Team Mom Guide

    If your child plays sports, you know that each team needs adult volunteers in addition to the coach to help manage the team.  Organizing practices and games, communicating to parents, scheduling snacks, and organizing a team party many times falls on the shoulders of "The Team Mom".  Keeping a team organized is an important job that not only helps the coaches, but also the rest of the parents and children on the team.  If you have been given the job of "Team Parent", below are some basic tasks you can expect to do with ideas of how to make life easier for you!

    Team Mom Guide: Tasks And Checklist

    Soccer player in action Keep your student athlete ready for action by following the tips below!

    1.  Make sure all league paperwork is done. One job is to collect from parents all completed paperwork required by your league. Not only does this help the coach, but also ensures each child is enrolled on the team.

    2.  Create a Team Roster. Make a roster spreadsheet, including the following information for each player:  Player name, Parent name, Parent home, work and cell phones, Address, Email addresses, Emergency contact information, Any other information required by your league.  This is important information to have for team carpooling, if there is an injury, or game delay or cancellation.

    3.  Make Communication Easy.  Hand out a roster with child's name, parent's names, phone numbers and emails to everyone on the team.  Also create an email distribution list for the players & their parents, so you don't have to look email addresses up each time you want to send out an email to the team.  Or better yet, use a team management tool, such as TeamSnap, to store all of this information in one place.

    4.   Share the Calendar.  Each parent will need practice & game dates, times and locations, including maps if the games are out of the area.  You may want to include this with your roster or again keep an online shared calendar for the team.

    5.  Create a Snack Schedule.  Many Team Parents put together the snack schedule for the season.  Each family is asked to sign up for a game or practice and bring snacks for the entire team that day.  You can have a list of all of the practice & game dates on a clipboard, bring it to the first practice, and have families sign up for a date.  Be sure to email the list out after it's completed so everyone knows what date they signed up for!

    If your team does half time snacks, make sure they're nutritious.  Read my blog Healthy Game Snacks for Kids for ideas.  Be sure to bring a trash bag for any snack wrappers, peels, or other garbage.

    Michelle Enebo photo Pictures with the coach mark a great season!

    6.  Schedule a Picture Day.  Be sure to communicate the league Picture Day the parents on your team. If your team decides to skip professional pictures, have a parent take individual and/or team shots instead. Email what the kids should wear if there's anything out of the ordinary.  For example, for my daughter's softball team, one of the moms bought ribbons for the girls pony tails for picture day.

    7.  Bring a Game Day Backpack.  In case of emergencies, this pack should include a current phone list, list of game dates, times and locations, snack schedule, an envelope to collect money, extra water bottles, ice packs, first aid kit, game cards if required by your league and anything else you can think of that may come in handy on game days.

    8.  Get a sideline bench and canopy. The players will need a place to sit and rest when they aren’t on the field.  A canopy is helpful for protecting your players from sun or rain.  Here in the Pacific Northwest, our kids play soccer in less rain or more rain (no sun), and the shelter provides a break from the wet.  Assign a parent to be responsible for storing these items and bringing them to each game.

    9.  Collect Money.  You will need to collect money from each family to cover the cost of the trophies, coach gift, party and any other expenses for the season.  Many parents would rather pay one amount at the beginning of the season to cover all expenses, so plan accordingly.

    10.  Order Trophies.  Choose and order trophies for the players and a gift for the coach(es).  When ordering trophies for younger children, start small so they can grow into the larger trophies.  If your kids are sick of trophies (never!) there are other options for your team including pillows, water bottles, medals, picture frames, dog tags, key chains, and photo albums.

    11.  Buy a Coach Gift.  Usually the Team Parent is the one to organize the coach's gift. No matter what the gift, be sure to recognize all of the effort your coach has put forth to guide the team and encourage your child! Ideas include an engraved plaque with the team photo  or a sports-related personalized clipboard for the next season.   If the coach has been coaching for many years, they may prefer a gift card to a local sporting goods store or their favorite restaurant.  A friend of mine made a photo collage poster of the kids throughout the season for the coach's office.  Get even more ideas at my past blog post on Top Gifts for Coaches.

    12.  Plan the Party.  It's important to celebrate the team at a party at the end of the season!  Get ideas on how to plan your party here!  Choose your date early to get it on everyone’s calendar.  The party could be held at a local pizza place, at someone’s home, or even a picnic at the fields after the last game.  Share the responsibilities for this job; ask parents to help with food and drinks.  Ask the coach to say a few encouraging words about each player and the team during the event.  Most of all, have fun!

    Check out our video that shows the entire life of a trophy, from a Team Mom ordering awards to the party where the girls get their trophies.  It's really cute!  With all these responsibilities, remember to have fun, enjoy the camaraderie with the parents and enjoy the season with the kids!  They grow up so fast!

    Editor's Note:  This post was originally published in September 2012, and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

    Cheers, Jessica

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