As with any youth sports activity, organization plays a very important role in the team's ultimate success and failure. Team Moms and Dads play a big role in this area. They allow the coaches to focus on improving the team's abilities while team Moms and Dads help in assisting in the team to grow together as a unified group.

One of the first responsibilities of a team Mom or Dad would be getting the contact information from each family. This information will be used in the future by the coaches in case of emergency, by the Team Moms and Dads to create phone trees, snack schedules (see below), team emails, etc. In addition, perhaps you'll find a parent that can assist with a team website and/or team newsletters. It can also be used by the parents to coordinate car pooling and scheduling play dates for the players.

In addition, Team Moms and Dads should focus on insuring that there are "team building" activities that are scheduled before and during the season. These can be pizza parties, pool parties, local sporting events, cookouts at the park, ice cream nights, sleepovers, etc. These events allow the players to get to know each other better and therefore keep the team practices and games a more relaxed and fun activity. After all, when you're with your friends, they'll be more relaxed and enjoy the activities at hand.

Another responsibility would be collecting money for a coach's gift and end of season party. Remember though, most of the coaches don't do it for the money. Keep it simple but useful. Consider purchasing training tools, nets, balls, etc instead of something the coach will very seldom use. If you're not comfortable with what to purchase, seek help from one of the more knowledgeable Dads or coaches to determine what might be needed.

Communication is another key to being successful as a Team Mom or Dad. Allow parents to contact you with basic team questions like directions, confirmation of game times, uniform questions, team party dates, field number, etc. This will take a huge burden off the Head Coach and allow him to focus on more important issues like warm up drills, starting lineups, player rotation considerations, playing time, practice schedules, scheduling scrimmage games, etc.

Team spirit can also be managed by the Team Moms and Dads. Orchestrating the parents to stay positive, be encouraging to all the players, keeping the parents from putting to much pressure on the players, etc can all help offset the chances of having a poison in the stands that might ruin the season for many. The players want to perform and do have a fear of failure so if/when they do, keep it positive. Consider getting the Moms and/or Dads together to make shaker noise makers that can be used during the games. These can be fun and don't cost much at all.

Team pictures are also very important. Please make sure there is someone to document the season with highlights, pictures and any other memorable things for them to take away. After all, we don't know when the last season might be for that activity might be so get lots of pictures. The fun is in sharing them at your end of season party!

Team snacks can be fun

Last but not least, team snacks are crucial for the younger ages. In many cases if you ask a player who won the game they will not know but if you ask them about the snack they will "light" up. Try to keep the snacks healthy but simple and something that will appeal to the masses. Granola bars, fruit roll ups and juice packs are always a safe and likeable choice.

In summary, the players will look to you for compassion and guidance away from the field. Keep it fun and simple and allow them to enjoy the experience. Seek out assistance from other parents when needed. Most will be glad to help, if asked. These steps will allow for a smooth season and will then encourage the players to return again next season for another fun-filled experience.