Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Do I really need the internet? pt 1.

My friend coach asked me this question two years ago in one tournament. This was straight after I was murmuring about the low attendance levels in our training events. I have to point out that I don't know any team in Finland that doesn't use some sort of online service for reporting about attendance to events.

The conversation was buried in my subconsciousness for years, until today. I was reading a science magazine form as early as 2001 and about the future of mobile broadcasting. Back then, terminology as WAP, UMTS and GPRS were new to the people. The author assumed that the usage of mobile internet would slowly increase in business use in coming years.

Now, over 10 years after (dear god, is it really that long!) that article, I can say that the business data is only a fracture of the amount of data transmitted and received wirelessly.

How can you use the internet efficiently when managing a floorball club?

As it seems, while reading this article, you have been selected as the target group for the other main usage for internet in terms of sports team managing. You are the receiver of public information. I like to divide the usage of internet to two main aspects, internal and external communication.

Internal communication- team sports services

This internal communication is conducted mainly via different team sports management services that allow the team representative to generate a training and match schedule for the players of the team. Usually, these events are visible for team members only.

Needless to say, officials moderate the users, so no unwanted viewers are able to see what's up with the team.

Our team uses the Finnish free service called: Nimenhuuto. This site allows you to arrange events and distinguish them, for example to training, matches and other events (parties and such). Players choose to either attend or not to attend. This is efficient way for a coach to preliminary plan the drills to the amount of players attending. Also you can upload files for internal distribution and use the "wall" as communication channel. 

After my very loose googling, I have been able to find only one alternative service in English, called PlayerLineup. This site is managed by the same company as Nimenhuuto, and the site is exactly the same. 

However, sites mentioned here, are not so good for managing the team. They have only limited usage profiles, that are suitable for only very-non-professional teams. At least I am much more interested about more complex web service, that can be used, not only for communication and calendar, but also for coaching itself.

And this is the time when Statbeat comes along.

Statbeat for team

Though our team does not (yet) use Statbeat efficiently, I have been browsing the site recently and found out, that this web service is much more usable for team that is keen to take their actions to the next level. 

Besides the attributes mentioned earlier, Statbeat also has ability to collect statistics. For the team statistics. This is however much more usable, than some lame old excel sheets or google docs. 

Also this site has one very hefty feature. The line ups. For this day, the line ups of our team, have been presented on the day of the game. This feature enables communication with the team prior to the matches. This could be useful indeed.

What I have heard also, is that the Statbeat is also launching some sort of tournament-system. I have no information about it yet. 

I will present the possibility of using Statbeat for our internal management to my team. We'll see what's the response. I have to be straight about this, some people may not agree about the usefulness, as they are only players. 

External Communication

Well, anyone who reads this post, is most likely directed to here via social media. For sport in general, social media has increased the possibility of gaining "visibility". I will use our team as an example.

Two years ago, I moved to my new hometown from Jyväskylä. As I had interest for floorball coaching the only reasonable and easy way to get information about the teams in the area, was internet. Now I know this isn't actually the social media in it self. For example, the team that I had priviledge to join, was not at all active in common social medias. They had the website, but that's pretty much all.


The usual way to say "We're in social media" is to refer to Facebook account. Most teams (not qualitative research based) have only the team site and it's updated not on reqular basis. To be mean, I'd say that most teams only post things to their site when they remember it.

From Facebook, team can quite easilly and for the most important part of all for free, control their PR. This can of course be done in two separate ways. Either by "corporative" posting, wich means that the team posts about their results and other major happenings throughout the season.

Or, as it will be for my team, they can use the site for not only informing about the game, but also as an open advert about the atmosphere in the team. What this means is, players can post pictures, stories and comments on the site and have communication with followers. Later on, team could easily give foundation for sponsorship talks while directing possible sponsors to site and to see, what to actually assist financially.

Ongoing debate about users of Facebook being not happy about the service have not at least yet affected to this side of usage.


This here is a complicated issue. Twitter is, as is Instagram, also effective way to do PR, but it needs more delving into. Twitter is known for rapid flood of posting and bigger the amount of followers to specific user, smaller the time frame to be seen for individual post.

For our team, the twitter account has been linked to Facebook account. This means that whenever someone posts something to our facebook site (as admin) the same post is linked to Twitter and vice versa.

Now this means that whoever is in the loop of our Facebook posting, can easily locate us in Twitter also. Eventually, this will increase our visibility in the users of internet.


I find it very hard to see, how a team willing to succeed in any sports, can despise internet or social media. Actually, I don't believe there is such team anymore. At least some part of interaction either within the team or also to the public is conducted via internet.

However, I wish to point out, that by only having accounts in the services mentioned, you actually gain nothing. People follow those accounts for a reason, most of them want to have some sort of information from there, regularly.

Our team has had meetings about usage of social media and possibilities of individual team members to take part in it. Though yet they have not taken too much part for it, I think, later on we'll have much more buzz on our team site.

And also remember, If you have a team and you are struggling for not having good enough platform for internal communication, use Statbeat! It is the most cost effective way to do it to this date.

Tommi Remsu

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