technical support and have the answer right away.”

Jim Rullo

– Jim Rullo, Batting 1.000 Website Manager

In addition to the friendly interface and dedicated customer service, TeamPages’ software includes many of the time-saving tools that Jim and his members were seeking. Everything from calendar subscribing and automatic event reminders to easy messaging and attendance tracking tools.  All available from the web and from the free TeamPages mobile app.

Understanding that functionality and ease of use were only part of the equation, Jim also reached out to the TeamPages support team to have the site designed.

“The entire process was so easy. I simply supplied them with our logo and a few photos and less than a week later, our site was ready to go for both the web and mobile.”

Jim Rullo

– Jim Rullo, Batting 1.000 Website Manager

Batting !.000 Baseball And Softball Academy

The Results

Once the new TeamPages site was up and running, Batting 1.000 saw noticeable results immediately. Website traffic was way up as members were visiting the site more regularly and finding the information they needed faster. Parents also began signing up to email and text alerts for events and announcements to ensure they were always in the loop about their child’s team. This resulted in coaches and administrators fielding fewer calls about schedule changes and upcoming events because families were more informed.

Over the last 3 seasons since switching to TeamPages, Batting 1.000 has been able to grow from 12 to 18 teams.

Batting !.000 Baseball And Softball Academy

“Baseball in New York is a competitive market and without the help from TeamPages to communicate our services in a professional manner, we wouldn’t have attracted the the dozens of new players we needed to grow as a program.”

Jim Rullo

– Jim Rullo, Batting 1.000 Website Manager

Download the full Batting 1.000 case study PDF 

How to Use S.W.O.T. for Player Evaluations

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dreamstime_xl_54945800The off season is a great time to provide much needed feedback to the players. Often, the more informal nature of the game this time of year lends itself to the chance to talk directly with players about their progress. This can often be done by meeting with a few players before and after each game, and having a discussion about their “progress”.

Towards this end, might I suggest the S.W.O.T. approach.

S – “Strengths”. Those things that the player does well.
W – “Weaknesses”. Those things that the player can improve on.
O – “Opportunities”. Those things that the player can do to improve.
T – “Threats”. Those things that threaten the player from improving.

The proper identification of these things can lead to allowing the player to make confident strides and improvements.

With players from 8-10 years old, this can just be done by writing them down on a postcard for the player. Make sure that these things are worded positively. Place a heavy emphasis on their attitude, and not necessarily on the outcomes that they are seeing at this time. Give them a few simple things to work on (e.g. kicking with their weaker foot, going after the ball). Praise their enthusiasm. Invite them attend the Express clinics at the “Tech” as a way of an “opportunity” to help them get better. Or have them set a goal for the next game such as, “see how many times you can make a pass to a teammate!”

With players 11 years old and older, it is best for them to go home first and write down what they feel are the answers for their “SWOT” categories. Then, during your meeting with them, use these as a starting point. You can use their answers to engage them in the solution. Tell them if you agree or disagree with their assessment. Be specific with them as far as “opportunities” they can take to work on their weaknesses. If you can back up your observations with actual examples that happened in a game, this is most helpful! (e.g. “Do you remember when you got that defender all by herself on the wing, and you aggressively took her on and tried to beat her with a dribble? That is what I think you could do more of!”

It is most essential to engage the player in the process. Ask them to take it seriously. Encourage them to do most of the work on this themselves as a way of ensuring that they get the most out of the games and their experience. Give them a real life example of someone you know of that has benefited by evaluating themselves and setting goals for themselves.

This simple exercise is quite effective for the players and can have a lasting impact on their improvement and thus how much they end up enjoying the game. Putting much of the emphasis on having them complete the evaluation first, allows them to do so in a less threatening manner, and internalizes the process for them.

I have ALWAYS found this to be a useful exercise. I find that I learn quite a bit about the players, and they in turn learn quite a bit about themselves.

App Update: Team News Goes Mobile

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Just finished a game and want to let your fans know you won? Curious to see what’s new with your club or league? Staying up-to-date with your team or organization just got easier with the latest feature on the TeamPages Android and iPhone mobile apps. With News and announcements, you can track and manage news from all of your teams and associations, anytime, anywhere.

iphone-buttongoogleplay-button

 

 

Don’t have the app yet? Download it to check out the other exciting features the TeamPages app offers, such as roster management, event tracking and attendance, and instant messaging capabilities.

Design Update

When you open and log in to the application for the first time after the update, you might notice some changes to the first screen you see. We’ve brought the Android dashboard to iOS and have added new links, including one to the news section!

