Coaching Advice: Challenging the Weakest Link Theory

From Our Resident International Coach, Nick Ruddock

Membership Management Software

There are many things in this life that seem to exist only to annoy us – the proverbial lost sock, never being able to find a pen when you want one and packaging rage (yes, apparently that is a thing)! In the context of coaching, however, nothing upsets us more than coaches talking badly about their students and others they work with. This is especially upsetting when said coach knows nothing of the individual’s personal story and struggles.

Such behaviour can often be seen as insecurity on the part of the coach. Telling other coaches and colleagues about a ‘difficult’ student and discussing why they may be underperforming, somehow makes them feel more comfortable.

The reality is different – all athletes and coaches will have their struggles. Regardless of who we are, we all have a story, we are all facing different challenges on a daily basis, and more importantly, none of us are perfect.

Performance sport is never easy – that’s what makes it so attractive.

Progress Is Relative When It Comes To Coaching

Even the best coaches will have been down this road, feeling these same insecurities and having these same conversations with their peers.

Few will disagree that coaching in a club environment is a steep learning curve. But it is the way you approach it that will help you be the coach that makes a difference – becoming the coach that enjoys sharing in a student’s struggles and helping them overcome them.

Progress should be seen as relative to the ability of the athlete with the end goals set accordingly: international representation may be out of the question but qualifying for national competitions would be achievable.

You’re Only As Strong As Your Weakest Link

How do you determine your weakest link? Most would say it is the pupil with the lowest level of ability, the one deemed to have the least talent for the sport. Yet if we flip this and consider that that person may have overcome significant personal challenges just to train or even compete, then you should consider them your strongest link.

As a coach, your role is to help your pupils achieve their full potential, not for them to fulfil your own coaching aspirations. To make significant progress after overcoming adversity and battling the odds should surely be seen as a triumph.

Being The Best We Know How To Be

It’s a human trait to be the best we know how to be. Whether we are athletes or bricklayers, we are never intentionally bad at what we do. All of us want to improve and progress at some level.

Performances can go disastrously wrong. athletes of all ages and skill levels will find some skills harder to learn than others. This means performances may lack the quality you had hoped for. It is these challenging moments that need to be accepted as part of the journey, not gossiped about behind the scenes with colleagues.

Remember, the quality of the performance is not always a reflection of the quality of your coaching. It IS coaching.

Being a coach means your first priority is to give support to your students through times of adversity, overcome hurdles and deal with the challenges the sport throws their way. This support is key to forming a good relationship.

Not every budding athlete will make it to the Olympics. The sooner coaches accept this, the sooner they will enjoy the process of teaching and the achievements made at all levels. Every pupil will face challenges, it is just part of the journey you go on.

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Here at Pay Subs Online, we want to help you succeed with your coaching by spending less time on administration and more time coaching the athletes in your charge. To help you do this, we’ve created a free and incredibly handy PDF on ‘Which Admin Tasks Can Be Done Quicker and Easier Online‘ – to download it for free, click here!

Contributor – Nick Ruddock, Pay Subs Online’s resident coaching expert and ex GB National Coach.

Updates to our Membership Software, October 2017

Improvements and Optimisation

Whilst you have been working hard to maintain your organisation run’s smoothly, we have been doing the same behind the scenes at Pay Subs Online to add some new swanky features to our membership software (many of which were requested by you and we have delivered!) Here’s what we have added;

Mobile responsive member login pages

You asked for it – you got it!  The members’ online account is now mobile ‘responsive’, making navigation when accessed via a mobile phone more user-friendly.  Here’s how it looks:

Members detail page (this is where they keep their info up-to-date)

Sharapova’s Failed Drug Test

It was controversial at the time and in the following 15 months it has hardly become any less so.

Sharapova’s Failed Drug Test

Maria Sharapova’s failed drug test has been a constant source of debate in the Tennis community and the sporting world as a whole. Now, she finds herself handed a wildcard entry into the US Open main draw.

Sharapova had returned to action in April but had been denied a wildcard entry for the French Open main and qualifying draws due to the failed drugs test. She was then in line to return at Wimbledon, where her world ranking saw her eligible to enter the draw, but, injury blocked her this time.

So, why is the rumbling on of this saga still such a controversial topic? Some believe that due to Sharapova’s failed drugs test, she is no longer the figure in the sport that she once was. If anything, they see her involvement in the sport as now having a negative impact. To a degree, you can agree.

