Everything You Need to Know to be a Team Parent
by Karyn Maier, Managing Editor, ClubSpaces.com 

Whatís a Team Mom? Sheís the champion of after-practice snacks, the goddess of pre-season organization, the bigger-than-life hero to every kid and parent involved in the league. The Team Mom is the anchor and administrator to every youth sports team in Americaóand can even be a dad. 

These days, the more politically correct term for this vital role is Team Parent, since this position isnít dependent on gender. Whatever the title, this person is bestowed with the role of being head of the team family with responsibilities and authority second only to the coach and league commissioner. 

Do you have what it takes to be an effective team parent? Find out. Hereís everything you need to know about becoming a Team Parent and some tips to help you made the grade. 

Organization is number one. You will likely be expected to collect and record various information and fees from youth and/or parents that relate to emergency contacts, permission slips, fundraising events and so on. You must be effective at wielding the mighty pen, keeping track of essential information, and ensuring that appropriate deadlines are met. Being proficient in the use of spreadsheet programs is a big plus. 

You get to play banker. You should be good at handling money as well as being able to stick to a budget. In fact, itís a good idea to open a special bank account to deposit collected funds into. In addition, there may be times when youíll need to gather price quotes from vendors for various services, whether itís for a team pizza party, ordering uniforms, or arranging for lodging to an event out of town. 

You must be a good role model. Not only is your behavior and attitude a reflection on the league, but the kids will also learn to model their behavior after your own. Therefore, you must consistently set a good example, especially under stressful situations. 

You must be a team leader. You will likely play a key role in basic management of the team, from organizing and facilitating the first pre-season meeting with players to post-season celebrations and award ceremonies. It will likely fall upon you to engage other parents to become involved in these activities, as well leading the pack when it comes to implementing schedules and procedures. 

Donít be afraid to delegate, but avoid micromanaging. One of the essential duties as a Team Parent is to keep everyone involved. That means recruiting volunteers from the parental ranks to assist you in running various activities and events. However, once you assign a task to another parent, be available for guidance but let them do their job. 

Be ready for emergencies. Itís always a good idea to have a contingency plan in place in the event that a practice or game is cancelled or postponed. You should also be prepared in case of an accident or injury and have accurate contact information available at all times. 

Last, but certainly not least, you must be willing to have fun! Being a Team Parent can be a rewarding experience for yourself, your children and your extended team family. So, while you exercise and hone your organizational skills all season long, donít forget to live in the moment and savor each one.

 

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