Note: Ben Draper (Yorkville HS) will blog about various tools, gear, and tricks to help make the lives of coaches a little bit easier. Welcome to the first official blog post on the new ITCCCA.com!
Problem: Getting information to the athletes
I can’t be the only one that struggles to get information to my entire team. We do not have a field house or access to the school gyms after school, so we essentially have three practices going at various times of the day: The sprints/jumps group and distance group meets after school daily, but in different locations. Our JV distance meets in another section of the school entirely from varsity distance. Our throwers are practicing at 6 a.m., because that’s the only time we have gym space during the winter months. I’ve tried everything to get the word out—We’re on: Facebook, Twitter, we have a team website, we use MailChimp to send email blasts.. we also go “old fashioned” with paper fliers and a team bulletin board that is up in the “Athletics” hall in the school. Everyone consumes information differently—There simply are not a lot of adopters of Twitter.. not enough paper fliers make it home. You know the drill. But it seems like every kid is texting. What a great way to get your information directly into the hands of those that need to see it. So when one of our assistant coaches suggested I look into Remind101.com as a way to send out mass text messages to the team, we immediately added it to our onslaught of information-sending.
What is Remind101?
Watch this video to see how it works, or click here:
Signing us is FREE for now—the developers say they want to keep this a free services for teachers. Further, if you like your privacy, the service does not let the athletes see your number, nor do you see their numbers. You can also send the text from your web browser, iDevice, or Android device.
How I use it Remind101
I like to keep the use of Remind101 to last-minute updates. Last Tuesday we were hit by a snow storm during school hours. Once all after school activities were officially cancelled, I was able to craft an email via MailChimp (I’ll go into MailChimp in a different post), and post it to Facebook, Twitter, and then grab the link and send it to all of the Remind101 subscribers. Normally on a day like that, I am inundated with calls and emails from confused parents and athletes.. I received one total email and one text—both just asking clarifying questions about the cancelation.
If you have a large team that is segmented due to whatever reason, a systematic communication plan is key. Since most athletes these days text more than they do homework, it makes Remind101 a great tool for coaches to get vital info directly into their hands.
- Free Service, and developers say it will always remain free for teachers to use.
- Up to 10 “classes”—so you can segment your team even further: jumps group, distance, throwers, etc.
- Unlimited amount of parents/athletes can subscribe
- Send texts immediately or schedule in the future (wake up calls?)
- Lots of support from developers.
- Standard Text Messaging rates apply—so if the athlete is not on an unlimited plan, be mindful of how much you send
- Still won’t reach all of your athletes
- Random phone number sends out text messages—But does display your name as part of the text to avoid confusion.
- Students/parents cannot reply to the texts you send out