Coaches have a lot on their plate. From planning practices and communicating with parents to “peaking” athletes and monitoring academic performances, it’s a full-time job on part time hours.
To ensure student-athletes have the best possible experience — and that coaches are able to build individual relationships and achieve team goals — more and more districts are investing in FinalForms, a student-athlete management system that makes it easy for coaches to manage forms, eligibility, and communication along with relevant regulations, policies, and guidelines.
We recently talked with 3 coaches about the impact that FinalForms has on their day-to-day role as a coach.
Matt coaches boys soccer, boys basketball, and girls soccer at Fenton High School in Fenton, Michigan.
Jordan is a chemistry teacher who coaches girls cross-country and girls track at Medina High School in Medina, Ohio.
Deena is the head girls volleyball coach at Holly High School in Holly, Michigan.
Here are eight of the benefits the coaches are getting from FinalForms.
1. Immediate productivity
Getting up and running on FinalForms was a snap for all three coaches. There wasn’t much of a learning curve for them, their athletes, or their parents — if there was one at all.
“Our Athletic Director went over it with us during the pre-season meeting for less than 15 minutes,” Sullivan said. “Everyone figured it out quickly. It was easy to learn, and no one was complaining.” (Probably because a coach designed it!)
2. Time savings
Thanks to FinalForms, all three coaches regained endless hours that were previously spent tracking down signatures and searching for forms.
“We were collecting forms for weeks. We’d have to hunt people down, they’d lose the forms, you’d have to get more copies,” Olsen says. “It was an inefficient process, to say the least.”
Coaches using FinalForms can monitor forms and signatures while sending reminders using their mobile device.
“The elimination of paperwork has been such a huge bonus,” Maher says. “I don’t have to carry a folder stuffed with all this paperwork anymore.”
3. A safer athletic environment
A few years ago, Olsen was at a cross-country event when an athlete went down not too far from the finish line. The athlete could not communicate clearly, could not remember much, and exhibited other alarming symptoms.
Thanks to FinalForms, Olsen quickly accessed the athlete’s medical forms and called her mom with the push of a button.
“It’s really great to have medical forms at my fingertips,” Olsen explains.
The COVID-19 pandemic upended all of our lives. When sports resumed, coaches were on the front lines of personal interaction and had to ensure health protocols were carefully followed. FinalForms made this process easier for Holly High School.
“Just being able to quickly check girls in and recall the attendance reports has been huge,” Maher says.
4. Improved communication
FinalForms has made Sullivan’s job as a coach much easier, in large part due to the ease of parent and athlete communication.
Real-time parent and athlete contact information is accessible in FinalForms. This makes it easy to communicate things like practice cancellations, bus times, and rescheduled games in a quick and timely manner.
“We’re using it almost every day. We coaches sometimes argue that we’re making it too easy on the kids,” Sullivan says with a laugh.
Before FinalForms, Maher would collect every parent’s email address during the first parent meeting. Unfortunately, she couldn’t always read what some parents wrote down, and email addresses often changed, creating unforeseen problems.
“With FinalForms, there’s no more guesswork,” Maher says. “All of the information is right in the system, and parents can change it if it’s inaccurate.”
5. Better organization
One of the biggest benefits of FinalForms is the fact that there’s no more paperwork to manage. As every coach knows too well, athletes often shove things like participation and handbook forms into their bags, and those forms never see the light of day again.
“I’m not very organized when it comes to managing paperwork,” Sullivan says. “Now, everything is right there on my phone. I can tell exactly which forms are missing. Parents can see, kids can see—everyone is on the same page, every day.”
6. More money for athletic programs
Before FinalForms, Sullivan had to hire an assistant coach just to handle communications. He had to budget an assistant’s salary out of the money he raised each season to manage emails, texts, phone calls and send out reminders about games, practices, and other important information.
“Now I do all of that in FinalForms,” Sullivan explains. “The money I paid my coach was well worth it, but it was an extra step. Now, I can spend more on the kids—buying new uniforms, better equipment, and brand-new game balls.”
7. More time to spend with athletes
Every coach who’s used paper forms knows what the beginning of the sports season is like. For the first few weeks, you spend valuable practice time dealing with paperwork and check-ins.
With FinalForms, all of that time is reclaimed, which enables coaches to spend more time helping students reach their full potential as athletes.
“I use that half-hour for more motivation, conditioning, and or skills improvement,” Sullivan explains.
Olsen echoes, “Now, when the beginning of the season rolls around, we just jump right in.”
FinalForms also makes it much easier to see how many days they have left on their physical, among other things.
“It frees up more time to focus on kids,” Maher says. “Instead of tracking down paperwork, we’re able to focus on the sport and focus on getting to know the kids through practice. We’re able to focus on the relationship with the kids and be more present.”
8. More control for parents
Let’s face it: Parents don’t like getting emails from the athletic department or being put on a list saying their kid hasn’t filled out a certain form or paid their dues. They don’t like to be called out — especially for something they had no control over.
“This way, it’s on the parents. They can fill out forms on their time,” Sullivan says. “The parents really appreciate that.”
Ready to Hear Your Coaches Rave About FinalForms?
All three coaches are quick to recommend FinalForms because it brings efficiency to the coaching experience, makes it much easier to make sure every form is signed, and helps ensure a more productive, safer student-athlete experience.
“I would highly recommend it,” Maher says. “It’s very straightforward, and very easy, and we’ve never had any problems.”
Olsen agrees. “Using FinalForms lets us do so much more connecting with kids instead of wondering about whether they turned in a form,” Olsen concludes. “When you think about it from a coaching and athlete perspective, it’s a no-brainer.”
If you’re ready to modernize your student-athlete management system, schedule a live demo today to see why more and more coaches across the United States use FinalForms to manage their seasons.
Are you a coach who’s new to the FinalForms platform? Register for a free webinar to get up to speed quickly.