For many students, sports are as fundamental to school life as academics. For some, they’re a lifeline. Research shows team sports improve grades, graduation rates, and well-being for those involved, and they can also provide camaraderie and school spirit for the entire community. The list of benefits of being part of school sports goes on: physical fitness, sportsmanship, responsibility.These endeavors are led by dedicated coaches who come from across the district or from out in the community. They’re keystones in school life, but they aren’t always integrated into school communication systems that rely on classroom rosters. Meanwhile, the student athletes they work with juggle academics, friends, family, and other extracurriculars alongside their sports. Empowering them with communication is key to keep them on top of their game and grades. Here are some ways to build connections between coaches, teams, family members, and the community that supports them.
Making the team
Coaches usually build teams with athletes from across grade levels or even schools. This means announcements about try-outs and practices may need to be made widely so no students misses the opportunity to participate. It’s unlikely that coaches will need access to school- or district-level communication—but they should know who does. For the beginning of each athletic season, be sure to let your coaches know who, whether school principals or a district athletic director, can update the student body and their parents on how to get more information and how to sign up. As the school year progresses, coaches can use this channel to let the community know when they can come out and support their team. Now more than ever, athletes will love to have stands full of family, friends, and fans cheering them on.
Practice makes perfect
Coaches can also benefit from the type of classroom-level communication used by teachers once their teams are assembled. With a communication platform like Remind, coaches create “classes” with contact information for students and their guardians. This way, with just one click, coaches can send the same message out to the whole group. Some students manage their own schedules, but many rely on parents for transportation to and from practices and games. With frequent but unexpected schedule changes due to issues like bad weather and travel delays, it’s important for coaches to reach everyone quickly. A rained-out practice, for example, doesn’t have to mean sending 20 individual messages notifying parents that their children’s plans have changed. Individual team members may also have schedule conflicts. Coaches are responsible for student whereabouts during out-of-school time, and they need to know when someone will be out or running late so they aren’t worrying about a student who’s finishing an exam or at a dentist appointment. With Remind, individual messages are as easy to send as group announcements. This allows parents, students, and coaches to quickly check in about attendance without interrupting the rest of the team’s activities.
Professionalism and oversight
Finally, be sure district leaders know their responsibilities around communication between coaches, who may be volunteers or contractors, and the students they work with. Because sports teams can have inconsistent game schedules and travel to compete, parents and students may need to reach coaches, or vice versa, at irregular times like late evenings and weekends. A clear policy setting clear expectations for communication can go a long way in ensuring respect and professionalism. Tools like Remind can help by protecting the private contact information of coaches, while also making them available via mobile texting. Remind also offers administrative oversight by recording every message sent via the app. With a communication platform like Remind, everyone knows where to go for in-the-moment updates: a student can send a quick text to let a coach know they’re a little late, a coach can message all parents right away if a game is canceled, and parents can let them both know they’re running late. This way, children can be quickly accounted for and know the adults who care for them are available.Remind is quick and accessible—and a slam dunk for school sports! Click here to learn more about how Remind Hub can support your communication needs, whether students are in class, at home, or on the ball field.