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What is Sports Management Software (and why you need it)

sports facility software

Running a sports business is hard work. Between writing programming and training athletes, scheduling your athletes and collecting payments, keeping track of your staff and managing payroll, you have a lot on your plate. Luckily, there are tools out there that help you manage the back end side of your sports training business.

Whether you operate a sports facility or run a training academy, I hope this serves as a great introduction to sports management software.

But, with so many sports software options on the market, it can be difficult to determine which software solution is right for your business.

So, what is sports management software, and why should you invest in it for your business?


What is sports management software?

Sports management software is a type of software that provides sports coaches and business owners with the tools they need to manage their business operations. Sports management software helps youth sports coaches, facility managers, and business owners manage the back end of their business, whether it be scheduling & registration, payment processing, communicating with clients, or managing staff.

Also called youth sports scheduling software, sports software, or a sports management system, this type of software shares a similar set of features, which can be customized to each business’s needs.


What type of businesses need it?

Sports management software is valuable across different sports and business types, from sole proprietor training academies to large multi-sport complexes. Businesses that offer performance training, sport-specific lessons (including football, soccer, volleyball, baseball, basketball, and hockey), camps, and clinics can all benefit from a sports management system. Regardless of the type of programming, sports training businesses all have similar needs when it comes to a software solution.


Who benefits from using sports management software?

Academy and facility owners, coaches, front desk staff, and clients all interact with a sports management system in different ways.

Facility owners can utilize the software to build out new programs, manage marketing communications, book appropriate staff members, run payroll, and view financial reports that will keep their business on track for growth.

Coaches and instructors can utilize software to manage their availability and schedules, and to view client information. This allows them to provide more value to their athletes during training. Similarly, front desk staff will use the software to schedule clients, manage memberships, and process payments.

The best scheduling app for coaches, however, also includes client facing functionality. Sports management softwares have a client-facing portal where members can schedule appointments, pay down balances, or check membership benefits. This means that it is critical that your software solutions are not only beneficial for internal operations, but that it also provides a positive customer experience for your clients and members.


Why is using a sports management system necessary?

So, now that you’re up to speed on the “who” and “what,” let’s dive into the “how” and “why.” Here’s why a sports management system is a must-have for your business.


It helps optimize business operations

Simply put, sports management software helps you operate your business more efficiently. Sure, spreadsheets, a notebook, or the notes app of your phone are fine when you’re starting your business. But, eventually the administrative workload becomes too much. A sports management system helps automate the mundane tasks like scheduling and payment processing, so that you’re able to reinvest your time, focus, and energy on that part of the business you enjoy most – training your athletes.

After all, that’s what got you into this industry, isn’t it?


It creates more positive client experiences

Not only can a sports software help you manage the back-end of your business, but it also provides a more positive experience for your clients…an experience that keeps them coming back. A frustrating user experience can ultimately lead your clients to looking elsewhere.

For Anthony Ruggiero, the client experience played a big role in his decision about a software partner.

“Before Upper Hand, there were times where parents and I would have to go back and forth for 3 or 4 days about trying to get a time set up. It was annoying for me, and was probably even more annoying for them. It was just a poor experience. Once we got the software set up, it made it so much easier for them because there’s no phone tag going on, where they’re waiting for time. They can log in whenever and just schedule in advance.” – Anthony Ruggiero


Read how Anthony Ruggiero utilized Upper Hand to accelerate athlete development with group lessons!

It is important to note that not all software is created equal. Unfortunately, the “wrong” software can hurt a business – specifically if clients have difficulty using it on their own. If it’s not intuitive to schedule or pay, clients may become frustrated and take their business elsewhere.

Not only can software aid the client experience, but it can also enhance it. Online waiver collection, scheduling reminders can help reduce friction and create a more engaged community of athletes. And, marketing automations can help you make your clients feel extra special on their birthdays, first classes, or when they hit other milestones with your business.


It empowers you to make better business decisions

Not only can sports management software help you in the “now,” but it can also set you up for growth in the future. Youth sports software helps business owners and coaches make smarter, quicker decisions about their business, due to the data and reporting that is available through the platform. From tracking recurring revenue to outstanding balances and more, you can analyze the health of your business through data analysis.


Things to consider when choosing a sports management software

The needs of each sports training business are different; however, here are a few of the most important functions that your sports management system should include, regardless of the platform you choose.


Scheduling and registration

One of the most important functions of a sports management software is the ability to schedule and register athletes for your programs. For example, if you primarily offer group or private lessons, you’ll need the ability to set your availability for clients to book out a time. Alternatively, if you are running a camp or clinic, you’ll need to create a program with a set date/ time for clients to go online and register.

Upper Hand’s sports software provides the flexibility to build out any type of program, and offer different payment options that work for you and your clients. Additionally, the software makes it easy to manage your schedule on the backend, whether you need to cancel or reschedule a client, refund a payment, and track credits. This allows you to make updates to your schedule on the fly, wherever your day takes you.

Related: Grow your business with lesson scheduling software


Payment processing

In addition to scheduling, the ability to process payments is another “must-have” when it comes to a sports management system. You have a lot on your plate. You should have the flexibility to collect payments in full or over time, online or in person, wherever the day takes you. This will help protect your business against unpaid balances, and will make it easy to accept a variety of payment options that work for you and your clients.


Marketing and communication

You know as well as anyone that attracting new clients is only half the battle; client retention is critical to long-term growth and success. Your sports management software should give you tools to automate communication with your clients, from sending appointment reminders to segmenting your clients into contact groups.

Additionally, the access to data that a software would provide will allow you to personalize your clients’ experience with your business by tracking important details on their client profile.


Steal this Idea: Build a Client Birthday Campaign (in 30 minutes or less!)


Staff management

As your business grows and you look to bring in more staff, it’s important that your sports management software can help you keep operations running smoothly, for scheduling to running payroll. The best scheduling app for sports coaches should provide a staff portal that they can use to set their availability, manage schedules, and get more detailed information about their clients.


Mobile app

Your job is on-the-go, and no two days are alike. This means that your sports software must be just as agile. Think about finding a software that has a fully-functional mobile app. Ensure that your youth sports management software will follow you wherever your day takes you, from the field to the front desk. Additionally, a client-facing app is a great way for your clients to stay connected with your brand, allowing them to schedule appointments and make payments on the go.


Looking for a sports management software?

Sports scheduling software is a key component of any sports training business. Make sure to do your due diligence and find the software and provider that will fit your business needs, both in the short term and long term.

If you’re interested in learning more about Upper Hand’s sports management software and how we can help take your sports training business to the next level, schedule a call with a member of our team.


Looking for an easier way to manage your sports coaching business? Upper Hand can help. Schedule a demo today to see how you can grow your business with sports management software.

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