How FCS National Champ JMU Improves Team Communication

Dale SteeleDirector of Football Administration/Recruiting Coordinator--James Madison UniversityHow would you describe Teamworks to someone who’s never heard of it?Teamworks is a modern communication platform that allows you to send necessary information to your team, as a whole or individually, in an effective and timely fashion. It eliminates distractions and the last minute, ‘I didn’t know.’ Teamworks slows down the otherwise fast-paced world we live in by keeping all 150 of us organized and in the right places.What role did Teamworks play in JMU’s success this season?We played 15 games this year. With that much travel, we used Teamworks’ travel function constantly and it was extremely helpful. We sent tons of itineraries, hotel rooms, manifests, personal reminders about tickets and other travel information throughout the season. Teamworks allows us to personally communicate all that information to the players in a way that they understand. That helped our team be more successful in being where we needed to be, taking care of their business and avoiding distractions.How have the players responded to Teamworks?Everyone uses it a different way. Every player finds how Teamworks helps him the best, whether it be the calendar, reminders, wake-up calls or checking an airplane seat assignment. The flexibility of the Teamworks system is really beneficial for us. All of our players have been able to glean something positive from using Teamworks that has helped them to be more effective in their daily lives.What is your experience with Teamworks?Teamworks has really improved the effectiveness of our communication. We live in an era where the vast majority of players use technology to communicate. The level of daily distractions and clutter that our student-athletes have to deal with is very high. There is a lot of noise. Teamworks has been extremely effective in eliminating the clutter and distractions around us, which keeps everyone focused and headed in the right direction.How do you use Teamworks?OrganizationWe use Teamworks to help the players keep appointments, track academics, schedule reminders, organize our travel and make sure that everyone is on the same page. Our whole staff uses Teamworks, including our strength coach, who uses it to send motivational messages to the players. We have all the coaches' and players' calendars on Teamworks so everyone knows where everyone else is. CommunicationCommunication is absolutely essential to success in our business and Teamworks allows us to communicate as effectively as possible with the whole program. With Teamworks, all of our information is available instantly. The fact that the players can find all the information they need on familiar devices—their cell phones or computers—has been extremely important in helping them consistently do the right things.

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