Spark Your Motivation with SparkTeams

If you've joined a SparkTeam and want to become an active member of the Team, but aren't sure where to begin, then this guide is for you! We'll explain the SparkTeam basics so you can get the most out of your SparkTeam experience.

Finding and Accessing Your SparkTeams
You can access your SparkTeams in two easy ways. Both options will only work when you are logged in to
  • Option 1: From your Start page. In Step 3, under the ''Quick Links'' heading on the  left side of the page, you'll see one of your SparkTeams listed with a dropdown menu to view all of them.  There is also a link to ''Join More SparkTeams,'' which will take you to your main SparkTeams page.
  • Option 2: From the Community tab. You can scroll over the Community tab at the top of any page on SparkPeople. From the dropdown menu, click on "SparkTeams" to get to your main SparkTeams page.
On your main SparkTeams page, you'll see a list of all the SparkTeams that you belong to. Click on the name of a Team to go to that Team's page.  

Click on Manage Team Preferences and you'll see checkboxes next to to each Team that you can check or uncheck at any time based on your preferences.
Using Your SparkTeam Page
  • Check off "New Member Notification" if you want to be emailed each time a new person joins your Team (otherwise, leave it unchecked).
  • Check off “New Wall Post Notification” if you want to be emailed each time a new wall post is started on your Team Wall (otherwise, leave it unchecked).
  • Check off "New Topic Notification" if you want to be emailed each time a new thread (message board topic) is started in your Team (otherwise, leave it unchecked).
  • Check off "Display on SparkPage" if you want the Team icon to show up on your SparkPage (otherwise, leave it unchecked).
  • Check off "Weekly Digest Email" if you want to receive a weekly summary of your Team's activity (otherwise, leave it unchecked).  Keep in mind that Teams with less than 10 members do not have Weekly Digest emails. 
  • Check off "Team SparkMail" if you want to receive SparkMails from your Team Leaders (otherwise, leave it unchecked). 

SparkTeam Stats
 Near the bottom right are the Team Stats, which show how many SparkPoints and fitness minutes your team has collected.

  • Click "Team Leaderboards" to see the SparkPoints totals for each Team member.
  • Click "See Category Leaders" to see how your Team's total points rank compared to other Teams in its respective category.

SparkTeam Wall
Near the top of your SparkTeam page, you’ll find your Team Wall, which can be used to post a quick update or photo that you want to share with the team, or to comment or “like” updates from other Team members. The most recent 200 posts will remain on the wall, so the older posts will automatically be removed. You can also see announcements from your Team Leader(s) posted on the Team Wall, with the latest announcement staying at the very top of the wall for 48 hours after it was posted.
SparkTeam Forums
Moving down  the page, you'll find your Team Forums (message boards), which are for ongoing discussions that permanently remain on the Team page.  Here are a few terms you'll see used in your Team forums on a regular basis:

  • Forum: A collection of related topics. For example, the "Introduce Yourself" Forum contains threads where new members introduce themselves to the Team.
  • Thread- One topic of discussion in a forum. For example, "Hello, I'm Amy!" might be a new thread in the Introduce Yourself Forum.
  • Post- A response to a thread. For example, I might make a post to respond to Amy by saying, "Hello, Amy! Welcome to the Team!"

Depending on how your Team is organized, your Team may have anywhere from two to five forums. By default, every SparkTeam has two forums: General Team Discussion Forum (typically used for a variety of topics) and Introduce Yourself to Team Forum (where new members to the Team post their introductions). Team leaders have the ability to add up to three more forums of their choice. For best organization, post your comments or questions in the Forum whose topic is most closely related to the topic of your post.

Next to the name of each forum is a number, such as 5/20. In this instance, 5/20 means you're seeing the 5 most recent threads on your Team's main page, but there are a total of 20 threads in that particular forum. So don't forget that what you're seeing on the main Team page is not everything! For each of the other sections, you'll see the 3 most recent threads, and need to click on the forum title to see the rest of the discussions.

