learning the basics
Now that you have established yourself as a team mom, its time to know what is expected from your role. I have divided it into 5 categories that I believe best describes what it means to be a great team mom.
- Time Management
Accountability – You may only be one person, but you have a minimum of twelve players on your team and as a result you have twelve sets of parents. Of course, you may not be able to attend every single practice or game. However, due make the time to reach out to your parents. They all depend on you to help make their experience fun and memorable, but most importantly they depend on you to rely all information regarding the team. If you announce uniform fittings to be held on a specific day and time and fail to show up, you have just labeled yourself as unreliable and irresponsible. You will not have parents cooperation and support in the future when you need it the most. Especially when it comes to handling funds. Follow the golden rule, treat others the way you want to be treated.
Communication – Having a good communication platform is essential to becoming a great team mom. You may find yourself repeating the same thing in one meeting multiple times over, and that’s okay. Frequent and effective communication is imperative and allows for everyone to be on the same page. For example, if Thursday’s practice time is scheduled to be released on Monday at 6pm then parents will anticipate receiving the information at that time with a friendly reminder the night before. Remember that the average family has 2-3 kids participating in different extra-circular activities, and some of those families are single parents with limited help. Needless to say consistency is extremely valuable and I highly recommend using one of the many apps available for smart phones, which are free! Regardless of your affiliation, condensing the amount of group messages on your feed to one platform has it’s advantages.
Time Management – You’re probably laughing at me right now thinking I’m one crazy woman! Who in their right mind is good at time management? Umm… team moms are great at it. Its like having a second job, but without the pay. The best way to efficiently manage your time is to prioritize your goals. Start with the highest objective your team needs to accomplish and go from there. Instead of messaging long detailed yet repetitive information week after week. Why not set up a calendar with all the pre-listed information. In the end sending friendly reminders the day before will be sufficient. In the travel ball world repetition is not a luxury. My recommendation is to assign yourself a specific day and time to relay weekly notices as needed. This creates productive habits which will allow parents to know off hand when to check their messages for updates. This part requires self-accountability, don’t get lazy.
Knowledgable – I’m not talking about knowing all the rules of the sport. Unless your are the scorekeeper, you don’t have to know why the runner is out because 1st base is occupied (the veteran team moms will understand that one, lol). I’m speaking more on the level of knowing who to talk to when it comes to completing snack bar duty or, when is the season over? Do the kids get trophies at the end of the season, and will a banquet be held? What about fundraising? Will the league provide uniforms or, will the parents pay out of pocket? With so much simple information yet crucial to the process, clearly, knowing more than just practice and game times is required to being a great team mom.
Patience – Depending on the age range and experience of your team, you may require a high level of patience. Whether you are part of a league or travel ball, you may have some first time players with parents who are new to the system. Without sounding impertinent step-by-step guidance is required for those type of parents, and A large amount of patience is required when dealing with difficult ones. No matter what type of organization you belong to, difficult encounters are everywhere. By the same token, maintaining equality throughout your parents and players will help ease those difficult situations. Also, having a good rapport with your Head Coach/Manager is a great support system.