Category Archives for Sports

Card Payments without Wi-Fi for Community Organizations and Sports Clubs – Square Setup

How to take card payments with no WiFi and no mobile phone
for Little Leagues, Football and Soccer Clubs, Festivals, and more

Everyone knows you can take payments on your phone. Mobile businesses, especially tradespeople, now use their phones with the Square Point of Sale card and tap readers.

But what about community organizations that are operating in a place with no WiFi and don’t have a phone with a data plan for their organization. Lots of them think they can’t take mobile payments. But they can, for around $10 a month.

That’s the situation that Jericho Little League in Vancouver was facing.  It had operated a little concession for years out of a public park building, with customers paying cash, just like the old days. But JLL thought it was missing out on some revenue to support their programs because people carry cash so much less than they used to. They wanted people to be able to use cards for chips (pun intended) and hotdogs, but they also wanted to sell some bigger-ticket clothing and equipment in the park.

One option would have been to use the data plan from a club official or board member, but then that person would have to be around all the time and it might accidentally use up their data.

So here’s what Jericho Little League did to allow card payments at the park. It took in $8500 in card payments in just a couple of months of the season. That’s lots of hoodies and hot dogs!

Jericho’s All-star teams also used WeVu for slow-mo swing analysis so they could share phone-recorded video among the coaches and players and make comments on the videos.

Step by step guide to setting up mobile Point-of-Sale with no Wi-Fi and no phone
What you’ll need
  • Actually, you’ll need a smartphone, but the good news is that you can use any old phone that is unlocked and can serve as a wireless hotspot (even one with a cracked screen). Your organization surely has a member who can donate one.
  • The cheapest, no-contract, prepaid mobile phone service that allows data to be purchased in chunks.
    • In the USA we recommend US Mobile. Order their starter kit online for 4 bucks and then get a monthly data plan of 1GB for only $11. Don’t bother getting any talk or text unless you need it.
    • In Canada, it’ll cost more than south of the border, but Koodo mobile prepaid is pretty good. You have to go to a Koodo or a dealer to buy a SIM card for $10 which you’ll get back in credit. Then get the $15/month plan and add a 1GB booster for another $30. The good news is the 1GB data doesn’t expire so you might be able to use it for months. (Just make sure the phone isn’t updating ANYTHING – see below).
  • A Square account and a card reader. You can get all the details at https://squareup.com or https://squareup.ca. You can buy what you need at most electronics retailers or order it online. You’ll have to have an organization bank account so Square can put your funds in there! You could also examine some of the alternatives to Square
  • Optional but really useful: An inexpensive or donated old tablet/iPad if you want things to be a bit easier for the staff and volunteers making the sales. Your organization can ask for a donation or can pick up a perfectly good Android tablet for around $100 like the Asus Zenpad 8 or the Lenovo Tab 10.
  • A stand for the phone or the tablet. Phone stands can cost under $10. For a tablet stand, you’ll want one that has swivel and tilt so it can be spun around to show the customers. There are some inexpensive ones, but make sure the stand is heavy enough that it stays put.

The Square Card Reader and Tap Platform

How to get started if you’re using a tablet along with the phone hotspot
  1. Get the Square Point of Sale App from the App Store or Google Play. Install it on the phone and the tablet. We recommend doing this at someone’s home using WiFi so you don’t use the phone data. When you’ve got the app, sign in.
  2. Get everything charged up. Ideally, you’ll have power accessible and you can plug in the phone and the tablet (if using) and the square card reader. But even if you don’t, you’ll just need to have a place to store the phone and tablet and reader where they can be charged overnight. Jericho Little League had an equipment storeroom next to the concession where they had the charging set up for the tablet and card reader. They left the phone plugged in and hidden in the concession.
  3. Put the SIM card into the phone. Turn it on and make sure you have 3G or LTE network service indicated in the top bar and that you can browse to a webpage. Then turn on the WiFi Hotspot on the phone.
    1. Most Android phones let you do this from the notifications bar you can swipe open from the top.
    2. You’ll need to long-press Hotspot. (Or find it in Settings-Network & Internet-Hotspot & Tethering.
    3. Find something like ‘Set up Wi-Fi hotspot’. It’s best if you don’t name the Hotspot with your organization’s name because then people will notice it. It’s probably best to leave it with the default name which is likely the model of the phone.
    4. Enter a ‘Wi-Fi Password’ that you record somewhere for your organization, but don’t share it widely, otherwise your data might get used.
    5. On an iPhone:
      1. Open Settings and select Cellular or Mobile Data
      2. Tap Personal Hotspot and set it to On
      3. It’s best if you don’t name the Hotspot with your organization’s name because then people will notice it. It’s probably best to leave it with the default name which is likely the model of the phone.
      4. Tap ‘Wi-Fi Password’ and enter one that you record somewhere for your organization, but don’t share it widely, otherwise your data might get used.
  4. Important! Go into the settings and turn off the updating of apps and the phone operating system. You don’t want it using up your data plan.
    1. For iPhone, disable app updates using this guide. And disable iOS updates using this one.
    2. On Android, disable apps and system updates using this guide.
  5. Set up the tablet. Put it on the stand you bought. It’s best to set up the tablet with a PIN that is only known to a few people and the people who will be setting up for sales each day.
    1. First, connect it to your phone Wi-Fi hotspot. You’ll just go to your WiFi settings on the tablet, find the hotspot name from above (probably the phone model), and enter the password. Make sure you get the usual Wi-Fi bars and can get to a simple web page on the tablet browser.
    2. Turn on bluetooth from the settings menu. Put the charged-up card reader withing a few feet of the tablet.
    3. Open the Square Point of Sale app on the tablet. Go to Settings – Card Readers. Tap the Connect a reader button. Follow the instructions there, which will get you to use the little teeny button on the side of the card reader.
  6. Now test the reader. In the tablet POS app, on the main menu choose Checkout. There should be a tab or a button called “Keypad”. Choose it and enter something like $1. That’ll go into a blue bar that says “Charge $1.00”. Tap that. Then you can use the card reader by inserting a card or tapping a card or a phone that has Apple Pay or Google Pay. It should work!
  7. Go to Transactions on the app and see that you’ve made the transaction. If you want to try refunding that dollar transaction you can, following the guide here.
  8. At the end of each day the equipment has to be returned to the charging location.

