You child has decided that he or she want to play soccer. Being the supportive parent that you are, you want to get involved in the life of the team. If you are new to the world of youth soccer, you may be at a loss as to where you could help out. We’ve come up with 7 ways for parents to get involved with a soccer team.
While coach and team manager are roles within a youth soccer program that are oftentimes filled by parents, let’s assume that these responsibilities are already taken. Don’t worry! There are plenty of other ways for you to get involved.
1. Give the Kids a Lift
As a parent, you have probably exercised your role as a “taxi” driver on numerous occasions. Since you have so much experience, why not volunteer to transport team members to practices, games (both in town and away) and tournaments. This is a pretty easy way to fulfill a big need that all soccer teams have.
2. Talk It Up
Phone contact is important for informing parents and players of upcoming events and eventual changes to team plans. It could be that they need to be informed of a last minute change in the time or location of practice or made aware that it will be cancelled. It may be that players need to be reminded of a special event such as a photo session or social activity. There are many different reasons this role is important. Depending on the number of players, the person who assumes this role could either assume responsibility for making all the calls or could create a phone tree.
3. Pick Pocket (with permission, please!)
Grant it, this role is not for everyone but fund raising is extremely important in organized youth sports. The amount of money raised determines the type and quality of equipment the kids have and the number of tournaments the team can participate in. Fund raising can be as simple as asking parents to donate money or as creative as…. Well, the fund raiser will determine the limits. There are many resources available today for those involved in raising funds for youth sports teams.
4. Gear Up
The basic responsibilities of the equipment officer are the distribution, maintenance and collection of the team’s equipment. While many individual pieces of equipment are relatively inexpensive, the collection of gear needed to properly train a soccer team can cost quite a bit. Equipment that is well-cared for will provide the team with needed training resources for a long time.
5. Look Out
This role requires someone who can arrive at the practice field from 30 minutes to an hour early. The objective is to have an adult present when the kids begin to arrive for practice. Depending on the age of the players and the time and location of practices, it is possible that some players could arrive quite early. You could just let them play freely on the soccer field (if no other team is using it) or organizing some exercises to warm them up before the coach arrives.
6. Help the Hurting
While soccer players do not engage in as much contact as American football, collisions do occur which can result in bumps and bruises or, infrequently, more serious injuries. It is important to have someone at practice that is trained to administer initial first aid. If you don’t have this training, you can probably find a class to take in your city. Many cities offer a first aid course through a community education system. You might also contact our local fire department. Whoever assumes this role needs to make the sure the team has a first aid kit and it is taken to all practices and games.
7. Party Planner
Participating on a soccer team should be an enjoyable experience. A large part of the fun is the friendships that develop. To cultivate these relationships, it is good to organize a few social events throughout the season. It could be a BBQ, pool party, campout or any other activity that provides opportunity for the players to get together and have fun outside the soccer training context. If you are a pretty good party planner, this role just might be for you.