However, given the circumstances, there has to be a huge amount of leniency now she’s ‘done her time’. The positives her return to Tennis, and, form can have on the sport and those young participants also need to be considered.

So, it is no surprise that the US Open had been the one to break the trend and grant the five-time Grand Slam winner a wildcard entry into the main draw. The United States Tennis Association was quick to state that the decision was “Consistent with past practice, a wildcard was provided to a past US champion who needed the wildcard for entry into the main draw.”

The decision has raised eyebrows, but, when you look at it in deeper context it could be ideal for all parties. The US Open will get more coverage and spark more conversation, whilst Sharapova is given a platform to build upon.

What’s more is that the ex-World no.1 has also said she will visit the USTA National Campus “about the importance of the tennis anti-doping program and the personal responsibility each player has to comply with the program’s requirements.” So not only is this ideal for both the USTA and Sharapova but, it is now also going to benefit the young talent coming through in the US.

For this reason alone, the decision to give Sharapova a wildcard entry is warranted. If she is back to anything near her best, a clean athlete and helps to convey the importance of the anti-doping rules and regulations set out by WADA, then she repays her ‘controversial’ wildcard entry tenfold.

The effect of having someone of her calibre who has failed a drugs test giving them a seminar, is much greater than having any clean athlete doing so. Who knows, she might even win the US Open and make it an even more pertinent subject, and, perhaps, less controversial!

There is more success to be gained from this than not, so, you have to give the USTA a lot of kudos for this decision. Given Sharapova isn’t a special inclusion, it’s the way that the US Open has always worked. Giving out wildcards to past Champions is commonplace. Having a former no.1 in the draw who failed a drugs test, coming in to give an anti-doping talk to the USTA National Campus, is not commonplace.

Something else not common is having a bearable amount of admin work if you run a club. We decided to do something about this and created our software which can reduce your admin by 80%. If you’d like to try this for yourself, visit our website for a free tour.

PaySubsOnline.com Membership Software – Product Update September 2016

Membership software - product update


Email tracking

You asked for it – you’ve got it! Now when you send an email you can track what happens next. We provide detailed information on what was sent, delivered, opened, clicked, bounced, blocked, what had an invalid email address and what was reported as spam.

There are two ways to access the email reports: Via Members > Email > Sent Emails. Here you’ll see all email activity:

Email tracking

By clicking on ‘View Report’, you can see more detail on the numbers:

Email tracking report

Click on any of the numbers above and you’ll be taken through to a list of members that make up that number.

The other place you can view email delivery is from within the member’s record:

Email report - members record

To protect our sending reputation with email providers like Gmail and Hotmail, when an email bounces, is blocked, is invalid or reported as spam, the system will not send to that email again. To override this you can remove that person’s email address from the ‘banned’ list (as shown above). To resend the email, click on the subject header and then ‘Re-send’.

Attendance register

At the start of the spring, we released a new attendance register feature.  Since then, we’ve been refining the setup process and developing an app so coaches can record attendance, via a simple interface, on their phone and tablets.

I’m pleased to announce the app is now live!

Coaches can download the app via the Android and Apple App Stores.  You need to permission coaches to access data via the app.  You can do that by going to their record on the database and clicking on ‘Add / edit / View Access Rights’.  Down the left-hand side you’ll see the option ‘Record Attendance’ and on the right, the classes you can give them access to.

When the app is started, coaches will see the groups they have access to, the current register (for example, Summer Term) and the session:

Attendance register app - select

 

Once they’ve selected the relevant group, register, and session, the list of members will load using the latest data from your membership database.

You, as the main administrator, determine what fields should be included on the register.  You can then further decide what fields you want presented on the main screen and what fields should be available when you click on a persons name.   In the example below, I’ve just selected first and last name to appear on the main screen. You can choose how you want to order the names – either by first or last name.  If you’ve opted to include the payment status of the member and they owe money, an icon of a wallet appears.  If you’ve left a note for the coach, an icon of a note pad will appear:

Attendance register - list of names

 

Clicking on the name will display all fields you opted to be included on the register so now coaches have all the latest membership and payment information at their finger tips:

Attendance register - list of fields

To record attendance, just tick the names and hit record:

Attendance register

 

Information on attendance is stored centrally online so no more storing old paper registers!

Approving new registrations

When people register online, you have the option to vet them before adding them to your membership database. Now, when you approve them, you have the option to set their status as member or non-member. This is useful if you want to approve someone into a waiting list but not classify them as a member.

