Before TeamUnify, our website was based on Joomla CMS and we had customised it to fit our needs as a swimming club — building our own database of swimmer times, and using attendance registers coded by a volunteer parent. The Joomla system was providing our membership database, and we were accessing that in a myriad of ways. It was quite advanced, but cumbersome and taking a lot of time to maintain; our registration system was unable to handle the increased number of swimmers in our squads.
We were looking for a way to handle online entry to galas, like all clubs desperate to find a better way of handling paper entries, but that was beyond our skill set.
First Impression of TeamUnify
My first impressions of TeamUnify were cautious optimism — I could see we would have a lot less control configuring the system, but knew that we would be saving time maintaining our current system.
From a coaching perspective I was most excited about MainSet. When I started coaching I created an MS Access database for session plans, and had shared that with some of the other coaches, but in recent times hadn't had time to maintain it; it needed updating for online access to the data, for instance. I would spend a lot of time uploading videos to a private YouTube channel that we would share with swimmers. By the time I'd spent the time uploading and tagging the videos I'd run out of time to do any analysis of the videos!
Getting Started with TU
Signing up was quite straightforward and quick. Having the technical knowledge from the previous site we were able to get our membership list into TeamUnify quickly and were up and running. It took us a while to configure menus, etc, but most of that was us reviewing what we needed online and where to put specific menu items.
Our Favourite Part
The online entry system has had the biggest impact on the most people. We have swimmers training at a variety of different pools, and collecting entry forms was a major job. There has been a bit of a learning curve for our parents, but it hasn't been hard. Our first internal club gala took place just before Christmas and we had 130 swimmers sign up. We are repeating this gala at the end of March and had 160 swimmers sign up this time. Being able to restrict entries based on account balances has been very useful ensuring our annual membership has been paid.
The best features are probably in the OnDeck App, although I might change that to say MainSet now that we have the MainSet iOS app here in the UK and have just started to use that!
Help and Training
TeamUnify support is quite simply excellent. Right from the initial phone support getting set-up I felt the Support Team really want to help. I've logged numerous help desk requests and have been very impressed with the speed of service. This includes replies within a few hours on a Sunday, and phone calls following up any issues we've had.
The team understands swimming and that's very significant. Yes, there are some differences between the US & UK, but TeamUnify has been painstaking in working with us to ensure things are working as we would want them to.
Our most eagerly awaited feature is the implementation of credit/debit card payments in the UK. We have around 500 swimmers across 9 squads, and keeping on top of the monthly payments is currently a never-ending job. Getting those signed up with credit/debit card payments is going to make a big difference. (Coming in 2017)
We are currently investigating bringing our learn-to-swim programme into the TU Lessons feature. With about 900 swimmers in our learn-to-swim, managing our classes/swimmers, etc in TeamUnify could streamline our operations considerably.
Hopefully all that will give us more time to focus on the people that really matter — the swimmers themselves!
Norwich Swan Swimming Club
Norwich Swan Swimming Club provides a full range of swimming opportunities for swimmers of all abilities, from affordable learn-to-swim sessions at various locations in and around Norwich, right through to competitive swimming at a County, Regional and National level. Welcoming swimmers aged 4 - 18+.
Norwich Swan Swimming is a friendly, competitive swimming club, working with swimmers and parents to help children reach their potential. The benefits for the swimmer are not restricted to the pool, but can be taken with them through life.
Norwich Swan Swimming has been powering their swimming club with TeamUnify since July of 2016 and have over 500 active members on their team. They have been using MainSet since August 2016 and have over 2 million workout meters written! If you are interested in joining the TeamUnify family follow the link below.