5 Tips for Great Team Moms
by Teresa Opara
Obviously, your children's health and well-being are important to you. And you know that getting regular fresh air and exercise are great ways to keep kids healthy and fit. After all, Henry Ward Beecher said, “I think you might dispense with half your doctors if you would only consult Dr. Sun more.” And he was right. But now the team needs a team mom, and you have just volunteered.
Being a team mom, like many aspects of being a mom in general, can be a thankless job. There is no glory in being a team mom. It is strictly a supporting role. But like other mom things, you do it because you love your kids and you believe it's a great way to show it. Youth sports programs are primarily run by volunteers. So you know it's your civic duty to get involved. And it's a great example to set for your children.
Team Mom Basic Duties
The team mom is the administrative head of the team. She acts as the liaison between the coach and the other team parents. She makes sure the families are kept informed about fees and schedules, and she's there for the parents when they have questions or concerns. Ultimately, she frees up the coach to do the coaching.
That means she makes team contact lists, informs parents about practice and game times, collects dues and fees, makes snack schedules, distributes team uniforms, and plans team parties. She needs to be organized and proactive about getting the information out. Families are busy these days. They need advance notice as well as last minute heads ups.
5 Ways to Add Value
1. Have a First Aid Kit – Kids sometimes get hurt at practices and games. Thankfully, most of the time, it doesn't require a trip to the emergency room. An ice pack, an ace bandage, some alcohol wipes, or a simple band-aid might do the trick. Don't be caught without a first aid kit stocked with at least these items.
2. Keep Extra Snacks in the Car – Even though the snack schedule may have been in place for weeks, it's inevitable that at least one parent will forget it's their turn. Make sure you have extra drinks and snacks in your car for every game. And be sure to have enough for everyone.
3. Make Uniform Kits – Put the separate pieces of the uniform together before handing them out. Trust me. This will save a lot of confusion over who got what. After my first year as a soccer team mom, I learned that the time it takes to create soccer uniform kits for each player saved a lot of time on the back end wondering who got what and why I had so many pairs of socks left over.
4. Create a Team Fund – Many youth sports programs require contributions from the parents in addition to their registration fees. This could mean bringing snacks to games, or it could mean paying money for tournament registrations, referee fees, or coach's gifts. If your team will need to collect money, try to figure out a budget at the beginning of the season. Divide it by the number of players, and collect that amount from each. In my experience, parents prefer to pay one time upfront rather than being asked for contributions over and over. It also makes collections a lot easier if you only have to do it once.
5. Get to Know Everyone – The team parents will be looking to you for guidance and leadership. Introduce yourself to each parent individually in the beginning so they know they can come to you with questions and concerns. If you show warmth and kindness, I find they will reciprocate.
Though strictly a supporting role, being a team mom can actually be pretty rewarding. If you do a good job, you'll greatly enhance the experience of both players and their parents. Some of them may even let you know you're appreciated. But more than likely, if you don't do a good job, you'll be made aware of that too.
Teresa Opara is an accountant, a mom, and an enthusiastic fan of soccer. In her spare time, she promotes customized soccer uniforms available at reputable online stores