What Team Moms Do

Congratulations, you just became a team mom! Now what?

Parents cheer at youth softball game
Yellow Dog Productions / Getty Images

If you're a new team mom (or dad), thank you! This is a big job and it benefits every child and parent on the team, so I want you to know you are appreciated. Your team parent duties will vary quite a bit depending on what sport your child plays, how the league and coach operate, the ages of the kids involved, and—this is important—how much extra help you recruit for yourself. I strongly recommend you delegate some of these tasks to other volunteers!

In general, here's what you can expect from the team mom role. (Please note, dads can definitely do this. Some teams might call this person the team manager. I'm using "team mom" as shorthand here.)

  1. Communicator-in-chief. As a team parent, your biggest and most important task is communicating with other parents. You are the go-to info source and distributor for schedules, changes in schedules, upcoming events, fundraising opportunities, volunteer opportunities, try-out details, and so on. You are also typically the conduit for communications from the coach out to the families. Make sure you have all the best contact information for the kids on your team, and set up a group text or email distribution list so you can send messages quickly and easily. You might also consider a team manager app or website, such as Team Snap, Eteamz, Sportzly, or Rosterbot.
  2. Coordinator-in-chief. Many team moms are in charge of tasks such as uniform and equipment distribution, scorekeeping duties, spirit-wear sales,fundraising campaigns, and team photos. You'll either coordinate with someone else at the league level who handles this, or you'll oversee the job for your team. That could mean collecting payments, keeping records, handling problems, and so on.
  1. Bill collector. Your team's league or governing body will probably take care of player fees, but you'll collect money for extras (see #2) and end-of-season spending (see #8).
  2. Attendance-taker. The team coach may ask the team manager to keep records on attendance at practice, or complete other administrative tasks that she needs help with.
  1. Supply officer. Bring a first-aid kit, shared equipment (like balls), and backup supplies (like water or sunscreen) to games and practices.
  2. Travel agent. If your team travels to competitions or tournaments, you'll need to book hotels, find restaurants, set up outings, and maybe even rent a bus or van. Plus, you may be charged with registering your team for these events with the organizers.
  3. Snack scheduler. Set up a snack policy and schedule, if your team does team snacks. (Better yet, delegate this job to someone else.)
  4. Party planner. Most teams will host an end-of-season celebration, usually something simple like a potluck picnic or a pizza outing. At this celebration you can hand out medals or trophies (and it may be on you, the team mom, to make sure those awards are ordered and ready) and coaches' gifts.

When you first start out as a team mom, it will help a lot if your predecessor gives you a download on everything she does. She may be hesitant to share, for fear it will scare you away, but it's always better to go into a season armed with as much information as possible.

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