WHY YOU SHOULD BE Involving your coaches with your new app
When you’re thinking about introducing a sports coach app to your club, there may be some hurdles in the way. These can include deciding on a budget, convincing the committee why they should approve your app and eventually finding the right app for your club.
A hurdle you may not see coming could be your youth sports coaches finding it difficult to get on board with your new system. Approving, sourcing and deciding on a coaching communication app is a lot of hard work. If you try and roll your new app out and your coaches aren’t exactly thrilled; you probably won’t be very happy yourself.
The truth is, even though change may be greatly needed, lots of people aren’t keen on it. This can make exciting new ventures, like implementing youth sports software, a bit of a hindrance to you and your club.
Here are some ways you can involve your coaches in the process of switching your club’s admin to digital.
1. Find out their needs
Involving your coaches can be a really good way of pre-empting change. Not only will it make them aware that change is coming, but it’ll also give them a chance to be involved and have their say in what they think it is that the club needs.
This may bring additional benefits too. For example, if you’re looking for youth sport coaching apps for your club, asking the people who will be using the app the most will probably help you discover needs you didn’t know the club had.
2. Involve them in the testing phase
When you’ve narrowed down some apps to test, ask your coaches for their help. They’re the people who are going to be using the app itself, so it’s a good idea to get their opinion.
This way, the pressure isn’t just on you to decide the app’s suitability and you can get feedback from the most important people; your coaches!
3. Take their opinions on board
Apps for clubs are very much subject to each club's needs. If you’ve chosen an app but 90% of your coaching team don’t think it fits their needs, you may want to reassess your decision.
Don’t get us wrong, it’s rare to please absolutely everybody. But if a high percentage of your trusted coaches aren’t sure about your chosen app, you should find out why they don't think it's a good fit.
4. Give training sessions
We’ve said it before & we’ll say it again, app training is the perfect excuse for team bonding & pizza! If you’re rolling out a new app, you should probably give your coaches some training. If you don’t, they may be a little daunted/unprepared… especially the technophobes amongst them!
A fun training session can turn a potentially apprehensive team of coaches into an excited and ambitious one.
5. Drip-feed features
To avoid putting a lot of pressure on coaches, you could start with just using some of your new features, then gently introducing others over time. For example, this month could focus on membership. Then, once everyone has got to grips with the process, you could introduce registers and so on.
6. Carefully give responsibility
With new a new app comes new responsibility. For example, when you were paper-based, coaches may have just been responsible for registers. Now that you have an app, they may have to manage membership, notes, safeguarding queries etc.
If you don’t want all coaches to have a lot more responsibility, make it clear who needs to do what. Carefully delegate tasks to those who want to deal with more responsibility; then reassure others that their responsibility level will not change.
7. Make it compulsory
As the saying goes, you can’t please everyone. Inevitably, there will be those coaches who still won’t come around to the idea of going digital, no matter how easy you try and make it for them. In this case, we think it’s important to emphasize that this is the way your club works now; and it’s not just for time-saving reasons.
Using a sports coach app has so many benefits in terms of member safety, child protection, GDPR, data security, saving money, saving stress and so on. Assure all of your coaches that your new app is the way forward now and is the right decision for everyone.
8. Thank them for their help
If you’ve asked them for their help and feedback and they’ve happily (or even begrudgingly) given it, it can be a nice gesture to show them your thanks; everyone likes to be appreciated!
Maybe the pizza at your app training session is on you, or maybe just a simple ‘thank you’ card with some chocolate is enough. Either way, it’ll let your coaches know you appreciate your help.
If you've been thinking of changing the way your club does its admin for a while, what's stopping you? If it's the thought of getting all of your coaches on board, why not take the above points into consideration to help them get used to the change?
Although the initial transition to a club app may be a little time-consuming, have a think about all of the benefits it can bring your club in the long-run. We highly suspect that you won't look back.