U.S. Cellular’s ultimate ‘team parent’ survival guide: Helping sports parents stay organized, on track and in the game

Sports families are constantly on the go, with hectic schedules, coordinating carpools, trips to away games, food sign-ups and team dinners. Keeping all the details of family life straight between work, home and sports can be a real challenge. That’s why U.S. Cellular is offering tips to help parents stay on top of their game.

“Parents can use smartphones to conquer the daily challenges that sports families face,” said Nathan Waddell, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in East Tennessee.  “Apps can help busy parents stay organized, communicate effectively with teammates and coaches, and manage all of the logistics that accompany kids’ sports teams.”

Here is U.S. Cellular’s Ultimate “Team Parent” Survival Guide:

  • Manage game and practice schedules. Games and practices can change throughout the season. Apps like TeamSnap allow coaches to update game schedules and inform families of schedule changes in real-time. Parents can confirm their children’s availability and access at-a-glance game rosters. In addition to easy-to-view schedules, TeamSnap offers calendar syncing, messaging and payment features, and the ability to share photos with teammates.
  • Sign-up to bring food. Avoid 20 people bringing cases of water and nobody bringing actual food with Signup Genius – a free online tool that keeps everyone on track. The organizer can specify items needed, and all families can post what they’re bringing to avoid duplicates and confirm everything is covered.
  • Elevate team communications. Use a game-changing app like GroupMe to send group messages to your team’s families across multiple platforms. This app makes it easy to remind parents about practices, game times, schedule changes and team outings. It’s an effective and secure way to communicate and make sure everyone is in the loop about important updates.
  • Coordinate complicated carpools effectively. Organizing carpools is easy with apps like Carpool Kids or GoKid where users sign up for carpool shifts. The latest apps show real-time updates about which kids are riding in which cars so there’s no chance of miscommunication or children left behind.
  • Get there hassle-free. When you’re rushing to a practice or a game, every minute counts. So count on apps like Waze, which uses GPS technology to provide the fastest routes, real-time traffic updates and detours around construction zones and traffic jams. Waze also makes it easy to find away games and important stops, like gas stations, along the way.
  • Share photos efficiently. Share the photos from the championship game win, as well as the muddy ones from that game in a downpour. Free, user-friendly tools like Dropbox, Shutterfly and SmugMug can help all families view and exchange photos.
  • Coordinate the family calendar. Do you feel like your life is one big math problem? Julia has soccer practice from 4:00-6:30 in one part of town, Emma has basketball practice from 3:30-5:00 in another part of town and Scott has a tennis lesson from 4:00-5:00 somewhere else. Calendar apps like Cosi allow families to track and color code activities by family member and view a shared calendar to see who needs to be where, when.
  • Handle the finances. It may be uncomfortable trying to divvy up the cost of a coach’s gift, collect for team jerseys or split the dinner bill at a team event. Apps like Venmo make it hassle-free to make payments and collect funds. The app offers easy (and secure) transfers from one account to another.
  • Get what you need with ease. It never fails – you’re traveling to an out-of-state tournament or meet and you need to find the local grocery store for snacks, cases of water and other game-day necessities. Instacart to the rescue! Harried parents can shop online from multiple stores and an Instacart personal shopper will pick up your order and deliver it right to your hotel room in as little as an hour. Delivery charges range from $3.99 to $5.99, depending on the number of items needed and stores involved in the assignment.

About U.S. Cellular
U.S. Cellular is the fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier offers coverage where the other carriers don’t and a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers’ lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or www.uscellular.com. To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on Facebook.com/uscellular, Twitter.com/uscellular and YouTube.com/uscellularcorp.