Posts Tagged ‘props’

Team Websites: WePlay.com

March 16, 2010

How did coaches and team parents manage 20 or 30 years ago without email and the Internet? How did they communicate directions, schedules, games, and rain outs? Either there was less communication or there were many more phone calls being made. Somehow my parents’ generation got it done. Kudos!

Email and the Internet have certainly made team administration much easier. Today, there are a host of options available to coaches, team parents, and leagues to make management and administration almost effortless. Given the huge percentage of the population now online, it no longer makes sense not to use these services.

I will start reviewing team websites. WePlay is up first.

At first glance, WePlay is your standard team site. However, upon closer examination, it is much more.

  • WePlay offers the standard modules such as teams, rosters, schedules/calendars, photo and video uploads, email notifications, and document uploads.
  • A nice feature gives parents the ability to set up and manage children’s accounts.
  • The calendar module needs some work: there is no export feature to personal calendars and the dates and times have to be typed in since there is no calendar or time graphical interface.

However, WePlay distinguishes itself from other services in three main areas:  cost, partnerships, and community.

  • Cost–WePlay is 100% free.
  • Partnerships–WePlay has an impressive list of professional athletes and partner organizations on their team. A partial list includes Brandi Chastain, Payton Manning, LeBron James, and the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA).
  • Community–According to Drew Shamrock, a member of the WePlay marketing team, WePlay, “is more interested in building a thriving youth sports community, not just another place for a team to upload their schedule and roster.” Some of the community features include:
    • The ability to connect with favorite professional athletes.
    • Access to soccer drills.
    • A soccer hub which includes a ‘coach-of-the-week’ feature and other soccer-related information.
    • Giving and receiving ‘props’ for a job well done.
    • An answer page where visitors can get answers to youth sports questions from other parents, coaches, and players.
    • Online games.

Coaches and parents, let me know which sites and services you use. If there is a company offering such services, let me know if you would like a review.

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Good Captain Examples

October 15, 2009

I always like to see or hear about good soccer captains in action, especially at the youth level. This past Sunday, I was fortunate to witness 2 such captains.

The first example involved a U15 game I center refereed. The captain for the away team was a phenomenal athlete, scored a hat-trick which included an incredible diving header and a dummy that he dummied to himself similar to Pele’s attempt the 1970 World Cup (see below). Yet he was extremely humble, very well-mannered, and did everything in his power to always avoid making contact with the opposing goalie.

The other example involved my daughter’s U18 team.

My daughter was having words with some of the opposing players during the game. After her team won 1-0 and the teams met to shake hands, one of the opposing players deliberately retracted her hand from my daughter. When this happened, my daughter looked back said some not-too-choice words. Then she was intentionally showered with water.

My daughter was already in a bad mood. She was lectured to by the referee during the game and she did not get as much playing time as she thought she deserved. Then she was showered by her own captain. That was the last straw. She collected her bag and went to sit in the car. Who could blame her?

To the captain’s credit, she sought out my daughter. She first found my wife and shared with her what had happened.  The captain witnessed the whole incident … the retracting of the hand and the words that followed. Knowing my daughter, she was concerned that the situation could potentially escalate and turn ugly. With little time to react, the she decided to literally and figuratively cool things down.

My wife directed the captain to our car where my daughter and she talked it out and put the incident behind them.

Though her method was unconventional, I want to give the captain her ‘props’. During the traditional handshake, she was doing what all captains should do … reading the situation and looking out for their teammates. She did not let the situation get out of control because of a disrespectful act. And most importantly, she sought out my daughter to explain her actions and make sure my daughter was OK. Had that final conversation not taken place, my daughter would have carried that resentment with her for a long time. As it turns out, my daughter now respects the captain even more, as do my wife and I.

Good job captains. Keep up the good work.

If you have good examples, it would be great if you shared them with us.