Capitals Rundown- 3 Game Series

The Washington Capitals were heading into their series with the Florida Panthers as the biggest underdogs next to the Nashville Predators. Nobody really thought the Caps could get out of this series, some didn’t even see the Caps getting a win. Despite only seeing about a minute of game time from Tom Wilson this series as well as a goaltending change, the Capitals have the series tied at 2-2 going back to the Sunshine State.

How can the Capitals close this series?

A series tied 2-2 with the President’s Trophy-winning Panthers is nothing short of incredible. On paper, the Panthers are very reminiscent of the Capitals of yesteryear. A painfully strong, young core. Veteran Leadership, star-studded goaltending, and very fast, physical play. The Caps have managed to handle that pretty well, despite being one of the oldest teams in the league.

Perhaps one of the biggest points of success the Capitals are finding is by playing some of their best defense all year. Going into the series, Coach Peter Laviolette knew how to weather that dangerous Florida attack. By sitting back and sitting in a 1-3-1 defensive shape, the Caps are limiting clean zone entries and causing turnovers in the neutral zone. Along with strong, even strength play, the Cap’s penalty kill remains perfect among one of the deadliest power plays in the league this year.

To continue giving themselves a chance, the Cap’s are going to need to continue to be strong in a few areas:

  • Physical Play- Even without Tom Wilson, the Caps have matched the intense and forbearing physical play by the Panthers. If they allow them to begin to dictate physicality, the Caps are going to slip down a slope they don’t want to go down.
  • Solid Goaltending- Ilya Samsonov relieved Vitek Vanecek of his duties after the 5-1 loss in game 2. Since then, Samsonov has been playing his most consistent hockey of the year and seems to be playing with a lot of confidence.
  • Continue to limit the rush- The Caps Blue Liners have done outstanding to limit odd-man rushes this series so far. If they slip up on that front or start getting caught up too much, the Panthers will attack with pace and punish them.
  • Finish the chances- there have been several times throughout this series now, either through lack of focus or bad luck, that the Caps have missed fantastic, high danger chances. If they can bury goals on Bobrovsky, they’ll continue to run away with it.
  • Stay Calm and Focused- Perhaps the biggest point here is to just keep playing Capitals Hockey. It’s a 2-2 series and the Capitals have shown they have all the power to knock out Florida. Game 4’s Overtime loss could have been avoided, but it’s happened and now they need to move on. Everyone on that roster knows their talents and if they remain calm and confident, they can knock out the Cats.

The Capitals are heading back to Miami to face the Panthers in what’s sure to be a loud game 5 away from home. If the Capitals can steal a win in this next game, they set themselves up in a fantastic position to close out on home ice.

Our Game 5 Predictions:

Jamie- 4-2 Capitals Victory

Zac- 3-2 Capitals Victory

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Understanding Youth Sports: Risk Management

Risk Management is never fun. It can be long, time-consuming, and tedious. But, it is 100% essential. Risk Management is something that can save lives and is a key part of preventing serious injuries. Risk Management also plays a key role in league and team operations. Failure to complete these steps can result in serious financial loss and even shut down entire leagues. While at the time it may not seem all that important when you’re trying to card players, get rosters and schedules set, etc. Having you and your staff complete Risk Management is essential.

There are several key steps and tips to assure your Risk Management and help mitigate risks.

1.     Have the proper insurances and liability waivers in place to protect staff members, volunteers, the facility, and the participants.

2.     Have all other administrative aspects of a program in order, including managing finances, forms, contracts, etc., and ensure that these documents are handled and reviewed by multiple people in the organization for proper accountability and “checks and balances.”

3.     Do routine, documented facility and equipment inspections to identify liabilities and hazards. For example, inspect and survey a play space to make sure it is safe before participants arrive, and make sure it stays safe while participants are in the area. If a potential liability or hazard is found, fix it immediately. If you cannot fix it, secure the area with proper signage so no one can approach it.

4.     Ensure all equipment provided (to teams and participants) is safe. Provide safety equipment when needed and inspect equipment before all games.

5.     Train staff members, coaches, managers, and volunteers properly on all aspects of a league, and provide applicable training and certifications, such as concussion training, first aid, and CPR.

6.     Promote and monitor hydration and healthy eating. Information can be included in parent packets, orientations, and coaches’ meetings. On game days, look for signs of dehydration and fatigue.

7.     Have a contingency plan. What can go wrong will go wrong, so always have a backup plan.

8.     Have an emergency-action plan. Train for risk scenarios so staff members are prepared to handle any situation.

9.     Have adequate adult supervision on game days that includes staff members or league volunteers.

10.   Have written policies in place to strictly prohibit drugs, alcohol, tobacco, excessive weight loss or weight gain, and any illegal substances. Monitor signs of substance abuse by any coach, parent, or participant throughout the season, and have a process in place to report such abuse.

A common practice is to follow the 10 Ps of risk management.  

1.     Policy. Have proper policies in place to protect the safety of staff members, volunteers, participants, and facilities, and know what to do when an incident occurs.

2.     Planning. Training for incidents will better prepare staff members when an incident occurs. Have emergency-action plans in place for any type of league or program.

3.     Product or service. Understand the potential risks that may occur, based on the service offered. Knowing and understanding the types of risks that can occur helps to be more prepared to prevent an incident or handle an incident when it occurs.

4.     Process. Make sure controls are in place to reduce risk and ensure staff members are trained or qualified to handle them.

5.     Premises. Consider the size and layout of facilities and the risks that may occur. Know how much it costs to repair and maintain the facilities.

