How to be a great team parent

By Janis Meredith | Posted 4/26/2017

Have you ever accepted the job of being a team parent?

If so, you know what a big challenge it can be.

Team parents connect the club, coaches, and other parents on the team, helping the whole system run smoothly.

If you are a team mom or dad, here are some ways for you to help your child’s team have a great season:

  • When you say yes to the job of team parent, make sure that you and the coach agree when it comes to what he or she expects of you.
  • Develop and distribute a team roster/contact list to all parents and coaches on the team or better yet, use an online sports management tool. There are a lot of very good ones out there.
  • Let your needs be known right away. Set up a snack schedule, snack bar schedule, schedule for someone to run the clock, or a schedule for drivers to away events. Present those needs at the team parent meeting. If you can get volunteers involved at that meeting, it will mean less phone calls later.
  • Prepare a budget for the team and figure the total cost divided by the number of players on the team. Let the parents know up front what the cost will be. Many parents would rather pay one check for $50 which includes snacks, gifts, etc. than to pay a few times throughout the year.
  • Carry a small first-aid kit with you that includes band-aids, bug repellent and sunscreen.
  • Be a supporter of the coach, even if you don’t like him or her. You are there to help make his or her job easier.
  • Parents tend to stand in clusters and complain when they don’t like something. Stay away from the negativity.
  • Encourage parents who are unhappy to take their complaints directly to the coach—not to you, not to other parents, and not to their kids.
  • Thank people. The volunteers, the coaches, officials—they are grateful for words of appreciation because so often they only hear the negative.
  • As a team parent, you are a leader. Remember that people look up to you, and watch how you react to the coach and other team issues. Set a positive example.

A team parent can contribute toward setting the tone for a good season. With good communication, delegation and organization, you can help make it a great experience for moms, dads, coaches and players alike.

Janis B. Meredith, sports mom and coach’s wife, writes a sports parenting blog called Her latest book 11 Habits for Happy and Positive Sports Parents is on Amazon.