What You Need To Know About Heartbleed

As you’ve probably read by now, there was a major security breach this week that affected the majority of the Internet’s websites. We sat down with TeamSnap Operations Lead Mark Cornick to find out what sort of impact this breach has on TeamSnap. security

So what happened?

Researchers detected a bug called the Heartbleed Bug in OpenSSL, the secure socket layer used by the majority of websites, like Gmail, Yahoo! and TeamSnap. In basic terms, that means the bug could expose the kind of information that is normally encrypted when sent across the Internet — passwords, banking information, etc. — to an attacker.

For a more in-depth explanation, check out this article.

What’s been done in response?

The OpenSSL folks have already put out a fix, which has been picked up widely. On the TeamSnap side, we found out about the bug — and the fix — when it was announced and immediately went into action. We checked to make sure all of our servers had the fix, we contacted our tech partners to make sure they knew about the bug and were also adopting the fix, and we revoked our previous security certificate and private key and issued new ones.

Was TeamSnap affected?

To our knowledge, there were no attacks to TeamSnap or its stored data. However, we pride ourselves in offering the kind of information security we’d want to have for ourselves. After all, in addition to being TeamSnap employees, we are also TeamSnap users. Though we have no knowledge that any of our information was negatively affected, we wanted to be proactive.

You’re a wicked smart kinda guy. What advice do you have for people in light of this bug?

Despite the fact that we don’t think TeamSnap information was compromised, we highly suggest users to change their TeamSnap password. Because Heartbleed affected so many sites, consider changing ALL of your passwords across the web. We suggest updating these passwords on a regular basis, which many of us don’t think to do until an incident like this happens. Consider using different passwords for each site you use. That way if one password is compromised, not all of your passwords are compromised.

That sounds kind of annoying. I sometimes forget my own birthday, so how can I remember dozens of passwords?

There are some tools to help with this. For example, if you have iOS 7 or Mac OS X, you can use the iCloud Keychain, which generates passwords, stores them and autocompletes them for you. There’s also a tool called LastPass, which is a password manager that keeps a secure database of your passwords and remembers them in your Internet browser.

We at TeamSnap take security very seriously. We will continue to take ninja-like proactive measures to ensure your information is safe with us. If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at support@teamsnap.com.

 

What Is Performance Anxiety And What Can We Do About It?

By Craig Sigl, Mental Toughness Trainer.

Thousands of times a day, worldwide, a child or teenage athlete wakes up on game day with a huge knot in his or her stomach.  As they go through their pre-game routine, their tension and nervousness build up and their thoughts run wild turning to worry and then anxiety:
“I have to play well today.”
shutterstock_160414142

“I must have a good game to make my parents proud. They’ve spent so much money and time on me.”

“If I don’t play good today, coach might bench me.”

Some young athletes develop headaches and other physical problems from this stress and have to bow out of competition right before the event starts…some grit their teeth and do their best to hide their inner turmoil…and most finish their event scratching their head in bewilderment as to why they can’t perform in the game like they do in practice.

For all of them, the pressure has damaging consequences to young minds and bodies and often sets them up for a lifetime of unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with stress.

In survey after survey, doctors report that 90% of all office visits are due to stress. So what do we do with our young athletes in sports? We put more stress on them in a misguided attempt to “prepare them for the real world.”

I work with young athletes every day and I’m here to tell you that there is already enough pressure and stress on them without parents adding more.  The pressure on young athletes today, to come through with winning performances, is much greater than previous generations.  Between their coaches, teammates and the pressure to uphold their ego and self-identification as an athlete in their sport, that’s all they need to learn to prepare for the competitive adult world.

Unless you’ve got a lazy, unmotivated athlete that really needs to be pushed, parents need to do everything they can to avoid adding more stress and pressure to their athletic kids.

