In 2022, Affinety Solutions interviewed staff from over 60 school athletic departments to better understand their pain points when it comes to managing their student registration and eligibility. Although most schools said they already have some system of communication in place, it can be difficult to sort through everything to find coaches the information they need the most. Here are the top things our respondents said their coaches need from their sports management software.
- Up-to-date rosters
Once the sports season starts, coaches don't have time for surprises. Things like last minute sign-ups, drops, or sport switches inevitably happen every season, and coaches need to know about them in real-time. When students show up for practice, coaches can't afford to waste valuable practice time figuring out who is signed up and who isn't. This is why Affinety provides real-time roster updates whenever a student's registration status changes.
- Who's cleared to participate
A surprising number of schools we interviewed said that they must rely on their coaches as a backstop when verifying player eligibility. Depending on your school's policies, coaches might be able to use their own discretion about allowing students to join practice, but at game time, letting a player onto the field who isn't eligible to participate can have penalties for the entire team. Coaches need to know a glance if a student isn't eligible to participate for any number of reasons, including: an outdated sports physical, an academic suspension, or transferring into the district, among other things. Affinety allows coaches to generate a customizable report with whatever information they need in a few simple clicks.
- Player health concerns
It's absolutely crucial for coaches to know about any health concerns or past injuries their students may have. When it comes to health, coaches need to see the big picture so that they can keep their players safe and performing to the best of their ability. This is why Affinety creates detailed medical profiles with options to include: dates for sports physicals, concussion baseline testing, and immunizations; current medications; allergies; medical concerns and previous conditions; chronic illnesses; names of a student's clinics and doctors; and insurance carriers.
- Emergency contact information
In the event of an emergency, after calling 9-1-1, coaches need to know which family members to contact, and where. Several interview respondents told us about the gigantic three-ring binders they haul everywhere, filled with paper copies of every player's emergency contacts. In some situations, coaches just don't have time to dig through paperwork to figure out whether they should call mom at work, dad on his cellphone, grandma at home, or aunt Jackie who works in the district office. Affinety gives coaches a digital, searchable copy of their emergency contacts so that they don't need to add paperwork to the already extensive load of supplies they carry around every day.
Affinety addresses all these needs with their Coaches Portal, a mobile-friendly software feature that allows coaches to access the information they need in real time, while also keeping student privacy in mind to ensure that no one sees information that they shouldn't see. It's a game-changing resource that saves coaches and admins time, and gives students and their families peace of mind.