“I really like the (SportsEngine) mobile app. I don’t think a lot of our parents even get that it can do everything that other apps they are paying extra for can do.”
Amy Olson is something of connoisseur when it comes to youth sports mobile apps. Not that she ever set out to earn that designation. Or wants it.
Olson, who has two children playing multiple sports, would be perfectly happy if she used one mobile app to monitor scheduling, scores, rosters and communication for all of her kids’ teams.
“Madison got on a softball team all of a sudden I got a request to join (another app),” Olson said about her daughter. “I was like, ‘Please don’t make me put another app on my phone and try to figure out where all this is.’ ”
Like Olson, Bobbi Kotzian, the longtime secretary and web administrator for Elk River Youth Hockey in Minneapolis’ northwest suburbs, is a big fan of the SportsEngine app.
“I really like the (SportsEngine) mobile app,” Kotzian said. “I don’t think a lot of our parents even get that it can do everything that other apps they are paying extra for can do.”
I really like the (SportsEngine) mobile app. I don’t think a lot of our parents even get that it can do everything that other apps they are paying extra for can do.
- Bobbi Kotzian, Elk River Youth Hockey secretary
Kotzian has seen the SportsEngine app evolve to the point that, now, when kids are placed on Elk River’s teams, there’s no need for team managers to recollect everyone’s contact information. It automatically is gathered and organized by team in the app so parents, coaches and managers can start communicating with each other right away.
As Olson can attest, not all teams use SportsEngine's all-in-one functionality. Some use one app to post schedules, rosters and results and a different app for parent and coach communication.
Olson’s daughter is a 12-year-old who plays softball, soccer and hockey. Son Cooper, 17, plays high school hockey and baseball and also serves as a volunteer coach for multiple youth sports organizations. Add up all those teams, then multiply the number of apps by two, and Olson gets a headache just thinking about the hassle of switching back and forth from app to app to app.
“I have trouble remembering which team uses which app,” she said. “The email for softball this summer put me over the top.”
Olson served as the secretary for the Osseo-Maple Grove Hockey Association in suburban Minneapolis for six years. While in that role she became intimately familiar with SportsEngine’s free mobile app.
“I love accessing the schedule and seeing changes in real time on the app,” Olson said.
These days Olson is working to make life easier not only for herself but also for her fellow parents. As the web administrator for Cooper’s baseball and hockey teams in suburban Osseo, both of which have partnered with SportsEngine, she ensures all practices and games are available on the mobile app. She is also striving to have all team communications done there, too.
“I love that you can RSVP,” Olson said. “We do that for the Osseo booster club meetings. I have a smaller room reserved, and it helps me to know how many people are coming.”
Once parents set SportsEngine’s calendar feed, they never have to do it again, even when their kids start new sports or seasons.
“Almost every sport my kids are involved in has a SportsEngine calendar,” said Kotzian, who says she uses both the app and her iCal feed to track practices and games.
Olson still serves as a liaison between Osseo-Maple Grove Hockey and SportsEngine. She planned to attend a late-October manager’s meeting where the mobile app was to be part of the conversation.
“We’re talking to managers about using the app for more communications,” she said. “And telling them to make sure your parents have the app.”
Olson is well-schooled in what it takes to get non-tech savvy family members up and running on the SportsEngine app. Thanks to her help, Olson’s 80-year-old father and 68-year-old stepmother both use the app to track their grandchildren’s upcoming events.
“Before, when a game would get canceled or moved, I would have to call them,” Olson said. “Now the app stays up to date for them instantly when there’s a schedule change. Whenever they ask about the kids’ schedules I tell them to check the app. That has been a blessing.”
SportsEngine was created to help people simplify their sports life. Now, we're making it easier than ever for parents and athletes to find the right sport and the right organization for them.