Ed Hawkins, Founder and Director of ZenSoccerSchool, wanted to create an on-line and in-person technical soccer training program for developing skills of aspiring soccer players aging between 7 to 21 years. As video training was an integral part of his venture, Ed realized the need for an online video gallery plugin and concluded his search with Apptha’s WordPress Video Gallery.
Having Apptha’s ‘Video Stream’ theme as the cosmetic base for zensoccerschool.com, the video gallery script was customized at several levels and integrated with technologies to house all the specifications of the online training academy.
Advanced Video Search
With loads of training videos being uploaded for a variety of soccer skills, a smart, clutter free video searching option became the need of the hour. For players to easily drill down to their preferred video, an advanced sequential search option was provided through which videos can be selected based on aspects like ‘Domain’, ‘Skill Area’, ‘Skill Group’, ‘Technique’ etc. Video search based on skill, experience level, video popularity and keyword search were the other options bolted into WordPress Video gallery module to choose video contents.
To steer user interaction, Ed came up with a number of ideas among which ‘Kick Mates’ and Kick Mate Groups were the first initiatives. ‘Kick Mates’ are friends and a group of ‘Kick Mates’ form a Kick Mate Group.
A challenge campaign was developed through which players can challenge their Kick Mates for performing a skill. These challenges can be attempted by a Kick Mate and the challenger can view her/his kick mate’s progress.
To enable users with a platform for live discussions and information sharing, a live chat system was integrated in to WordPress video gallery module. This live chat enabled players to communicate friends personally and to have mass discussions in groups as well.
Providing a platform for players to have a collection of the videos they prefer, we came up with a folder system. Players were allowed to create their own folders (channels) and add videos into it. Once a folder is created, players can share videos with Kick Mates or groups.
Considering the convenience of visitors who’d like to subscribe with Zensoccerschool.com, five user plans were designed namely, ‘Register’, ‘Silver’, ‘Gold’, ‘Platinum’, ‘Platinum Upgrade’ with a validity period of six months. According to the plans, there were restrictions laid for users in performing activities like shares, video uploads etc.
All the registered users were allowed to upload video via the front end and perform actions like adding a video to favorites, creating / deleting folder, sharing folders to kick mates /groups, sharing selected videos from a folder etc.
Taking user interaction to the next level, SMS notifications were deployed for players to notify their kick mates about the challenge proposals, video shares etc via text messages and email reminders.
Leader board is yet another interactive aspect that encourages players to compete with each other, perform activities like liking, sharing, adding videos, challenging etc. A player rating system was developed by Apptha’s technical team through which players were awarded with points based on the activities performed.
An aggregate of these points will be taken into account on a monthly basis and the player with the most number of points in the leader board will be rewarded with discounts on their subscription fee.
Private Training and Evaluation
The practical approach of zensoccerschool.com in shaping up players was split into private training and player evaluation.
For personal training, a system was created through which players were given the liberty to choose for individual and group training. This system also hosts player(s)-to-trainer communication, feedback and discussions.
For Player Evaluation, a detailed evaluation system was developed through which players were rated for their skill proficiency. Titled the Soccer’s Comprehensive and Objective Player Evaluation or the SCOPE report, the evaluating system was given provisions for numerically rating players under four key areas ‘Technical’, ‘Tactical’, ‘Physical’ and ‘Psychological’. For players to apply for the evaluation, an order form was created which demands complete player details, on and off field.
Apart from player subscriptions, training and evaluations, zensoccerschool.com came up with another way to monetize. According to it, sponsor links were required to be placed in the webpages and Apptha’s design team responded for this requirement by carving out space for appropriate placement of ad banners.
Apptha’s WordPress Video Gallery software was tailored to a stack of typical business requirements of Ed Hawkins. Zensoccerschool.com, with more than 300 player participations and 4,000 hours of training, is now one of the most widely preferred academy for online and offline soccer training.
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