We here at Menlo appreciate our team parents and know how much they do for our teams from organizing trips to communicating the practice schedules and team dinners to making sure everyone is on the same page throughout the season.
As sports parenting author Janis Meredith writes, team parents are a big deal. They are the backbone of every youth sports team from T-ball to high school varsity. Yes, the coach’s job is vital, but teamparents are the glue that holds the team together. They help communicate and organize so that your child’s coach can focusing on coaching.
If you are a coach, or a parent/guardian on the team, there are several ways that you can support your team parents.
Coaches, be clear and consistent with your communication. Keep them informed so that when others ask questions, they can answer them and not bug you about it. Good communication keeps things running smoothly.
Parents, don’t let them do it all. Just because they volunteered for the job does not mean they should do it alone. Find specific tasks to take off their plates and encourage every parent on the team to step up and help.
Coaches, say thank you. Team parents don’t demand a lot, but they sure do appreciate being appreciated. Say thank you to them often for what they do. Parents, curb the criticism. It’s easy to sit back and criticize when something goes wrong or doesn’t go the way you think it should. The best way to curb your criticism is to stop spectating and help out with whatever it is you want to criticize. They are doing the best they can!
Coaches, don’t micro-manage. Give them space to do their jobs without your constant interference. They are doing what they feel is best for the team. Encourage that by trusting them to make decisions. If there are things you absolutely must have, be sure to communicate that to them before the season starts.
Parents, don’t hide from them. When they call to ask you to volunteer, don’t ignore their calls. When they collect money for the coach’s gift, don’t forget and make them
chase you down. You’ll make their jobs a lot easier if you are available and willing to do your part.
If your team parent is supported, the season is bound to go more smoothly!
Janis B. Meredith writes a sports parenting blog called jbmthinks.com and is author of “11 Habits for Happy and Positive Sports Parents.”