In youth football, players will often need the support of their parents or guardians. Most people think that coaches and players are the only superstars of the sport but, little do they know, that parents perform some (actually, a lot) major roles of their own. If we compare it to film-making, the players are the actors, the coach is the director, and the parent is the rest of the staff. Parents operate behind the scene but, they, too, deserve the spotlight. Let’s find out what they are to the football community.
A team without communication is not a team at all. It’s the parents’s responsibility to serve as the messenger between the team members or the point of contact between the coach, other parents, and the manager. There are numerous ways to be effective in this role. Phone calls, text messages, and emails are still being practiced but, today, live chat is probably the most commonly used mode of communication especially for urgent matters. There are available free communication apps being used all over the world. Team moms make sure that reminders or follow-ups are being given timely. They also act as coordinators to fundraisers, other volunteers, travel agencies, and they participate in almost every meeting, especially the pre-season meetings.
To keep track of all the team’s records, team parents are also administrators, clerks, and bookkeepers who need to sort and organize all gathered information, similar to a computer database but very much human. A variety of software (Trello, Wunderlist, Todoist, etc) can be used to fulfill this duty. They have to double-check and triple-check, if necessary, the following: team roster with the players' complete details, schedule, medical releases, uniform details, football programs, payment records, and so on. Financial records such as tournament fees, plane tickets, and training payments should be filed in a secured database accurately.
Responding to queries is sometimes tough but parents know where to get answers. The key is to be resourceful. Learning everything about football is not necessary, the basics will do. Not knowing the answers to all types of questions from the parents or each team member is also okay. Even Google can’t provide all the answers to all our questions. The important thing is, the team parent has the right resources to get the answers from. Most can probably be found in the team’s well-kept records so it is important to keep them organized. At times, they need to go the extra mile. When being asked about upcoming events, doing a little research won’t hurt. Keeping the details regarding programs or tournaments in a file will be helpful. There are also online portals where camps are booked. This is one of the features of Treiner.
Though this is really an exciting role to portray since a parent can show more support to his / her child, certain limitations are still in place. This position should not cause any biased decision towards his / her child's progress in the sport. Parenting should maintain a barrier from being a team parent. Research says that the involvement of parents on a child's sports activities have effects on the parent-child relationship, depending on their level of involvement. As for the parents, being actually part of the sport, keeping the balance is necessary.