Tryouts are over, and a new season is on the brink. Just when you thought the
stress of all the planning was behind you, you’ve been asked to be the team parent
for your child’s new squad! While you feel honored to be trusted for the role,
you may feel a little overwhelmed with the responsibility. Fear not! You are
not alone in this role! But, if you can get through the five stages of
accepting the team parent role, you’ll be solid for the season.
Whether you volunteered for the position, or the coach asked you, the
realization that you are going to be the team parent might not be sinking in.
You will be responsible for others besides your own family? You can barely get
where you need to be on time–how are you going to help others get where they
need to be? How will you communicate with everyone? What if you miss a
practice? While you may be denying the fact that you were appointed as the
all-mighty Team Parent, it’s time to get into gear and open the lines of
communication with your coach, your team, and even your family. Starting off on
the right foot will set you up for success in this new position.
You’ve moved past the denial phase: you’ve met with your coach to review
logistics, understand your responsibilities, and, well, you are officially
overwhelmed. It’s normal–totally normal. Just like with any major change in
life–new job, new house, marriage, having a baby, becoming a team parent–it’s
just a matter of adjusting to how you think about the situation. Think of the position
in smaller segments by breaking down your role in to sections. Create a
timeline of upcoming events. Jot down a list of items needed to help you and
your team succeed. Breaking down the position into smaller, bite-size tasks
will keep your mind at ease and free of unwanted mental clutter.
It’s time to get down to business. You were selected, trusted, and appointed as
the team parent because you are the organized one in the group. Even if you
volunteered, you did it because you know you can handle it. Getting organized
is the best way to start your position. If you haven’t already, meet with your
coach to see what is expected of you. Start scheduling your team parent duties
into your calendar so you don’t miss any important deadlines. Consider past
experiences that were helpful, and put some best practices into place.
4. In the Loop.
Determine how you are going to communicate with your team. From the get-go,
make sure everyone has your contact information–email and phone number.
Remember, you are a liaison between the coach and the parents, so remember that
setting up a great communication loop is key. Consider using a reminder app or
other team sport app to help you keep everyone on the same page about
practices, games, and competitions. The more you communicate information with
the parents, the better your season will go.
Every team parent knows that while they don’t need to be bossy, they can
certainly get others to help with the responsibilities. Delegate. Delegate.
Delegate. Being a team parent can take a lot of time, however, there are other
eager parents who may want to also volunteer. Play off your strengths. Find
those who can help you with the weaknesses. Set up schedules, and spread the
love. Do you have a parent who loves to organize team get-togethers? Find her,
and ask her to be the social chair. Have a dad who is crafty? Ask him to help
create signage for the next big game. There is so much cheer love to spread
around, there’s no need to keep it all to yourself! Being a team parent is an
honor! Enjoy the season because, before you know it, it will be over.
Share your favorite team parent tips with
us in the comments or on social media!