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What we know for certain? Hard work and lifelong dedication are two qualities this team exemplifies.
Founded in 2017, the coaches created the select soccer team at River Cities Soccer Club to bring quality soccer training to the eastern Kentucky area at an affordable cost. The area has few options for soccer, particularly at the elite level without significant travel involved for practice and games.
A Labor of Love
Despite the team’s select status and the incredible amount of time its coaches dedicate each week, all of the coaches are volunteers. They donate their time while balancing their careers. Head coach Ryan Kazee is a family medicine doctor, assistant coach Matt McAlister is a firefighter, and assistant coach Brian Barker works as a turf specialist for the state park golf courses. All three coaches’ kids play for the team.
The trio has coached the same group since the kids were 3 and 4 year olds. Almost six years later, the coaches entered the young team in the Commonwealth Cup, a tournament for recreational players. To everyone’s delight, the kids finished second in the state.
It was then the coaches decided to enter the world of select soccer. The team finished third in their league the following spring, which is rare for an eastern Kentucky team. At a disadvantage because they had to travel for every game, they also played double headers every travel weekend, unlike the competition, who only played one game.
The Need for Fast, Easy Communication
With a dozen kids, even more family members, and a coaching staff traveling nearly every weekend, the team desperately needed to simplify communication. Enter TeamSnap.
“TeamSnap is the forum for your team to share necessary information. It organizes everything team related. You can organize game and practice schedules, and relay all forms of communication!” says Ryan.
“TeamSnap provides a perfect way for us to make announcements to the team via messaging. It’s easy for parents to interact with each other and for coaches to stay organized about practices, games and team events,” says Ryan.
Saved by TeamSnap Messaging
TeamSnap’s messaging feature saved the coaches and players from every team’s worst nightmare. While traveling two hours to Lexington for an early Saturday morning game, the coaches received word the game moved to a different location.
Just 40 minutes from kickoff, all the players and families were still on the road. Ryan sent an alert via TeamSnap, which simultaneously notified every family with the new location. Thankfully, everyone arrived on time and ready to play.
“With traditional group text messaging, messages get lost or even fracture off from the group. TeamSnap consolidates everything—Now we have all of our messaging in one place,” says Ryan. “TeamSnap messaging really saved us!”
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Lisa Hope is a product marketing manager with TeamSnap and a marketing professor at the University of Florida.