Fall Sports are just about ready to get rolling. Your child’s team may be in need of a team mom. Dads… don’t be afraid to volunteer! There are many dads out there that have what it takes. Below I have listed what I believe are the top three skills needed to be an effective team parent.
Need to be Organized – the team parent is responsible for a lot of team paperwork, schedules, uniforms, etc. At the beginning of the season, a lot of information will be given to you at once. It is important to sort through all the information and organize it. You will be given a team roster. You may need to verify the roster is correct with names, birthday, jersey number, etc. Many teams get new uniforms in the Fall. You may need to make sure all the players know what pieces of the uniform is required to order and what is optional. And yes… what the deadline is for ordering their uniforms. There will always be that one family that will not have their uniform on their first game day because they did not order in time. Might be a good idea to get a binder with dividers. Have a section for roster, medical releases, schedule, uniforms, tournaments, or whatever it may be your team has/needs. The more organized you are, the less stress you will have.
Good Communicator – You will want to set up a way to effectively communicate with your team. Technology has come a long ways from making a phone tree, to email, to now the various apps that help team parents stay connected. Many of these team apps allow you to add your rostered players and non-players (coach, manager, treasurer). You can add your team’s trainings, games, and players payments. You can track players’ availability for each event, send emails/texts to the team or individual players, post pictures and even chat live. The options are really endless. I personally use TeamSnap, but there are others options out there to try. Using an app will simplify your time keeping each player/parent informed. Once you get everyone set up on the app, the players/parents can look up at any given time what their schedule is, what color they need to wear, when they need to arrive, what field they will play on, or any other pertinent information you put in there. The more detail you put in for the players/parents, the better. This will help cut down on a lot of questions you might get. Part of being a good communicator is communicating on time. For example… once you know when your team is going to be in a tournament, let your team know. If there is no harm in telling the team, then let them know when you know. Many families like to plan.
Be Resourceful – being a team parent, you will be looked upon for lots of information from both the coach and player/parents. You will want to know where to get information and who to contact. It is OK if you don’t know the answers right away, but know where to find them. Getting to know an experienced team mom is always a good idea. They will be able to help you answer some questions and even offer up some tips.
In the end, a good team parents helps the team run smoothly. They let the coach, coach the players… while they take on all the other misc. duties involved in running a successful team.