New system groups

We’ve added two new system groups. One for linked members and another for non-members. People will be automatically included into these groups if they are linked or a non-member.

Requesting discounted fees

When requesting payment, you might want to apply a discount for a sub-section of your membership, for example, siblings. So we’ve now added the ability to filter on groups when requesting payment so if you’ve got all your siblings in a group, you can filter, apply the discount to people in that group and save. We’ll shortly be adding the ability to filter on linked members too so if you have all siblings linked together on the system, it becomes easier to track who qualifies for discount.

Coming soon . . .

We’re currently working on new functionality to help you request payment based on the time members attend classes. Of course, you can do this at the moment but this new feature will allow you to assign time to classes and to individuals. As members move between classes / add more or less hours, the system will track the hours and request payment accordingly. This functionality will be live in October.

 

Winter 2016 – PaySubsOnline.com Membership Software – Product Update

Membership software - product update

 

 

It’s been a few months since our last product update so just in case you thought we were sitting about drinking coffee and reading Hello! magazine, I thought I’d tell you what we’ve really been up to.

Now, I’m guessing you don’t want to hear about all the boring stuff we’ve been doing in the back-end to improve performance – you want to know what new features and functions we’ve added.  Here’s the run down:

Attendance register 

If you have to take attendance registers you won’t need us to tell what a pain they are.  Well, life is just about to get a whole lot

easier.   We’ve created an online attendance register that connects directly to your membership database so whoever’s taking the register has access to the very latest membership and payment data.

This new functionality allows you to create a template for the register that you can apply across multiple groups/classes/courses/optional extras and membership categories.  Here’s how it works:

Step 1 – select attendance register from the Admin menu option:

Attendance register 1

 

Step 2 – Create new register:


Attendance register - step 2

 

Step 3 – Give the register a name, set how many sessions you want the register to run for, give each session a label which could be Week 1, 2, 3 etc as per the example below or you might want to stipulate a date as the label.

Attendance Register - Creating Sessions

 

The last option is this step allows you to select which groups you want the register to apply to, for example if you’re running classes it might be Monday 4 -5pm, Monday 5-6pm and so on.

Attendance Register - Select Classes

 

Step 4 – select and order the fields that you want to appear on the register (note, there’s now an option to abbreviate field names for appearing on the register under Admin > Forms)

Attendance register - step 4

 

The payment status field allows you to select which groups you want to show the payment status for.  This will vary depending on the way you take payment.  So it might be you want to show the payment status for:

  1. The class/course they attend
  2. Their monthly fees
  3. Their payment category (ie. if you charge for the number of hours they attend a week), monthly fees or just an annual fee
  4. Their annual membership

It might be that you want to show the payment status for either 1, 2, or 3 plus the status of their membership – that’s possible too.

Payment Status Field

 

Once you’ve selected the fields you want to appear and got them in the right order, click on Save and Finish.

You can permission people (ie. coaches) to access the attendance register via their online account or, coming soon, an app on their phone.  To do this, go to their record on the database, give them the option to view members and access the attendance register, but only for people in their class.

Attendance Register - Access Rights

 

When they login, they’ll be able to see the groups/classes they’ve been given access to and when they click in to one of those groups, they’ll see the Attendance Register option.  Hovering over the register name will display the sessions:

Attendance Register - Select a Session

 

 

Click on a session and the list of members will appear with the field data you selected plus the payment status for the relevant groups.  There’s also a notes field where you can leave a note for coaches and they can leave a not for administrators.  There’s also an option to print the register:

Attendance Register - record

 

If you want to print multiple registers at the same time, you can.  Go to Admin > Attendance Registers.  Click on Print next to the appropriate register:

Attendance Register - printing

 

Then select the classes and sessions you want to print the register for:

Attendance Register - printing sessions

 

So there you have it – version 1 of our new register feature.  We’ve already had some great feedback that we’ll input in to developing the feature further.  We would welcome more!  And don’t forget – coming soon – the attendance register app.  Due March 2016.

 

Member only content

By popular demand, we’ve now added the option for you to load ‘member only’ content behind the members Pay Subs Online account.  So now you’re members don’t need to remember a login to access ‘member only’ content and a login for their membership information.  Everything is now under one place.

You can still create your content using your existing platform but now it can be loaded in to Pay Subs Online.  To do this, go to Admin > Settings and scroll to the Navigation section.  There, you’ll see the option to enter the URL of your content.  This will be the page you want members to see first when they access the content.  The page will load up in an iframe within the members account.

