Team Parent Playbook: Should You Be The Team Manager?

Team moms and dads, listen up!  Managing a team is no small feat and whether you are a first timer or a tenured sports parent, we want to be a helpful resource for your next season.  We will be writing a series of blog posts about best practices and ideas for the team manager.

The first question that you should is answer is am I right for this role?  There are many responsibilities and some important qualities that make a great team manager.  As a team mom or dad, your job is to keep the parents and players organized, to help out the coach, and to be the direct line of communication for the entire team.  Here is a list of questions for you to think about when considering the role:

1. Can I make the time commitment?
You may have heard the famous Woody Allen quote, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” This may be an exaggeration but a large part of being the team manager means being able to attend all or most of the games and practices.  The commitment will vary based on the team and level but make sure you have a grasp on this before you volunteer for a season.

2. Do I get along well with coaches and other team parents?
You can expect a lot of ongoing interaction with the coach as well as the other parents.  Ideally, you are a returning member to the team and have already established a rapport with the coaches and parents, though this is certainly not mandatory.  What is most important is that you are willing to communicate with the coach on an ongoing basis and essentially act as his or her right hand. You will be coordinating and delegating everything from uniform orders to the snack schedule which will also mean a lot of interaction with the other parents.

3. Am I organized and do I have the resources to be effective?
Well of course you do, you’ve found TeamSnap! TeamSnap will be very helpful in managing contact and schedule information, communicating with the team, and basically making sure that everyone knows what is going on.  Beyond managing the team, there are also some important dates that you will need to be aware of such as registering with the league and signing up for tournaments. Don’t try to do everything yourself, you should enlist the help of other team parents, but even this volunteer coordination will require some organization on your part.

A great team manager aims to take on the off-the-field responsibilities giving the coaches time to do what they do best — coach!

Coach Steve Parker, author of the Coaching Youth Football Tips and Talk blog has written a similar blog from a coach’s perspective, Choosing a Team Mom in Youth Football. Here a few of the qualities that he highlights for a great team parent:

  • Excellent social / people skills
  • Very organized
  • Over communicates
  • Willing to learn new things
  • Must be head coach’s and team’s biggest fan and cheerleader
  • Must be fun and have calming effect on the other parents
  • Not afraid of email or SMS texting

He also notes a few things to watch out for when choosing a team parent:

  • New to the team or to the coach
  • Does not use email, text, or social networking sites daily in personal life
  • Child is not a starter or is a minimum play player

Stay tuned for more helpful advice from the Team Parent Playbook!

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