teamloop went live today but I didn’t set aside any time to setup teams for my son’s and daughter’s sports teams. So, I bet it’s a sign that we just showed up 6 1/2 hours late to my daughter’s soccer game. It turns out that we wrote the wrong time on our personal calendar when the schedule came out a couple of weeks ago.
It Must Be A Sign04/23/2011
teamloop Is Live04/23/2011
There has been way too much time between my last post and this one but the result is worth it…we are live!
Adam pushed teamloop to our production site last night (well, this morning 🙂 ). Thanks Adam!
I’m so excited. I can’t wait to meet up with Adam and Derek this week and drink our first congratulatory beers! It has been a long and fun ride to get here. Now it’s time to start prioritizing the backlog and keep moving forward.
Thanks again Adam and Derek for everything!
It’s a little ironic. One of the most encouraging aspects we experience while designing and building teamloop is the discouragement of others (and ourselves).
It happens every time I start sharing the teamloop story. Coaches get frustrated at tracking player availability. For parents, it’s usually when I mention having to pick apart the many emails to find the important details, especially when they are “Reply To All”.
The one that continues to fuel my encouragement is the “here’s the schedule” email. Here’s an example I just received a couple of weeks ago.
First, here is the “we aren’t trying to be mean to coaches” disclaimer. We love our coaches.
The link below will take you to the schedule of games for the month of Dec. Look under the 4th Grade Boys league column under the Bruin tab. This webpage will also provide you a weather hotline.
And the ensuing routine for each person on the team:
- Click the link
- Find the correct schedule link
- Download the schedule
- Find the correct times and locations and enter them on your calendar
- Track the other important details: weather hotline, which jersey to wear, when we need to provide the scorekeeper
Contrast this with teamloop:
- The coach will enter the schedule
The great thing about teamloop is that by helping the coaches, we’ll be helping the team.
Feeling The Pain11/30/2010
Adam is coaching this year and is feeling “the pain”. He sent this instant message to me the other day:
(9:09:17 AM) Adam: man, i wish i had teamloop….i need to communicate with the parents about staying an extra 30 minutes on saturday and all i have are phone numbers…sigh!
We’ll just chalk it up as internal motivation for getting teamloop finished!
Team Schedules: What, When, and Where11/16/2010
One of the first priorities for a coach at the start of a season is to get the schedule out to the team. As you’ll see from these examples, this simple task becomes a big chore for the team.
I finally got our practice times and they are Tuesdays, 4:00-5:00 at BlueValley field #2 and Sundays, 6:30-8, at the Kenneth Road softball field #5.
Tuesday 3/30 4:00-5:00 BV field #2
Sunday 4/4 6:30-8:00 Kenneth Rd #5 (this is Easter so we will NOT practice here)
Tuesday 4/6 4:00-5:00 BV field #2
Sunday 4/11 6:30-8:00 Kenneth Rd. #5
Tuesday 4/13 4:00-5:00 BV field #2
Sunday 4/18 6:30-8:00 Kenneth Rd. #5
Tuesday 4/20 4:00-5:00 BV field #2
Sunday 4/25 6:30-8:00 Kenneth Rd. #5
This email contains an “inline” list of practices and is pretty easy to move over to a calendar. Practices usually occur on regular intervals so they are pretty easy to setup as recurring events.
Here is the schedule of basketball games for the boys. Our first game is this Sat., morning Jan. 10th at 10:00am. We are team #9. Please have the boys at the gym at least 20 minutes before game time.
Jan. 10 Jan. 17 Jan. 24
8:00 5 v 6 8:00 1 v 2 8:00 5 v 8
9:00 4 v 7 9:00 10 v 6 9:00 6 v 7
10:00 2 v 9 10:00 7 v 5 10:00 2 v 10
11:00 1 v 10 11:00 9 v 3 11:00 3 v 1
12:00 3 v 8 12:00 8 v 4 12:00 9 v 4
Jan. 31 Feb. 7 Feb. 14
8:00 8 v 6 8:00 4 v 3 8:00 4 v 10
9:00 10 v 7 9:00 2 v 5 9:00 8 v 9
10:00 2 v 3 10:00 9 v 7 10:00 7 v 1
11:00 9 v 5 11:00 1 v 6 11:00 6 v 2
12:00 1 v 4 12:00 10 v 8 12:00 5 v 3
Feb. 21 Feb. 28
8:00 7 v 3 8:00 10 v 9
9:00 9 v 1 9:00 1 v 8
10:00 10 v 5 10:00 2 v 7
11:00 2 v 8 11:00 3 v 6
12:00 4 v 6 12:00 4 v 5
This is another example of an inline schedule but this time for games. I refer to it as “Find Your Own Way”. It’s pretty common for coaches to copy and paste a schedule like this from a spreadsheet they receive from the league.
You can see the added complexity right away. You have to find each instance of team #9 and then get the date and time and enter it into your calendar.
This example is similar to Example #2 but the schedule is an attachment and you have the additional step of first downloading the file from the email attachment.
Attached is the girl’s soccer schedule. Hopefully the email comes out. If not refer to the attachment. I don’t have a ton of confidence in my cutting and pasting skills.
When I saw this email I knew something had to be done to help the coaches who are helping us. This very well intentioned coach filtered the list for us by finding each entry for our team #251, took a screen capture of the section, and then attached all of them to the email.
What is wrong
This is time consuming and prone to entry errors. It’s 2010. All of us shouldn’t have to go through the exact same process sifting through the schedule using a coach’s number as a code to find the dates and times needed to enter on a calendar. Too many possibilities for an incorrect entry or missing an entire event.
And don’t forget about sharing the schedule with family and friends. What do you do now? Just click “Forward” and enter an email address?
All of the team’s events pass through the coach. That one person can enter the events in teamloop, a single, authoritative location, and ensure an accurate schedule. The rest of the team can view the schedule online, export it in a common format, or sync with your online calendar with an iCal feed. And your family and friends? Just send them the link to the team’s public schedule.
A BIG, BIG Disclaimer11/15/2010
Before I begin sharing some emails, I want to make it extremely clear that it is not my desire to ridicule anyone sending these emails (especially if you are one of the authors :-)). As parents, we appreciate all of our team’s coaches and are very thankful for the time they volunteer. We know you offered to instruct rather than spend time crafting the perfect email.
Instead, I intend to use some of the content to illustrate where teamloop can reduce the coach’s team management burden and assist in communicating the important message and details to the team.
teamloop has been in the making for a while. Since we are getting closer to launching we wanted to share what is driving us to build this app.
Adam and I both have kids who have played sports for several years. I have two who have been on different teams at the same time so basically four sports in parallel.
As parents, we receive a lot of emails from their coaches. Emails with schedules, fees due, and questions about player availability. Others for practice reminders, weather updates, and game rescheduling. Notifications about which color jersey to wear, directions to a game, and snack schedules and end-of-season parties. It is a lot of team management and communication through email.
I started analyzing these emails over the last couple of years and some very clear patterns became apparent. I’m going to start posting some example and sharing what I found.
Launch! (kind of)10/07/2010
We launched our landing page last night and I’m very happy with how it turned out.
I don’t know how Adam put up with my many iterations of “awesome! but, can you change this now?”, but he did and he did a fantastic job!
If you get a chance, swing by and sign up for notification of when we launch the app. If you do, we’ll email you when we launch and give you two free months.
Adam and I made some great progress on teamloop this past Wednesday after some Chipotle for food and Starbucks for caffeine.
Even the tagline is improving.
Team event management and communication for coaches and parents.
Simple team management for coaches.Better communication for everyone.
Welcome to teamloop blog!09/30/2010