Member only content

 

The option below the URL is to give a description on the menu bar within the members account to access

the content.  By default this is shown as ‘More’.

The final option allows you to set which page should load first when a member logs in so if you want to them to be navigated directly to the member only content, you can.

And this is how it looks in the members account (I’ve used a web page from a forum software as an example):

Member only content example

 

 

Cancelled GoCardless Payments

When a member pays via GoCardless, they have the ability to cancel a payment whilst it’s in the process of going through the banking system.  They can do this via their GoCardless account, by contacting GoCardless directly or by logging in to their Pay Subs Online account and cancelling their pre-authorisation agreement whilst a payment is in the process of going through the banking system (note, for the latter example, members are presented with a warning that if they cancel their pre-authorisation that this will cancel their payment too if done within 7 days of making payment).

When a payment is cancelled, the following will happen:

  1. Any administrators set to receive payment notifications (as defined under Admin > Settings) will be emailed to notify them that the payment has been cancelled.
  2. The cancelled payment will be included in the Cancelled/Failed Transaction Report under Financials > Payment Reports
  3. The amount will show as outstanding in the members login so they can login and make payment if they wish.
  4. The amount will show as outstanding in the Payment Reports and the members record.
  5. The cancelled payment will show in the details of their payment history that appears at the bottom of their record.

Unlike a failed payment, the system will not try and automatically collect a cancelled payment again.  It requires the action of the member to make payment or in the scenario where the member is pre-authorised, an administrator can go to the members record, scroll to the bottom of the page to their payment history and click on Details next to the payment description and purge the system to try and collect payment again.  You can also carry out this purge action via the Cancelled/Failed Transaction Report by clicking on the red 0.00 next to the payment description.  In the pop-up that loads, you’ll see the option to select the cancelled payment and purge.

If you don’t want to purge the collection of the cancelled payment, you can either:

  1. Acknowledge the cancelled payment by going to the members record and their payment history (at the bottom of the page), clicking on ‘Details’ next to the payment description, then checking the tick box next to the cancelled payment and then clicking on the Acknowledge button.  This will remove the payment from the Cancelled/Failed Transaction Report.
  2. Go to Financials > Payment Reports > Cancelled/Failed Transaction Report.  Click on the red 0.00 next to the payment description for the member and then select the payment and click the Acknowledge button.
  3. Delete the payment request by going to the members record, clicking on the View outstanding payments and deleting the payment from their or via the Payment Reports and doing the same there.

One point to note, if the member cancels a payment and then subsequently pre-authorises future payments, the cancelled payment will not be collected automatically.  You will need to purge the payment in a way described above

 

So that’s it for now. If you’d like further information on any of the above or you’re not currently using PaySubsOnline.com to help save time managing your membership and payments, book a free consultation today.

 

 

Managing Membership Applications and Renewals with Club Software

Club Software

It goes without say that running your club efficiently and effectively will save you both time and money. But to do so you’ll need to consider ditching your old club software and instead adopting an integrated/end-to-end subscription management system. Because to effectively manage your membership you’ll need something that takes a new lead from initial interest through to signing up, payment, service provision and, when the time comes, renewal.

Welcome To The New PaySubsOnline.com Blog

Welcome

Welcome to the all new PaySubsOnline.com blog.  Although we have had a blog running for a couple of years now, the organisation has grown and developed so much that it was a time for a change. It also combined with a change in our blogging focus. To meet your needs.

We’ve wanted to give you additional support and insight in the content we created for you. We want our blog to be a resource that you’ll keep coming back to, to help you run and manage your club or membership organisation even more effectively. We’re fully committed to provide all of our followers and our growing customer base with great, informative posts.

Every few days we will bring a flow of really helpful content to you, posting on topics such as fundraising ideas, ways to reduce membership admin and keeping you up-to-date with all the latest tools and resources you could be using to make managing members and fundraising easier.  We will also be bringing you free downloadable eBooks and guides on these topics too.

We hope you enjoy reading this blog as much as we enjoy writing for you. Most importantly, we want to know what issues are important to you and what you’d like help for within your organisation.

Whether you are already a PaySubsOnline.com customer or have simply stopped by to read our posts, we would love to hear from you. Let’s get started with the most important question of them all. What’s the challenges that you’re facing and what content would you find really helpful?