The football season is a busy time. Between practices and games, it seems as if there’s hardly time for anything beyond the action taking place between the sidelines.
It’s certainly true for coaches, who often juggle countless responsibilities. Running a football program is like raising children: It takes a village, as the saying goes.
Parents play a critical part in making sure the football season goes smoothly. While parents often volunteer at the start of the season, there are plenty of ways to get involved while the season is up and running.
Here are five ways parents can support their child’s coach and the entire team throughout the season.
Assist with communication
One parent is often responsible for collecting team information at the start of the season. This includes parent contact information as well as important background information from players.
The real success comes when additional parents can step up and help fill in the gaps. Perhaps you’re aware of one player getting picked up by his grandparents frequently. It might help them to be included on team communication. Or maybe a player joined the team late, and was not added to the original team mailing list.
Even if the lines of communication are solid, there are still ways to help. Approach the appropriate coach or parent and offer to write up a draft of an email that will need to be sent for an upcoming announcement or event. It might only take 10 or 15 minutes, but it can be a major help to the person who is always responsible for crafting and sending communication.
Spread the good news (on social media)
The football season is a grind, whether winning or losing. When your team is struggling, it can be even more challenging.
Whether you’re having a great season or battling to earn a victory, social media can be a positive force for good for your program.
Post positive stories and anecdotes about your child or team on your social media accounts, where other parents will see. Celebrate small victories, even if they have nothing to do with the scoreboard.
Have photos from the game? Share those and allow other parents to see shots of their children in action.
Dive in to fundraising
Fundraising is a critical aspect to both the present and the future of your child’s and your community’s football team.
One big way to help is to volunteer to run a fundraiser. Even if you have never done it before or your team already ran a fundraiser before the season, it’s always a good time to raise some money. For all team parents, participation in your team’s fundraisers is key.
With the NFL season in full swing, one easy solution is SpiritCups, a fundraising program that allows players and their families to sell drinking cups featuring logos of their favorite NCAA or NFL team. Each person fundraising is given a unique link to share, so it’s easy to gain support from friends and family members who might not be local.
As a result, gone are the days of just passing around a fundraising catalog at the office. With programs like SpiritCups, now parents can also reach out via email and social media.
Begin planning for the end
While it seems like only yesterday the season was kicking off, it is rapidly coming to a close.
Don’t wait until you’ve played your last game to begin asking around about plans to celebrate the accomplishments of the season.
Your team’s coach may be waiting for a parent to step up and assume a leadership role in organizing an end-of-the-season party. If the team already has a well-established tradition and game plan for a year-end celebration, ask how you can help.
Maybe it’s making the reservation, gathering a head count, or seeing which other parents might be able to contribute something to the event, such as food, trophies or other giveaways. Perhaps it’s finding someone with audio/video skills who can put together a season recap video.
Odds are, there are people involved in your program who have a lot to contribute. It might just be a matter of someone stepping up to ask and to organize.
Invite a friend
If you’ve already been a heavily involved parent, perhaps even the “Team Mom”, you know how critical the work that you do is. So what happens next year, when your son or daughter moves up a division? Who will replace you?
The end of the season can be a great time to encourage another parent to increase his or her involvement. Show that parent the ropes and help them understand how things operate. Make sure that parent has a good line of communication with the coach.
Football is a team effort, and not just on the field. Parents supporting the coaches, players and each other allows for the best season possible for everyone involved.