Good luck!

Next Steps

Once you’ve got the setup working, you’ll want to add your items to Square so that your staff and volunteers can easily tap on squares on a grid to choose the items the customer is buying. It’s cool – you can add pictures and sort items into categories like clothing or food. You can do that in the app or on a computer. Again, it’s best to do this at home or in an office using real Wi-Fi so you don’t use up your phone data plan. But Jericho did a little bit on the fly during the season and it didn’t use much data.

Here is a Word doc with instructions you can give to the people who’ll be setting up and making sales. You can edit it a bit to fit your context.

Things to consider

Some organizations use Square for both card and cash transactions so they can track revenue and inventory. You should consider whether you do it for cash as well or just card transactions.

You might want to examine some of the alternatives to Square.

You’ll have to figure out the best setup for charging to keep the equipment secure. It may be that someone has to take them home at night and return them or pass them on to the next people working.

Skills Homework for Youth Sports Using Video

VIDEO HOMEWORK FOR YOUTH SPORTS:
A PRACTICAL GUIDE

A few tech-savvy youth sports coaches have found a new way to use video to help athletes develop and perform better. You’ll find out what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, what technology they’re using, and get some tips on how to put it into action yourself.

What is Video Homework?

Many youth sports coaches think of video the way the pros use it: for watching and analyzing games or performances. But most of us don’t have time for that and it’s not going to pay off in a big way for kids as they develop.

What most coaches haven’t realized is that they can use video – in particular their players’ phone video cameras – to assign video homework. Video homework isn’t what you might think. It doesn’t mean that athletes watch video and learn. (Kids generally won’t even watch what you ask them to watch.)No, the homework they can be doing involves repeated, focused practice on the technical skills they need in their sport. The video part is that they record themselves on phones and upload to their team site for the coach to check that they’ve done it and, occassionally, provide pinpoint feedback. In doing so the athletes can get individual training that helps each one improve on her or his weaknesses.

Most important for the coaches, you don’t have to use precious training time to have your young athletes doing individual skills practice they can do at home. They’re only together at your team training time – so why waste time on simple, repetitive individual activities then?

Why Use Video Homework?

Athletes are always looking for ways to improve, and one of a coach’s most important jobs is to help them get better. Coaches tend to focus on areas of improvement needed by an entire team. This often leads to neglecting to develop each individual with the individualized practice that they need. This isn’t the fault of the coach. After all, coaches are dealing with 10, 15, 20, even 30 players at a time. It’ll take forever to go player by player and watch them practice and fix what needs to be fixed. With today’s technology however, coaches can find ways to help individuals more easily than they ever could in the past.

When watching film as a team or as an individual, athletes have a tendency to focus on their highlights and gloss over things that could be improved. However, though looking at highlights is necessary sometimes to boost confidence, athletes would be well served to work on areas of their game that they can improve. By taking a coach’s instructions and applying them to their training, an athlete can vastly improve their technical ability. Doing this through video homework is a time-efficient way of making this happen.

In the last decade, teams of researchers worldwide have looked at video feedback in sports. Their results have been unanimously positive in showing the benefits of the use of video to record skills practice. The biggest payoff for coaches and their players is that the coach can make sure the practice actually happens! Players self-record on phones and upload. It’s that easy. The coach only has to watch a fraction of it; just a quick glance to check that the player was doing the skill that was assigned.

How to use Video Skills Homework

Coaches and their players need a private site where video can be uploaded and organized. It’s a lot like video assignments in art schools or for business presentation training. The coach can define an Assignment– like bringing down a high ball in soccer, or bumping a volleyball, or a step-back move in basketball – and then players submit the phone-camera recordings of themselves to that electronic ‘hand-in box’. The coach can go through the videos super-fast, one-by-one, or just get a report that they’ve been submitted.

The next step, if the coach can take the time, is nudging the players to see what they’re not doing properly and gently asking them to try again. With some video platforms like WeVu, but not Hudl, you can be watching an athlete-recorded video, pause it by clicking in a comment box, make a comment that sticks right to that time and place on the video, and the video resumes. (That’s also awesome if you are doing game analysis!).  Players really appreciate this personal touch. Players can join in and ask questions or respond to the coach’s pointers.

How to Get Started with Video Homework

Start small. Think of the one individual skill where you think your players need most practice. Ask them to do it at home, at the park, in the gym for five minutes. And then another five minutes with their phone recording it. If you’ve got a WeVu for Athletes site, you just send them the account creation link, they make an account, and they can upload the video right away. They can even have private videos just for their own review and decided whether or not to share them to the coach.

It’s great if the coach can take a peek at these videos before the next practice/training session so that you can encourage the players that their effort is great and will pay off on the field or the court!

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