Gracie Barra offer world-class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) training world-wide. An extremely established BJJ school, Gracie Barra are renown for their family community, encouragement to join at all levels and their clean, progress-focused approach to training.
Gracie Barra Gloucester are well-known for being one of the most prestigious BJJ clubs in the region, they approached Coacha to see if we could get their club administration on the same level. Using basic offline registers intended for primary schools, they needed to get their martial arts admin on par with their training programme. Here’s what they have to say:
Q - How did you organise your martial arts club admin before Coacha and what was the core problem you were looking to solve?
A - Before Coacha, we were using a register system that was intended for primary schools. It was extremely basic, wasn’t online and wasn’t a great fit for a BJJ club at all. Our payments have always been run by standing order, meaning that it can be difficult to keep track of them on a monthly basis. With 3 floors of classes at our club, keeping track of members, payments and coaches was difficult, time-consuming and unenjoyable. We were looking for a way out of all of this.
Q. What made you look for a (different) piece of software to help and did you have any initial hesitations?
A. We’d been toying with the idea of looking into a better system for a while, it was just getting around to doing it. And with martial arts club management software being a bit of a minefield, whilst we were narrowing down pieces of software, it was quite overwhelming.
We were struggling to find software that touched every base for us and were very close to remaining with the same frustrating, but familiar system. Then we discovered Coacha.
Q. How did you discover Coacha?
A. Coacha’s name started doing the rounds in the world of martial arts, being discussed most days on forums I was a part of. Seeing such great reviews about the usability, interface, features and support, we thought we definitely had to give it a go.
We found the 30-day free trial extremely beneficial and generous given the functionality of the software. We instantly loved the simplicity of the layout, the functionality was perfect for us, being able to categorise members by specific member groups and then grades so easily, was a complete gamechanger.
Q. What have been the greatest benefits of using Coacha and what is your favourite feature?
A. I could list endless benefits that we’ve experienced since the changeover to Coacha. Firstly all of our coaches have admitted feeling so much more prepared knowing that they have their athlete’s details at the palms of their hands. Preparation is key, especially in an emergency. And the layout of member profiles mean that all member details are easily accessed in the event of an emergency.
Our favourite feature has to be the registers. Coming from an extremely unsophisticated, simple register system, to Coacha’s efficient, automated and slick registers almost seemed too good to be true. Once the initial setup was out of the way and all classes are setup, there’s no need to do anything else. Our registers are there everyday when we need them and it’s extremely easy to look back at old registers too.
We choose to lock our registers on our iPads and display them at the front of our classes and allow members to sign themselves in on arrival. We started with an iPad on one floor, now we have an iPad on all 3 floors of our training centre. Not only is it easy for everyone involved, but it shows us as the sophisticated and organised club that we are.
The ability to track club and attendance statistics has also been hugely beneficial to us.
We've heard fantastic things about the money management side to Coacha, helping clubs never miss a payment and automatically retrying failed payments. Our next step is going to be starting the process of switching over from our standing order system, to using Coacha's payment system. This will mean we can charge easily for one-off payments (for things like compeitions and gi) and subscriptions.
Q. If you were to describe Coacha using 3 words, what would they be?
A. Slick. Straightforward. Gamechanger.
Q. What has it been like to work with Coacha’s team and do you have an example of how they went the ‘extra mile’ for you?
A. Coacha’s team are always extremely helpful. No query is ever too much and even if they can’t directly help, they’ll try to find a way around it. Whether it’s been a genuine query, or us just being silly and overlooking something, Coacha’s team have always been on hand to help in a kind and genuine manner.
Q. If someone called you and asked, ‘Why should I use Coacha?’, what would you tell them?
A. Coacha has literally transformed the way we conduct our BJJ club admin. I’m also aware of various other sports that utilise Coacha. I think that’s part of the genius of it, any sport can use it and personalise it to fit their specific needs.
We trialled pieces of software four times the price of Coacha per month, for less than half the functionality and usability. In the grand scheme of things, £25 per month isn’t a lot to pay out for what it can bring your club. Especially with the new GDPR updates coming into place to help us comply with new data protection laws.
Not only has it completely cleaned up our club administration, it’s given me more time to do what I love, and that’s coaching BJJ.
Q. Would you recommend Coacha to other sports teams?
A. Without a doubt. Every club needs to experience Coacha and what it can do for their admin. My advice would be to utilise your free trial, spend those 30 days setting up your club, adding your members, automating your registers and really get to know the interface. If you struggle with anything, Coacha’s response time has always been so fast, they’re always on hand to help.
Q. What do you think about Coacha’s efforts with GDPR and has their aim to raise awareness of it helped you at all?
A. This was the final decider for us. Once we’d experienced the software, saw the benefits during the trial and started to implement it into our classes, we were pretty much sold. However, on speaking to one of the support team towards the end of our trial, we were informed about the new resources they were pushing out around GDPR. At this point we were struggling to get any information from other clubs, societies or even NGBs. So, the fact that they had already gone through so much effort and poured many resources into GDPR, at cost to them, but providing it free of charge to coaches (not just their paying subscribers), was the decider for us. They really are ‘for the coaches’.
Q. Is there anything else you feel important to add?
A. Using Coacha and working with the whole Coacha team has been a breeze so far. I’d like to say how refreshing it is for a software provider to ask for opinions from their users, and actually implement some of the suggestions into the next version of their software. Our club admin is at the best it’s ever been, our members’ data is at its most secure and we are GDPR-ready. All thanks to Coacha.