TeamPages app News

What is the News feature? Read more

Getting the Most Out of Your Training Session

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Soccer tips and drills

Being an accomplished player now requires that you take on another level of responsibility for yourself as an athlete. It is no longer enough to sheepishly admit to your coach that you are not fully ready for training, and that you have not made any investment in your own development besides the formal training time set aside with your coach. What follows are some practical suggestions that you can adhere to in order to make the most out of your individual or team training times. It is most fun to be playing the game, so we need to do everything in our power to make sure we are ready.

Ready to Play:

Players should bring with them to every training session the following:

  • Inflated ball
  • Their own cool water (cool water is absorbed faster)
  • Shin guards
  • Cleats or indoor shoes depending on the season
  • Tape
  • Extra shoe laces
  • A complete change of clothes (especially socks)
  • Keepers, bring your gloves, shirt and long pants in case the field is poor

In short, you should be ready for anything! Put these items in your bag the night before your session so that you do not have to hunt them down and thus be late for training the next morning! Be at practice 10 – 15 minutes early, in time to get your gear on so that you are ready to start on time. Read more

Why Your League Needs a Mobile-Friendly Website

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One of the benefits of working with thousands of youth sports organizations is that we get a ton of data to analyze. In fact, it was this data that helped steer us towards building better mobile tools for our customers as we saw over 50% of their website traffic was from phones and tablets. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at what you need to consider for your league website to ensure an enjoyable experience for your members.TeamPages Mobile Website

Load Time and Data Usage

Recent studies have indicated that mobile users who visit a large website on their mobile phones are unhappy with the amount of time the site takes to load. Additionally, there can be data costs that the user acquires that can cost them money. If the user can’t access your site on a mobile device in a timely manner, they will abandon it, so make sure that criteria like load time are taken into consideration when it comes to building the mobile site for your sports league website.

User Experience Is Key

Many mobile website users complain about the terrible experiences they endure when trying to view and navigate websites that are not designed for a mobile user. The sites appear clunky, slow and can even be difficult to read. Traditional website designs are created for viewing on a computer screen and it takes a special degree of know-how to adapt a site for smaller mobile screens. Consider having a professional web company properly optimize and design your league and associated website for optimal mobile website viewing.

Mobile-Friendly Means More Visitors

Websites that are designed for viewing on mobile devices and considered mobile-friendly by the search engines can expect to see higher mobile search ranking from top search engines. Mobile websites include web pages that load faster, and the user experience is much more satisfying. The resulting higher search engine results can’t help but result in more visitors overall, which means more awareness and visibility for your league.

Get More Returning Visitors

If your league website is optimized for mobile website visitors, you stand a better chance of having them come back again. This keeps them up to date on relevant information in regards to your team, upcoming events, and so forth – an absolute must when it comes to building a thriving web community that continues to grow into the future.

Embed a Facebook Feed on Your TeamPages Site

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You probably have a Facebook page for your team, club, or league, it is an awesome way to create a social space for members to interact! Embedding a Facebook feed on your website encourages new members to join your social space and keeps website visitors up-to-date.

Facebook makes it really easy to embed a page feed or any kind of post on your site, all you need to do is copy and paste a few lines of code.  Don’t go running in the other direction because I said code, this is really simple.  Lets get started!

First, you need to login to TeamPages and you must have administrative access to your TeamPages website.

1. Navigate to your settings area.TeamPages Embed Facebook Feed

 

2. Go to the ‘widgets’ settings and click ‘add’ in the top right corner.TeamPages Embed Facebook Feed

 

3. Name your new custom widget and change the text editor to ‘source’ mode.  This mode is for entering code instead of plain text.TeamPages Embed Facebook Feed

 

4. Go to https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/page-plugin.

5. Enter your facebook page URL in the ‘Facebook Page URL’ box and adjust the other settings to suit your preference.  Click the ‘get code’ button.
TeamPages Embed Facebook Feed

 

6. A pop-up window will give you two pieces of code. Copy the top piece of code and paste it into your source code editor on TeamPages. Copy the bottom piece of code and paste it right below the first piece in your source editor on TeamPages. Save your custom widget.TeamPages Embed Facebook Feed
TeamPages Embed Facebook Feed

 

7. In the widget settings, turn your widget on and choose the column you would like it to display in on your home page. Click save.
TeamPages Embed Facebook FeedTeamPages Embed Facebook Feed

 

8. Go to your home page and see your new Facebook widget!  You may need to drag it around on the page to position it in the right spot.TeamPages Embed Facebook Feed

 

There are other types of Facebook feeds you can embed, the one we just did is a page feed.  You can also embed like buttons, follow buttons, specific posts, videos, or comments.  The method is the same and you can get all the code for this here: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/page-plugin. 

Facebook Plugin

I hope this has been a helpful TeamPages tutorial.  Please comment if you have any questions or email us at support@teampages.com, we are always happy to help!