Team moms make the team go round. We are one of THE most important people on the team, right up there with the coaches!
My boys have been on teams with some amazing (and not-so amazing) team moms over the years. I don't ever want to be placed on the "not-so" amazing list. While I will say it can take quite a bit of effort, it doesn't have to take a ton of time.
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Here are my nine tried-and-tested tips for being a great team mom:
- Be organized. There are so many online tools to help with this; from rosters to tracking payments to posting game schedules. Click HERE to read my previous post on my favorite go-to sites and apps.
- Communicate. If you don't know what's going on, no one does! True story: 99.9 percent of the team emails will come from you.
- Be present. Try to attend all practices and games, when possible. Parents will have questions, and they won't always be able to get to the coach. You will serve as the point of contact between them.
- Be prepared. It is always better to be over-prepared, than under-prepared. Keep a sports mama bag with you at all times. Essential items to include are extra waters, a mini first-aid kit, ice pack(s), and the team roster/contact information.
- Delegate responsibilities. You just can't do it all ... and you shouldn't have to! Ask for (assign if needed!) volunteers. They can help with snacks, chains, game film, etc. It takes a village.
- Plan ahead. Don't wait until the last minute to plan end-of-season events; party, coaches' gifts, players' gifts. You know it's coming. In football, having a touchdown jar is one of the easiest (and less stressful!) ways to do this. You could even tailor this to other sports (i.e. goals in soccer or 3-pointers in basketball).
- Go the extra mile-. This is what sets you apart from the rest. Take (and share!) lots of photos, make banners for them to run through, plan team outings (local high school games are always fun), have a cowbell decorating party, make jersey number cheat sheets, bake goodies. These little things go a long way!
- Stay out of the drama. Yep, even youth sports come with a bit of drama. Being the team mom, you are privy to lots of information. Don't get caught up in the chatter and gossip. Take the high road by smiling and keeping it moving.
- Enjoy every moment. Of course there will be some days that you'd rather be sitting on your couch than on the bleachers at the field. There will also be some parents that you would never choose to be BFFs with. Just take a few deep breaths and keep it moving. I promise the good times will definitely outweigh the bad. I wouldn't keep volunteering to do it if they didn't!
Good luck, mama! You've got this!
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Vanessa Mejia is the mother of three football-playing boys, ages 14, 13 and 10, and lives in northern Virginia. Her boys also play basketball, soccer and track and field. Her husband coaches football in the Fairfax County Youth Football League. She shares Team Mom ideas, tips and tricks along with other facets of her family’s life away from the football field. Read more of her work at confessionsofasportsmama.blogspot.com