Now, I have to say that many parents are pretty good about cheering on their kids and not overtly adding stress but what they don’t realize is that they do this without knowing it in a number of ways:

  1. Any time a parent offers unsolicited advice about how to perform better
  2. Whenever a parent communicates disappointment in body posture or facial expressions let alone words and tone in their voice
  3. When parents hug, hold and touch their kid in celebration of good performances and withhold doing that after poor performances
  4. When praise only comes after good performances

Kids and teens have subconscious minds that pick this up more than you would guess and it destroys their sense of being accepted and loved by their parents.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from kids that the most important thing in the world to them is making their parents proud.

Parents of young athletes must recognize that their number one job is to support their kids by making sure that they clearly receive communication, often and with conviction, that their approval and love of their child is NOT dependent on how he or she performs in their sport.

The irony of this whole thing is that when parents put this kind of pressure on their kid, it actually is more likely to HURT their performance.  If you ask any sports psychologist what is the number one issue holding all athletes back, you will get an answer similar to this:  “performance anxiety.”

Young athletes play their best when they play for the love of their sport and their own internal desire to challenge and improve themselves.  Parents can help out by consistently pointing out and praising their young athlete “what they do well” and leave the criticism and coaching to the coaches.

Craig Sigl’s work with youth athletes has been featured on NBC TV and ESPN Sports Radio. Get his free ebook: “The 10 commandments for a great sports parent” and also a free .mp3 guided visualization to help young athletes perform under pressure by visiting MentalToughnessTrainer.com.

 

 

 

Multiple Sponsors, Easy Roster Additions for Mobile

We’re excited to tell you about some feature enhancements to both the web application and our mobile apps that you can try today!  Both of these enhancements came from customer suggestions, so keep ‘em coming.

Feature Multiple Sponsors on your Home Page

 

add-sponsors-to-teamsnap

We all know that behind every great team, there’s a sponsor that helps fund the uniforms, or supplies the pizza, or provides some other support that the team simply cannot manage without.   And sometimes teams have more than one such sponsor that they want to show the love.

Now for our Ultra Plan customers, we’ve rolled out the ability to display multiple sponsor logos on the home page of both your internal and public-facing websites.  So if you’ve been agonizing over whether to give props to Chico’s Bail Bonds or ACME Road Runner Exterminators, now you won’t have to make such a gut-wrenching choice!

Check this out for complete instructions on how to add a second (or a third or tenth) sponsor to your site.

Easy Roster Additions on Mobile

More and more of our customers are creating teams on the go, and we’ve recently made it even easier to build out your roster by using our two new import features to our iOS and Android apps.

roster-importFirst, you can now add members to your team directly from your mobile device’s list of contacts.  The TeamSnap mobile app will pull all the important contact information and populate all the same fields right in your TeamSnap roster.  Easy!

Next, you can now copy any player or member from one TeamSnap roster directly into another.  All his or her player data will come along for the ride.

Both types of roster additions work in a similar fashion. The Team Owner and Managers will find a “+” button at the upper right of their roster screen.  A magic tap of that button will reveal an “Add Players” list of abundant possibilities.  Choose “Import from Contacts” or “Import from Another Team” and add players to your heart’s content!  Or until your thumb falls off.

On Android, the options are broken out even further to choose between adding either players or non-players.  Go check it out!

 

Blackberry 10 Users Can Now Get TeamSnap on Their Devices

Dance, Blackberry 10 users! TeamSnap can now run on your device.

OK, OK, so we’re not Blackberry 10 native yet, but thanks to some shenanigans in the latest Blackberry OS you can easily run our outstanding Android app on your Blackberry 10 device and enjoy all the TeamSnap goodness at the field, rink or court.

Here’s how to set it up in three easy steps:

  1. Download and install the Amazon App Store app. Here’s some help if you have problems.
  2. Open the Amazon App Store app, search for “TeamSnap” and press the Install button.
  3. [Optional] Prepare a recovery beverage, with the proper mix of carbs, protein and fats.

teamsnap blackberry10The Amazon App Store will also help you keep the TeamSnap app updated as we release new versions.

