Tips For Team Parents
- Updated: April 20, 2015
Being a good parent at the youth baseball level, first and foremost, is all about being supportive — to your child and to all of his teammates. After all, baseball at the youth level is the most innocent stage of the game. Players aren’t playing to earn a professional contract, a college scholarship or even to earn playing time on a travel team — they’re playing because they love playing baseball. As a parent, it’s your role to make the game fun for your child. However, you may also go above and beyond and volunteer to handle other aspects associated with the team to make everything a bit easier for the coaches and fellow parents. If you’re a team parent, here’s a look at some tips on handling some of the basic tasks you’ll likely be tabbed with, from uniforms to planning snacks:
If you’re in charge of the uniforms, you have arguably one of the most important tasks. Not only are you responsible for coordinating colors, selecting the appropriate sizes per child on the team and honoring player number requests, but you’ll also have to take into consideration if any sponsorships have been gained — and whether or not the sponsor’s name has to be displayed on the uniform. Uniform color patterns and logos/script should always be coordinated and confirmed with the coaches prior to ordering. After that has been solidified, then it’s up to you to coordinate with each child’s parents to make sure that you order the right sized uniform. Or, place a uniform order of varying different sizes and pass out uniforms to the right-sized players accordingly, but let’s face it — kids like to be able to have a bigger say in the number they get to wear.
Sponsorships are essential for offsetting team costs. They can be sold in various ways. For instance, they can be sold so that the sponsor’s business name is on the player uniforms — or that the sponsor is the team’s name. Or they can be sold in banner form, where the sponsor’s banner is hung on the outfield wall for the duration of the season. In some cases, both means of sponsorship selling is acceptable. Either way, the hard part of sponsorships is acquiring them. Here are some tips:
- Form a committee and come up with sponsorship-package plans.
- Identify businesses in the area who have sponsored in the past or who may be interested in sponsoring and approach them in person.
- Bring players with you, so the potential sponsor can put a name with a face.
Team activities outside of practicing and playing baseball games are great ways to build camaraderie and bolster player friendships. Here’s a look at some great ideas for team building activities:
- Laser Tag
- Pizza Party
- Team Car Wash (as a bonus, this can also double as a team fundraiser)
- Team Picnic/Barbecue
- Arcade Party
- Team Outing (perhaps to watch the local professional or college baseball team in the area)
Every parent throughout the season will be tasked with supplying the team with a snack before or after the game. It’s important to get something that the children will enjoy eating, but not something that’s laced with sugar. It’s also important to be cognizant of food allergies. Here’s a look at some great team snacks to consider:
- Prepackaged foods: These are easily purchased from the grocery store and simple to be transported and consumed. Cheese sticks, yogurt on the go, fruit snacks and applesauce in pouches are good examples.
- Oranges: More synonymous with soccer, oranges are also a good food for baseball as well.
- Juice boxes
- Carrots: It might not be a kid favorite, but you can’t deny the health factor of carrots.
It can be a lot of work being a team parent, but if you keep your sights set on what’s most important — the enjoyment of the kids — then it’s also a responsibility that can be very rewarding as well.
Brandon Capaletti is the Vice President of Cisco Athletic, an athletic apparel manufacturer that designs, produces and distributes custom uniforms for 18 different sports.