Being a team mom can be a daunting task. Simply taking on the roll deserves a round of applause. An organized, efficient, and patient team mom will find that they will have a successful season and will be graciously thanked by the kids and parents over and over. However, unprepared team moms will quickly find out why I say it can be daunting. For this reason I have decided to share a couple of tips to ensure a great season.
1. Start Early – Depending on how your league chooses to handle the team mom (parent) role, you may need to do a little additional preparations of your own before the season begins. As soon as you have decided to be the team mom, start to collect information. Find out key dates for your league, i.e. Picture Day, Opening Day, Fundraiser Events, etc. Type them up in an easy to read format (next to each item state if it is a mandatory event or optional) and have this ready to hand out at the team meeting. Most leagues will have numerous handouts for the parents regarding every event that is to take place that season. To prevent any of the parents from losing these handouts place them in a folder for each set of parents. Just a tip…Always make extra, to provide for the families that the parents are no longer together. Also, make sure you coach or manager knows that you are available to help with anything he needs. After all, it is the job of the coach or manager to coach and nothing more. You should be responsible for any paperwork or items that need to be turned in or questions that need to be answered regarding events.
2. Prepare a Budget – Start by calling pizza locations, banner shops, trophy shops, etc. Get price quotes so you know how much you will be expected to pay for everything. Create a budget for the team using a spreadsheet program i.e. MS Excel. Have a total at the bottom of all expenses and have it divide the total by how many players you have on your team. I have found that parents would much rather give you a check for $50 at the beginning of the season to pay for everything than being hit up for money every time they turn around. A good tip would be to open a Free Checking account specifically for the team so you can deposit all the checks from the parents. This will also help you to keep track of where the money goes if anyone wants proof of where the money was spent.
3. Have a Team Meeting – Before the first practice, have a team meeting with the coaches and all the parents. Ask them to also bring the child that is playing on the team. This is a good opportunity to have the team and coaches meet as well as having a time to meet all the parents. Life can be busy for some families, this may be the only time you will have all the parents in one place at the same time. Make sure you hand out the folders that you prepared which include the Calendar of Events, the Budget, and any handouts from the league. Also, now is your chance to get additional information from the parents that is not included on their registration form. It is most important to obtain cell numbers and e-mails for both parents. Be sure to answer any questions that the parents may have. This meeting will set the tone for the entire season. This is your first impression, make it a good one and stay positive.
4. Make Nice and Stay in Contact – Create a team roster with players names, parents names, home and cell numbers, and e-mails. Hand this out to everyone, when you hand out the team schedule. The best way to stay in contact with all the parents is through e-mail. Inform the parents at the beginning of the season that you will be sending out e-mails at least once a week, but it is imperative that they check their e-mail daily in the event that there are any game time changes, field changes, practice cancellations, etc. Even if you do not have any important announcements to make, send an e-mail at least once a week even if it is just to re-cap a game or encourage the parents to have friends and family come out to the games. This will keep the parents and the players feeling like they belong to a family rather than just a part of something they do a couple times a week.
5. Prepare for Anything and Have Fun – It is a good idea to find out any important names and numbers of people on the board and try to be on a first name basis with them. They will be valuable asset to you if there should be information you need regarding the league. If possible, save these numbers in your cell phone so that they are with you wherever you go. Most importantly, have fun! You will be an integral part of the team you are volunteering for. If you are having fun with what you are doing, they will have fun. Don’t treat them like it is a job or a hassle to do what you do. Just have fun and don’t ever be afraid to ask for help from parents if there is too much on your plate.