Keep in mind that we don’t offer official support for sideloading our Android app onto Blackberry 10, so not every nook and cranny of the Android app may look or work perfectly on your BB device. But we know that our Blackberry 10 users are a passionate group of supporters, so we wanted to make sure that everyone knew how easy it is get TeamSnap onto your phone.

And keep an eye on the ever-growing list of mobile platforms supported by official and 3rd-party TeamSnap apps. We’re always looking to get TeamSnap onto more devices and are keen to work with any developers who want to partner in bringing TeamSnap to the masses.

 

How Athletes Can Stop Choking Under Pressure

By Craig Sigl, Mental Toughness Trainer

It’s the 1986 World Series and the Boston Red Sox are winning by 2 runs in the last inning with 2 outs and 2 strikes on the batter. They win this game over the Mets and they win the World Series.  Bill Buckner, the first baseman, has a very easy, slow ground ball hit to him that goes through his legs and goes down as one of the worst chokes of all time.  The Mets rally and go on to win the World Series.

choking-in-baseball-and-sportsOr how about John McEnroe’s choke when in the 1984 French Open, he lost to Ivan Lendl. After leading 2 sets to 0 and not having lost a match all year, McEnroe only needed one more set to win the Grand Slam title.  In the third set, his famous temper tantrum was ignited by a cameraman who was too noisy for him. Right after that, his game fell apart and Lendl won the next 3 to deny McEnroe the win.

Choking. Why does it happen?  Because of fear and too much thinking. What’s the solution?  At game time, the simple solution is to be able to channel all of your mental energy into one action. In other words, the answer is FOCUS.

I’ve heard from a lot of athletes who have trouble focusing when under pressure.  They tell me that a voice in their head starts creating doubts and worries and this triggers a tense or nervous feeling which sets them up perfectly for a choke.

I teach techniques for improving your focus in my Mental Toughness Academy but let me suggest to you right now that you ALREADY have some ability focusing your mind.  You just have to become aware of the fact that you use your focus ability in other areas of your life and that you CAN bring that ability over to competition.

Here’s an example:  I regularly do workshops with youth sports teams for players as young as 11 years old.  At one particular wrestling team talk, I asked the boys if they had any trouble focusing before and during their match and they all raised their hands.

I then asked them, “Who plays video games?” and most of them raised their hand.  I followed this up with, “How long do you need to focus for a wrestling match?”  “About 5 minutes” was the consensus answer.  “And about how long do you play video games for?”  Some of them admitted to playing for hours without being distracted and the parents in attendance attested to that.

I asked a few more detailed questions to find out HOW each young wrestler managed to focus like that for so long and they couldn’t really answer it very well. “But HOW you focus really doesn’t matter now does it?  Don’t even worry about HOW you do it. All you have to do is notice that you do it in one area of your life and decide that you CAN do it again at game time!”

I could almost see the lightbulbs going on in their head when they put two and two together between their video game playing and their wrestling for focus.

Here’s the really great news…. You really only need that focus ability for a short time when under pressure to avoid the choking. You don’t need to focus for an hour like when you play a video game so this should really be easy!  And, you can practice recalling your focus ability in many areas of your daily life. Just notice how you do it and what your thinking is when you DO focus.

Do you focus when watching your favorite TV show?  Do you focus when playing on Facebook?  Do you focus when reading a good book? Aren’t you having as much fun in your sport as playing a video game? See how easy it is that you naturally know how to focus when you’re doing something you enjoy?! This is what keeps that little voice in your head silent.

If  only Buckner had just called on that super focusing ability he had used countless times to field an easy ground ball or if McEnroe had kept his focus when he was up 2-0….

There are endless opportunities for you to practice your mental toughness so that when crunch time comes and the game is on the line, you come through with that trophy raised above your head!

Craig Sigl’s work with youth athletes has been featured on NBC TV and ESPN Sports Radio.  His free ebook: “The 10 commandments for a great sports parent” and also a free .mp3 guided visualization to help young athletes perform under pressure can be found at MentalToughnessTrainer.com.