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Teams within college athletics try to create a positive impression of their program and their university in general by ensuring that everyone who makes their way to the campus has a positive experience. While the benefits are clear, achieving it may be easier said than done. Effective communication by the program and staff is essential for this to happen.
Like many Teamworks partners, the Oklahoma Sooners use the platform to communicate with their own players on a regular basis, but they also see a broader potential for technology. Beyond connecting with the team, the Sooners use Teamworks to communicate on game day and beyond with visiting teams, referees, alumni and scouts.
"We take another step to try to communicate with parents," says the director of baseball operations Ryan Gaines, "Whether it's related to courtesy tickets, game schedules, our new transparent bag policy in the stadium, things like that to help parents know what's going on."
– Teamworks (@Teamworks) January 3, 2018
The NCAA baseball season runs from February to June, months when the weather can be a bit unpredictable in the United States. It is not uncommon for games times or locations to be updated in an effort to include them. As a result, the Sooners see the value of being able to provide updates to the fans on the spot. Parents especially appreciate this process that allows them to receive information by text and / or email.
When it comes to communication, Gaines found that being able to send messages like text messages instead of emails has made his staff and efforts even more effective.
"I can tell you that I do not read all the emails I receive," he says. "But I do read all the text messages. So, if I can communicate and schedule text messages for people who are scheduled to be on campus for one reason or another, it allows us to provide a type of customer service that they can not necessarily get from another baseball program. "
"What is especially convenient for me is to be able to schedule publications and reminders to send people," says Gaines. "It's an easy way to plan effectively"
Effective communication is also useful with last minute changes in the calendar. For example, if a game is scheduled to start at five and delayed until seven o'clock, Gaines is committed to quickly informing parents and scouts to save time, effort and fuel to get to the campus just for I have to go and return more late.
Beyond the game days, the baseball staff of the OU benefits from good communication while bringing recruits to the campus for official visits. The visit is the first real opportunity to show recruits and signatories what happens in the daily life of a student-athlete from OU. A fluid experience is essential. Once again, Gaines uses Teamworks to provide recruits and their parents with an itinerary for their visit, as well as schedule updates necessary to ensure everything goes according to plan.
"Actually, what we try to stress for parents and recruits / signers on their official visits is how important it is for them to learn to use the tools we use, such as Teamworks, before entering the campus," says Gaines.
The nation's best qualified recruit, welcome to OU, Bobby Witt Jr.!
– Oklahoma Baseball (@OU_Baseball) November 15, 2018
The goal of these visits is to allow students to get accustomed to the earlier lifestyle. A big part of this is instilling a sense of independence in new players.
"Many times, parents try to do everything for their children," says Gaines. "We try to let parents know that their children are expected to do many things on their own when they arrive here." So these are some of the ways we communicate with them and the faster they learn to do it themselves, the better they will be. "
Gaines also finds that parents are "all smiling" when they learn that independence is both expected and achievable for their children as members of the Sooners program.
"As their children grow up, parents tend to want to throw them a little out of the nest and make sure they are flying. Then, parents find a certain level of comfort knowing that we are helping their children get to that point.
"Also, when a parent leaves their child at any event or location, that level of communication makes the parent feel more secure leaving the child. That is the part that, for me, I feel that differentiates us from other programs. "
– Teamworks (@Teamworks) October 12, 2017
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