When I began coaching in 1982, there was no Internet. People did not e-mail and there were no web sites to find schedules or
get registration information for programs. Cell phones weren't in use yet. There were no GPS systems to guide people to
opposing team's fields. Over the next 30 years, many advances in technology would help the soccer world and all other aspects of life.
INTRAMURAL PLAYER REGISTRATION - Today we post our intramural registration material on our web page. Back in the
early 1980s, we mailed information to people and left material for people at Gladwyne SuperFresh and local area libraries.
We also posted flyers at different stores so that people could mail in requests for information. In 1991, LMSC began printing
newsletters three times a year and mailing them to all the players in the club. Our newsletters had registration material
for the intramural program as well as information about travel team tryouts. Mailing costs and printing costs were both a
significant factor in our budget.
TEAM ASSIGNMENTS FOR INTRAMURALS - Today we post team assignments and intramural schedules on our web page. In the
early 1980s we mailed team assignments to the coaches and asked the coaches to call the players that were assigned to their
team. By 1990, as our intramural program grew, we began to print out team assignments and taped these lists, along with
intramural schedules for each team's first practice, on the front window of Sneaky Pete's Discount Sneakers in Ardmore.
Sneaky Pete's also had registration material available for people to pickup. This helped us to get information out more
efficiently and in return, helped generate more business for their store. Intramural players were given a full game
schedule at their first practice of the season.
By the late 1990's, some families would have Internet access, but many still did not. Home computers and Internet
access were very slow. People who did have Internet access used dial up modems. Today's Internet speeds are hundreds
of times faster than that of the old dial up modems. Home computers also had very limited memory capacity. Our web
page which listed the intramural players' divisions and their team assignments would often contain more information than
could be downloaded by a home computer. And, even if a computer could download that page, it would take well over a minute
to load. Eventually everyone would have Internet access and people were able to move away from dial up modems. We stopped
posting intramural information on the Sneaky Pete's front window sometime around 2004, but greatly thank them for their many
years of sharing their front window with us.
CELL PHONES - In the event of an emergency at a practice, coaches were expected to know where the nearest public phone
was, or be able to run to the nearest house to use that family's home phone, to call 911. This would be difficult to do as
many fields were nowhere near a place with a phone. As cell phones began to emerge in the late 1980s, more and more coaches
would be better able to call either 911 or the parents of a player. Of course, the families' of the players might not yet
have cell phones so communication would still be difficult. We would only be able to contact a family from a field if one of
the parents was at home. Today, the use of cell phones has made communication a lot easier. If a player is not picked up
for practice, we simply pull out our cell phone and call the player's home or call the parent's cell phones. Our ability to
call 911 is a lot easier today, though coaches rarely have to make that call fortunately.
PHONES - Many people might not remember this bit of trivia (most of our current players likely will not know this):
Back in the 1980s, local phone numbers were only 7 digits long. There was no need to dial the area code when making a local
area call. Today, in order to make a call, a person must dial a 10 digit number. Also today, there are many different area
codes that are commonly used by the families of LMSC players. But, back in the 1980s, there was only one area code.
Can you remember which area code was the ONLY area code in use in this area?
Click Here To Find Out The Answer..
One way for teams to communicate quickly back then was the use of "phone trees." In a phone tree, the coach was at the
top of the phone tree. The coach would call one or two players at the second level of the phone tree and pass along
information to the players of those families. These families would then call the families of the players assigned to
them at the next level of the phone tree. This would continue until all families received a call with the information
originally sent out by the coach. Unfortunately, some people would not be home to receive the call so the phone tree
link would be broken. On many occasions, someone would forget to pass along a message or get the message wrong and pass
along bad information. Sometimes a younger brother or sister would answer the phone, take the message from the caller and
forget to tell his / her parents so other members of the team would not get the message. The system was far from perfect.
The rise of e-mail made the use of phone trees obsolete and coaches were better able to communicate with the families' of
GPS SYSTEMS - This is another technological advance that has greatly helped the soccer world. Back in the 1980s
and 1990s, when a travel team had an away game, the coach would have to call the opposing coach to get directions to their
field. The coach would then type up directions to the visitors field, print them out and distribute them to the players at
the next practice. Often times there would be a mistake on the directions and team members would have trouble getting to the
opposing team's field. In the early 2000's, LMSC began to post accurate directions to opposing team's fields on our web site
in order to eliminate the problem of bad directions. We would ask our coaches to forward directions to us whenever they had
an away game at a field that was not listed on our web site. LMSC also posts field addresses, directions and maps to our
home fields for the benefit of visiting teams.
Today coaches and team members only need the know the address of a field, plug it into their GPS system and let the GPS
system guide them to the field. Our web page lists the street address for all of our fields so that opposing coaches can
easily get to our fields. For the most part, this system works fine. GPS systems however are not perfect. About three
years ago I was at an away game in Delaware. When I plugged in my home address for my return trip, my GPS took me in an
infinite loop, going from point A to point B to point C and back to point A. In order to get home, I had to drive several
miles away from that loop and hope the GPS would calculate a different route home.
E-MAIL - The use of e-mail has made communication between the club and other people much faster. Today, we can
instantly e-mail coaches and players with information about intramural registration, travel team tryouts, schedule changes,
field closings, etc. Families can be alerted to information that gets posted on the club's web page. Last minute schedule
changes can be instantly communicated to coaches and players. But, before E-Mail became a part of every day life, mass
communication was limited to sending newsletters and regular letters out via US mail.
For many years, the most important information about players in our database was their phone number and their mailing address.
Today, by far the most important information we need for players are their families' e-mail addresses.
WEB PAGE TECHNOLOGY - The Internet was originally known as "the information superhighway" and web pages were referred
to as the world wide web (that is the "www" in web pages). Today we post a wide range of information on our web page. The
ease of posting player registration information has almost completely eliminated the need for mass mailings to players.
Schedules are now posted online. Messages about weather related field closings gets posted online and also e-mailed to
players and coaches. Links to soccer videos are also common these days.
Back in the 1980s and 1990s, the travel team leagues and tournament directors would have to mail out schedules, results
of games, schedule changes, playoff information, etc. This would take several days for coaches to get and then a few more
days for the coaches to pass the information along to the players and their families. Today, our local area leagues (Delco
Soccer League and PAGS) as well as our state association (Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association) and tournament
directors are easily able to post schedules, registration material, game results, schedule changes. Coaches and players
can access this information and have the information as soon as it is posted. Teams playing in tournaments can find out
the results of games in their tournament and find out playoff seedings almost immediately.