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The benefits of physical activity & exercise as medicine

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I once worked in a cardiac rehab program at a hospital. One day a man whom I had treated for a couple months came up to me and thanked me for everything I had done and said something I will never forget. In short what he said was “My daughter is getting married in a month and I will be walking her down the aisle, something that would not have been possible two months ago”. Have you ever heard the saying “exercise is medicine”? Contrary to what you’re probably thinking, I did not work as a nurse or other medical volunteer, but rather as a kinesiologist prescribing him exercises specific to the capabilities of his heart following surgery. Every week he got stronger and was capable of more, and through a simple exercise program his quality of life was drastically improved.

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It is widely known that exercise is good for the body but what you may not have known is that it also benefits our mind and mood, and recent research also indicates that it helps us retain information. It can improve our day-to-day lives and improve our overall sense of well-being by energizing our mood, helping relieve stress and anxiety, improving our quality of sleep, and helping us manage symptoms of illness and pain. Read more

How to size an image for the TeamPages news slider

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The TeamPages news slider is one of the most dynamic ways to add content to your website and share your message with your visitors.  Whether you use it to communicate important announcements, celebrate team wins, or highlight individual player achievements, the news slider makes a huge impact.  

Today we will be demonstrating how to size an image for your news slider.

The recommended image size for the slider is 750 pixels wide by 500 pixels tall, this is a horizontal rectangle that fits perfectly into the news slider box.  If you upload an image with different dimensions, it will not fill the whole news box.  Check out the examples below.

On the left we have an image properly sized at 750 by 500, and on the right we have an image sized at 800 x 600 (a tall rectangle).  You can see that white space is added on either side of the tall image.

TeamPages News Slider

You do not need to have software on your computer the properly size an image, we will be using resizeimage.net for the demonstration.  It is a free online tool that allows you to upload, resize, and save an image for your website!

When possible, select horizontal images for your news slider.  If you have a vertical image you want to use, the best thing to do is crop it down to size.  Don’t be too afraid to cut off arms and legs to make this happen, it often creates an even more dynamic image, making you feel like you are right in the action!

Follow these steps (as shown in the video above):

  1. Upload your image to resizeimage.net
  2. Check the ‘fixed aspect ratio’ box and enter the dimensions (750 x 500)
  3. Add the width and height to get a selection box on your image
  4. Drag the corner of the box out and move the box around to position your image for cropping
  5. Select ‘crop’
  6. Scroll down and enter the dimensions again in the image resize area
  7. Scroll all the way to the bottom and click ‘image resize’
  8. Once properly sized, download your image!
  9. If you do not know how to put the image into the news slider, check out this help article.

We hope this tutorial has been helpful!  Subscribe to the blog for more tips on using TeamPages and managing a sports team, club, or league.

New Integration with USA Hockey Registration

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USA Hockey LogoWe know how much time it can take to have to manually look up hockey membership numbers, verify them, and then push players through the registration process. That’s why TeamPages has teamed up with USA Hockey to integrate our registration and association management software.

Now you don’t have to lift a finger—online registration syncs up with USA Hockey’s database to instantly verify and approve memberships, letting your players complete their USA Hockey registration in one smooth, fast process.

How does it work?

  1. Add verification in registration request. When you are putting together your TeamPages Registration form, simply select that you’d like to include USA Hockey verification in your registration sign up form.
  2. Prompt included in your registration form. When athletes (or parents on their behalf) are signing up for the season, they will be prompted to enter in their valid USA Hockey Member Number.
  3. Verification completed. We’ll validate that the membership is active and valid. If it is, they will be able to complete the registration. If it isn’t, they’ll receive a notification that they need to get an active membership to continue to register.

Learn More

Learn more about registration and member verification services by scheduling a call with a TeamPages representative through our Club and League Overview page: www.teampages.com/club_overview.

8 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your League Volunteers

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1. Respect

Be understanding when volunteers miss a day and be sure to recognize their return to the project afterward. Remember, volunteers are participating out of the goodness of their hearts and no amount of respect and admiration is too much. volunteer meeting

2. Praise and recognize accomplishments

Volunteers rarely give their time to receive recognition, however that shouldn’t stop you from heaping on the praise when you get the chance. Whether this praise is public or private, it doesn’t cost you a dime and can pay dividends over the course of a season.

Note, the end-of-season banquet is great opportunity to thank and commend all the parents who willingly gave their time and energy toward making the swim team experience better for everyone. A heartfelt thank you really goes a long way and will improve your chances to have them return next season. Read more

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.