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Sitting on the Boards Rink Side / Re: Notebook instead of app
« Last post by AgnesNitt on July 19, 2017, 10:42:09 PM »
I've tried notebooks and apps. The problem isn't the tool, it's my inability to write stuff down. When I get off the ice, I've got to get in the car and go home. Traffic is so bad, it sometimes takes 2 hours. I can't afford the time. And when I get home, I've got stuff to do (get readyfor work, or go to Mass)
The Pro Shop / Re: Club jackets
« Last post by AgnesNitt on July 19, 2017, 10:39:39 PM »
The Synchro team has jackets, and the young competitive kids have jackets (I guess they wear them to comp?). Outside of synchro I've only seen a few.

The adults get their Gold Skater jackets. I don't think I've seen an adult with a club jacket (although I don't skate on freestyle, but I think I know 90% of the adults at the rink, and I've never seen one).

Sitting on the Boards Rink Side / Re: Notebook instead of app
« Last post by Jf12 on July 19, 2017, 05:45:25 PM »
Wouldn't you want to have as much evidence as possible if that was going on??
Spectator Skating Discussions / Re: How to advertise a rink?
« Last post by tstop4me on July 19, 2017, 05:00:21 PM »
The only published public skating schedule is on a web site. You have to go to the website, quickly click on a drop down menu for "Skating" (because there is a noisy ad, that most people don't want to hear), then select "Public sessions". There is no paper schedule for public sessions, available or posted. There is a posted schedule for freestyle sessions. Some of the time, the published schedule is out of date. The simple fact is that it is not a priority to management.

Paper copies of schedules are a waste of trees, especially during the summer, when the schedule at many rinks in my area vary week-to-week.  As you've noted, paper copies often are not up-to-date.  So an accurate on-line schedule is definitely the way to go these days.  But the emphasis is on "accurate".  The admins at several rinks I talked to said I can't count on the on-line schedule, because it needs to be manually updated whenever there is a change; and that isn't always done.  One rink has a great system.  They have one program that has their master schedule, including all events:  the master schedule is the one the rink staff works off of.  Individual schedules, such as public sessions, are auto generated from the master schedule:  no manual transcription needed.
The Pro Shop / Re: Club jackets
« Last post by Christy on July 19, 2017, 04:44:34 PM »
Our club sells jackets as a fundraiser so a few years ago I planned to get one, and went along to the ordering session run by an external company. They didn't bring any adult sized jackets along for people to try on but said they would contact me with details afterwards, but they didn't so I don't have a jacket  :(  The jackets they were selling weren't a skating brand and they had two styles - one was a lightweight tight fitting one which I think had pockets whilst the other was a really heavy windbreaker style which I couldn't imagine skating in.
Sitting on the Boards Rink Side / Notebook instead of app
« Last post by Query on July 19, 2017, 02:45:55 PM »
There have been several posts about tracking your progress, for yourself or your coach, using an app.

I guess the idea of using a small notebook is too out of date? But it is smaller and lighter than a phone, and doesn't need WiFi. In addition, it doesn't tempt you to waste time sending messages to people.

Incidentally, when a certain coach was charged with having an inappropriate relationship with a competitive skating student, one of the pieces of evidence was that there many electronic messages exchanged between them.
Sitting on the Boards Rink Side / SkateDash App
« Last post by FigureSpins on July 19, 2017, 02:09:06 PM »
The SkateDash app is still the development stage, so I could only see screen shots.  (Bricklin demos, for the geeks among us.)  While they sponsored the PSA Conference notebooks for attendees, they didn't have any printed materials to give out at the trade show.  YMMV but I'd hold off if you don't like being an Alpha tester.  The first release is scheduled for Summer 2017.

This is a monthly subscription app, which isn't a selling point, but it's not too expensive.  $9/mth for the coach and $1.25/mth/skater - not a show-stopper.  The coach can set up their account first and decide if they're going to pay the students' fees themselves or have the students pay it monthly.  The coach invites the students to sign up and link accounts.

The lesson scheduling, invoicing and payment are similar to Coach Concierge.  The coach can set different rates along with late fees and terms.  They don't have a way to turn off that functionality because it's tied into the subscription fee.  (I don't collect payments from families directly - they pay the rink and the rink pays me after taking a commission.)