The topics you see below each Forum title are threads. Threads with the most recent activity (posts) will appear on the top, while older threads will appear below. Some Teams also have "sticky topics" within their forums. Team Leaders have the ability to make up to three topics in each forum "sticky," which simply means that the Leader thinks that thread is important and wants everyone on the Team to see it. Sticky topics will always remain at the very top of the Forum, with a red "Sticky Topic" icon next to them. When you join a new Team, it's important to check out these sticky topics before you start posting. Many times they will give you information about how the Team runs, suggestions of where to post, the purpose of each forum, etc.
Before you start a new thread in your Team, first check out the current topics and threads—the question you want to ask might have already been covered elsewhere.

  • If you want to respond in a thread, click on the thread title. At the top of the next page, click on the "Reply" button to compose a response.
  • If you want to start a new thread, click on the forum title (such as General Team Discussion) that best fits the topic of your post. At the top of the next page, click the "Create a New Topic" button to compose your message.

SparkTeam Goals
Below your Team's forums, you'll find a section of Team Goals.  Click on each Goal to learn more about it.  Next to each Goal you'll see a link to "Join the Goal" or "Track the Goal".  These are the links you'll click to start participating in the Team Goal feature.  

Newest SparkTeam Members
At the very bottom of your Team's page is a section called "Newest Team Members." Here, you'll be able to see the  8 most recent people to join your SparkTeam, along with links to each of their SparkPages (if they have one). You can click on the red "View All Members" for a complete list of all Team members (and links to their SparkPages) too.

We hope this helps explain how SparkTeams work and how you can use them to help you reach your goals! If you have questions about your Team or aren’t sure where to post, contact your Team leader. They are always there to help!

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Member Comments

Good article. Report
I read the article. Report
Making the rounds, just eprinted this for quick ref as co-servant of You Are Not Alone. I even created a board on my Pinterest for ez access. Report
Just started 2 days ago and loving it! I have played around the site and still finding how to use all the information myself. GOOD Luck to you all. Report
I just printed out all of the pages in this article. Thanks for the info. I am a new member and this really helps. Report
Thank you for this info sheet, I have been on Spark a long long time, but, never had the time to figure out how to do the stuff you have on the sheet, great help.


Helen A. Report
I JUST got my internet on 12-19-12; bought rec. computer in May, wish I had
started earlier BEFORE I had my gastric sleeve on 6-11-12. Lost 71#'s so far.
Went from 5 megadoses (120u L bid, 80u N tid) insulin daily to NOW s/s cover of only 2 - 6u N prn. THAT s why I wanted the surgery. So glad my hospital
providers informed me of Sparkpeople. Thankyou all for the education & re-inforcement...
....Now just to get back into the exercise to get back into
shape again. Was doing well 3x wk @ gym til my Dad had CVA, fell broke
hip & hand, etc......Just returned from week long I hope to
restart it now. Thankyou again. Report
I'm new,still have not learned how to use site,like. Are there places to find recipes ? In fact I don't even recall what my site name is,but I can tell you this much I lost a lot of weight 10years ago on low carb got really sic with stomach issues lost a lot of weight too much ,started drug to help me eat ( mottilim)have gained 60lbs that I can't get off also found out that I have hyshemottos disease (low thyroid) and last week found out I have insulin resistance ,so I'm overloaded and severly depressed ,nothing I'm doing is helping me lose weight I look awful don't want to leave the house and I also have myotonia dytropy (M.D.). Report
I want to follow the thread via sparkmail, not via email... Report
SP is a great help in losing weight! Report
I'm new too.....Great to be here with everyone. Thanks for the information. Report
I really appreciate this article! I belong to several teams, but now I realize that I wasn't aware of several excellent features of the "team" tool. The leader of one of my teams asked me to make sure to sign up on the "team map". I thought: "What's that?". A quick search provided the answer (and many others!) Now I'm off to the team map. Thank you. :-) Report
This article needs to be updated, this is really out of date. Report
I just started today and already think i started a new topic when really all i wanted to do was introduce myself. I printed this page and it will help me sort it out. Great reference Report
For the future, it would be great to add in one of those videos to show people how to use the screens. Thanks! Report