7.     Protection. This is much broader than merely protecting people from health and safety risks; it includes identifying risks associated with protecting people, premises, equipment, and the surrounding environment. Once the associated risks are identified, it is imperative to have the proper insurance coverages and waivers in place to protect your most valuable assets.

8.     Procedures. Be sure to have proper procedures in place if an incident does occur.

9.     Purchasing. Have policies in place to control costs, create contingency funds, and purchase quality equipment that will not pose a hazard to participants.

10.   Performance. Evaluate a league regularly to ensure you are following the risk-management guidelines that are in place. If incidents do occur, evaluate them and devise a plan to prevent future incidents.

Remember, don’t lack in your Risk Management. It’s not just about your club’s financials, but the health and safety of families.


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Marketing Your Club and Why Online Presence Matters

Some food for thought.

Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time – Henry Ford

“Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.” – Joe Chernov

“Less is more. Keeping it simple takes time and effort.” – Jeff Bullas

In the world of youth sports, there is always a program being marketed and planned. Many are run by extremely qualified coaches and staff and provide invaluable knowledge, experience, and fun! You could have the best-run recreation program in the nation but without some strong and aggressive marketing, how will anyone find you? The obvious answer is great marketing. The simple answer is great marketing. The time-consuming answer is great marketing. The point is, marketing in person and online takes a large number of resources, manpower, and persistence to reach as many people as possible.

We here at Sports Office understand the marketing world of youth sports very well. Our goal is to bring what we’ve seen around the country to your virtual doorsteps.

Why does this matter?

You are not the only youth sports organization trying to spread the word about your various programs. There are over 10,000 soccer organizations (USYS) fighting to attract members. 100’s of new youth sports organizations start up every year to further increase that competition. If you are looking to stand out from the competition, you need to make your marketing as aggressive and simple for families to understand as possible. Less is more.

Can I just do this myself?

Yes, you can. You and any volunteers or staff you have on hand can do this for the club. However, do you have the bandwidth to market as aggressively as you’d like? Can you do this every season? Do you want to? Of course you want to but unless this is your full-time job to market and interact with your customers, you may struggle to do this consistently every season.

Now imagine watching as a team of full-time graphic designers and social media marketers working around the clock to create all of your content and push it out through every channel possible. Not only for online marketing either. Posters, business cards, and banners too. While we cannot physically market for you in person, we provide you with all the resources to do it yourself.

You focus on running your club. Let us focus on spreading the word.

Our team has made a promise to make your life easier. Are you ready to save time and increase your marketing presence? Get in touch with us today and lets get started. It’s never too late, or early, to get the word out!

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The Growing Issue in Youth Sports: Longevity

Longevity in youth sports is a growing problem. At Sports Office 365, we eliminate that problem and save you and your staff time and frustration!

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The Benefits of Having an Active Social Media Presence

Social Media is a brilliant tool to use at your club. Most of the time it’s free, it allows you to reach new people and stay in touch with the ones you already know. Having an active social media presence is more than just writing a post every now and then. Being active on major platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can help you drastically improve your club!

Grow and Develop

For organizations big or small, growth is always important. Either numerical growth of players and teams, or growing and enhancing your club’s inner and outer workings. Social media allows you to market yourselves to a grandiose audience. With the many different platforms of social media, you’re able to take a different approach to how you want to market yourself!

Connect

Social media is great for allowing many different people to connect, and it’s no different when it comes to your club or team. Having a quality and consistent social media schedule allows you to connect with those interested in the organization. Whether that be new or returning parents and players, tournaments, or even local media. It gives your organization the ability to engage with the audience. With this also comes quick access to posting news and happenings within your organization. Team success, cancellations, or field updates; social media is one of the fastest ways to update your audience!

At Sports Office 365, we have a fantastic Social Media Manager to help aid your club. She’s added some examples below on the many benefits of an active social media profile!

A Virtual Support System

It’s common to be a part of an organization that groups by age and skill level. This automatically minimizes the number of exposure members have to interact with others outside of their immediate groupings. Social media allows for additional support systems outside of physical interactions.

For example, John goes to school with his friend Emma and is in the same club, Club A. They both had weekend games but are on separate teams. After a weekend of matches and victories, Club A posts a bunch of new photos and videos on Facebook and Instagram highlighting memorable moments. John sees Emma score a goal in a video post and comments, “Way to go, Emma!! Great focus!!” Emma likes and shares the photo of John in action on the field. These moments between friends would have otherwise been missed out on if it were not for their Club A’s engaging social media practices.

Increased Website Traffic

Social media channels are supplemental to your club’s website. Social platforms can reach different audiences in a personable, useful, and entertaining way to potentially interested community members who may not have otherwise been able to reach the website organically.

A proud Aunt Susan shares a photo of her nephew scoring a goal, from Club B’s Facebook page. A friend of Aunt Susan, new to the area, sees her shared post and tells her two kids about Club B that they are now very excited to join, after viewing the photos and videos of the members of Club B having a blast!

Reduced Barriers to Participation

Club C is aware that trying something new can be difficult. Their presence on social platforms helped Mark find their club. Mark stumbled upon a highlight reel of Club C’s game while he was looking for something unrelated on Instagram. From here he is scrolling Club C’s Instagram of team photos and action shots. Feeling a level of engagement to the members in the photos, he is interested in finding a team to play within Club C. Mark is now on their website in just 3 quick clicks. Thanks to social media, Club C made it a little easier to get newcomer Mark to step through that door.

There are many positive benefits to having an active social media account for your club. We pride ourselves on being able to confidently manage your social media accounts. Reach out to us today to see how we can help boost your club’s social media presence!

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