Monthly Archives: May 2019

    • Are You Looking for Trophy Alternatives?

      The kids on your sports team have been working hard all season and deserve some recognition!  If you’re looking for a way to say ‘great job’ without awarding a participation trophy, you’re not alone.

      Looking for something other than trophies for your team this season? If your kids are older and have already covered their bedroom shelves with trophies, you may be looking for something new and different.  Here are some top ideas of alternatives to trophies for your team, such as the Strideline Socks featured below! Let us know how we can help - give us a call at 877-926-4700.

      Top Trophy Alternatives

      Everyone on your team will love Strideline Socks! Contact us for details.

      Bag Tags - Full color bag tags are great for travel or for gear bags.

      Drink Tumblers: Engrave a sport ball image (like soccer) with the player's name and these tumblers will be used all year long!

      Trading Coins & Pins: Unique to your event, create lapel pins or coins give to participants or to trade with other teams.

      Logowear: T-shirts, socks and other logo wear are cool gear to show off your team!

      Gear Bags - Everyone needs a place to shove their stuff; a useful way to keep track of player's equipment.

      Acrylic Display Cubes: With options for football, soccer and volleyball, display a game ball with pride. Makes a great coach's gift!

      Ball Stands: For footballs, soccer balls, and volleyballs, these solid walnut stands include a small engraved plate.

      Medals or Dog Tags: Kids can wear them or use as a zipper pull for gear bags and backpacks. See football, soccer, and volleyball options.

      Photo Collages - Remember the season with a photo each player can frame.

      Presentation Matters

      Even if you aren't awarding trophies to your team, make sure to put some meaning behind your gift.  Don’t just hand them out without praise.  When presenting a small token of the season, make sure to talk about each player's dedication, hard work and never quit attitude. Be sure to mention something different yet specific for each player.

      On my daughter’s soccer team, the coach will start by saying, “This player was a real hard worker. She came to every practice and game ready to give it her all.  Her defensive moves …”  By this time the whole team is guessing who it is and screaming the girl's name.  This way she’s being recognized by the coach AND her teammates at the same time.  Visit my post Making Sports Trophies Meaningful for even more tips.

      Whether you’re getting trophies, medals or some alternative recognition, enjoy the end of your season!

      Cheers! Jessica

      Editor's Note: This post was originally published on November 6, 2012.  It has been updated for content.

    • Planning a Team Party

      Parties at the end of a sports season are a fun way to celebrate a team’s accomplishments. The common denominator for most team parties is food and awards, with a presentation by the coach. This can be as simple as handing out a cupcake and trophy after the last game or a more involved party at a home, restaurant, school or other facility.

      Ensure a Fun Time for the Team

      baseball team A baseball team with their hard-earned trophies and medals!

      When planning your team party, a few things need to be decided first.

      Date and time:  Most parties are held at the end of the season to celebrate your team’s accomplishments. Many teams will celebrate immediately after their final game; ask your coach his or her preference. Then once the date and time are set, communicate that to the other parents as soon as possible.

      Venue:  A park, teammate or coach's house, pizza parlor, frozen yogurt shop or other local restaurant are all great locations for a party.  If you choose a popular location, plan ahead to reserve a spot, as many can get booked by other teams.

      Food:  The food can be as simple or as fancy as you like. Many teams will hold a potluck at the park or coach's house after their last game.  Pizza is another popular option.  Or maybe its a more low-key affair, and a parent brings cupcakes to the last game.

      Awards:  A great way to memorialize the season is to recognize each team member with a personalized trophy, medal, or award.  If your team doesn't want to give participation trophies, consider giving each player a small gift instead, such as a team picture, water bottle, autograph book, or some other memento to remember the season.

      If you decide to order awards, choose age appropriate trophies depending on the skill level of your players. For suggestions of awards by age, read Choosing the Right Sports Trophy.

      Coaches Gift:   Don’t forget a special acknowledgement for the coaches and team parents as well!  Many of them are volunteers, and it's great for the team to thank them for their time and energy.  Read Coach Recognition for ideas on how to make your coach feel special.

      Budget:  If you are planning awards for the team or a gift for the coach,  you may need to collect money from the parents to share the costs.  I suggest pricing out how much everything will cost, then letting the parents know their share.

      Presentation:Every player contributes something to the team.  To make your party meaningful, ask your coach to say a few words about each player, whether you give awards or not.  Find one positive contribution from each player and recognize them for it. For ideas how to present a trophy in a meaningful way, read Making Sports Trophies Meaningful.

      Avoiding Common Party Problems

      Reserve your venue early. Many popular party spots, such as the neighborhood pizza parlor, get booked quickly with team parties. Check the calendar and call ahead to reserve your team’s space.

      Provide plenty of time to order and receive the awards. A little planning will help you stay within your budget and minimize stress. You’ll also save on shipping and rush order fees. Allow at least a week for your order to be completed, more if it needs to be shipped to you.

      Confirm the spelling of each player’s name. You don’t want to order an award for “John Smith” when his name is “Jon Smith.” Double check the roster, and if you have questions, check with the player or their parents.

      A team party is a great way to celebrate the team and its accomplishments. Here's to another great season!

      Cheers! Jessica

    • Coach Appreciation Sayings

      Do you want to get your child's coach a special gift to recognize an outstanding season?  You decide on an engraved plaque or trophy.  You want to add a meaningful message, but what should you say?  Today's blog post gives some ideas of popular coach appreciation sayings to add onto a wall plaque or other coach trophy for an outstanding mentor.

      Coach Appreciation Sayings

      Coach Plaque A special plaque for an awesome coach!

      1. Start with "Thanks Coach (Name)" and be sure to spell the name correctly.

      2. For the middle, keep it short with one to two sentences personally thanking the coach.

      3.  Have the last line be your team name and year.


      Coach Tom

      Thanks for the great season!

      2019 Huskies

      Other ideas for the meaningful middle:

      Thank you for believing in us!

      We wouldn't be the team we are today without your hard work and dedication.

      Thank you for the time you put into coaching us this year

      Thank you for your patience and persistence and never giving up on us.

      You have taught us sportsmanship, fair play, hard work and commitment.

      It takes a big heart to shape little minds.

      Thank you for using your free time to help our kids develop and grow.

      - - -

      If you decide to create an award for your coach, make it meaningful!  For other coach recognition ideas, check out my past blog post "Top Gifts for Coaches". Have a great season!

      Cheers! Jessica

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    Trophies Awards