The start of a new volleyball season can be daunting not only for players but also for parents. A new season means new names to learn, schedules to adjust and new responsibilities to take on. But it’s all in the name of helping young athletes play, so of course, it’s worth it!
Start this season with ease using these tips from 8 million customers worldwide who use TeamSnap to simplify being a youth sports parent.
Get to know the team.
Sure, you’d like your kid to play in the next Olympic games, but odds are, that’s not happening. You know this, which is why increasing athletic ability isn’t the only reason you enroll your kids in team sports. You know that being on a volleyball team teaches community and trust. So model the behavior you’d like to see from your child by diving right in and being a part of the team yourself. Offer to host a pre-season party so everyone can get to know each other. Concentrate on learning names and making friends. A team should be a community for everyone involved — coaches, assistants, team managers, parents and players.
Offer your help.
Coaching a sports team can often be a thankless job. Coaches volunteer hours of time to planning practices, scheduling games and mentoring young athletes, and often parents just offer suggestions (sometimes in the form of complaints) for how things could be better. Although there’s nothing wrong with offering suggestions, there’s no better way to help the team and show the coach your appreciation than volunteering to help. Organize the carpool or the snack duties. Take on ordering uniforms. Do whatever you can, and with team management apps that exist now, it’s easier than it may seem. It’s a great way to get involved, and hey, you might even have the coach’s ear for those suggestions you had!
Choose your battles.
Just like being part of a team makes you feel a sense of community, it can sometimes also make you feel pretty frustrated. Maybe the coach doesn’t seem to appreciate your kid enough, or other parents are being rude during games. Maybe the officials aren’t on top of their stuff. It can be easy to get annoyed in these situations, and before you know it, you’re ready for a confrontation. In those situations, just remember, you’re all out there doing this for the kids. What’s worse, the first official calling a violation on your daughter, or the embarrassment (for both you and her) of you storming the court to have it out? That’s not to say that parents should say nothing, but choose your timing and your words carefully. Maybe wait for something to show itself as a pattern before going to bat over just one instance.
Do you have any tips for parents facing their first season as a volleyball mom/dad? Share them in the comments below!