They have a well-rounded practice list concept.  The skater's level provides a default list of skills with demonstration video links, and the coach can add items along with link to videos.  That would work well for a skater who has their own smartphone or wifi-enabled tablet/ipod. 

Their Communication Center is interesting - it's one-way communication, coach-to-parent.  No back-and-forth discussions via text or email.  Not sure if that's a good thing but it's great for announcements such as "Going out of town next week."  Coaches can share videos and lesson notes as well as notifications. 

What I do like is that it's multi-platform: there's an iOS and Android app as well as a web-based interface.  When your phone dies, you can still access from your computer and, even better, print out the practice sheets for your skater.  That's a good feature.

Again, haven't actually used SkateDash, but I want to try it out just to see if it's worthwhile for the practice lists.  The notebooks I require tend to fall into disuse when we get to the busy season.

Sitting on the Boards Rink Side / Coach Concierge App
« Last post by FigureSpins on July 19, 2017, 01:43:57 PM »
The Coach Concierge app would be great for a elite coaching group or a rink-based lesson scheduling situation.

The coach pays a monthly subscription for this service.  It lets them manage their schedule, accept/deny lesson requests, process payments and contact students.  It also allows skaters to book lessons, cancel lessons or fill cancelled spots.  It has invoicing and payment options.

To me, the idea was to provide some basic bookkeeping functionality for those coaches who collect their own fees.  This was the situation in NY/NJ, where the coach is paid directly and they remit the commission to the rink.  In my current rink, the rink collects all the payments and remits the monies earned less commission to the coach every two weeks.  As a result, I don't have to do invoices or accept credit cards, so that's a big chunk of functionality that I won't use since I don't invoice or collect lesson fees.  (I believe coaches can set their lesson cost to $0 in this app to accommodate that scenario, but why bother?)

In the lesson scheduling functionality, the skaters "request" a lesson slot and the coach has to approve/deny the request.  It is great that one student can schedule lessons with multiple coaches, thereby eliminating scheduling conflicts.  However, most of my students take their lesson(s) on a repeating schedule - same bat-day, same bat-time - throughout the month.  Approving 50+ lessons each month is a waste of my time and the vendor says that there isn't an "automatic approve" setting.  I'm more satisfied with my current (free) signup tool where I do a little set up at the end of the month and then the families work around their personal calendars.

One thing I really do like is that they have a profile section that lets coaches and skaters put contact info, tests passed, certification, memberships, ratings, etc.  I track that on a spreadsheet right now, so it's an attractive feature.
Sitting on the Boards Rink Side / SkateLoop App
« Last post by FigureSpins on July 19, 2017, 01:28:15 PM »
I'm not keen on SkateLoop because it requires a monthly subscription.  I coach recreational skaters, so my families wouldn't need a tool like this.

Still, it's a great concept: the coach(es) and skaters/parents are all "in the loop" with practices, progress tracking and can chat without having half the convo on text and the rest in emails.  Nice interface.  They do have a free trial, but everyone has to be a subscriber to get the benefit of the cost.  Using it on your own is like talking to yourself.  It's best for a coach who dictates that every one of their skaters sign up for this service and is adept at using apps.

website:  (Note: NOT "," but "")

I don't know if it's available for Android devices. 
Sitting on the Boards Rink Side / Re: Tracking progress survey
« Last post by Feebee on July 19, 2017, 12:41:08 PM »
Thanks! Right now it's a project I'm starting as part of a course I'm in for school, but eventually if I can, I'd love to find a way to develop it.

I don't think I would go with a subscription model, because I think there's a lot of subscription burnout happening - I know I personally pay for Netflix, and iTunes and I would hesitate before adding yet another recurring fee to my budget.

I agree it would have to be priced well - $5.00 or less, nowhere near 20 to 30 bucks.

I've considered the aspect of the adult population in terms of skewing the results, but I'd be weary of broadening my scope to all US figure skaters - I think depending on the level and age of the skater, the needs would be REALLY different than the mid-level, but very passionate adult. Kids are also less likely to have a phone of their own, and stick with it.

So I think target demographic at this stage would really be adult figure skaters - but I think if it's core features are very user friendly and encompass enough of what any skater, at any level would need to track/measure practices - it could work for a variety of skaters and coaches (I do love the idea of coach/skater collaboration, I think that angle needs research too)

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