Practice the Habit of Helping

JBM BookAs a parent, you know all about habits–good and bad. You see it as your child practices habits at home, in school and even in sports.

As parents, you also have habits. And if your child plays youth sports, you will make choices in how you parent that will become habits. Those habits will affect your child’s youth sports experience. In my new booklet 11 Habits of Happy and Positive Sports Parents, I talk about habits that will make you and your child’s experience in youth sports much more enjoyable.

I want to share one of those habits with you now: The habit of helping.

We tell our kids over and over that in order to win they must work together as a team. A great way for you to show them how this works is by working with other parents on the team to get things done.

The team parent or manager should oversee and delegate to other parents on the team, but should never be stuck doing all the work. Neither should 2 or 3 very involved parents. I have seen this happen way too often: one or two parents do all the work while other parents do nothing.

No excuses, parents. Everyone should help; no matter how busy you are, there is some way that you can get involved.
You see, when parents don’t help out, it’s easy for them to find things to get critical about.

The coach doesn’t communicate enough.

The snack bar is unorganized.

The time-keeper keeps messing up.

The ump continually makes bad calls.

The longer you sit on the bench as a sports parent, without serving or volunteering, the more likely it is that you will become critical of others who are doing the work. It’s so easy to sit in the stands and watch how everyone else is making mistakes. But I guarantee that if you dive in and find a way to help, you will find it much harder to stand back and criticize others who are serving too.

If the coach has poor communication skills, offer to help him contact parents via email or text, or help him get set up with an online organizational tool.

If the snack bar is chaotic, step in to help and look for ways to make it run smoothly.

If the time-keeper keeps messing up, offer to learn how to do the job yourself. If the official keeps making poor calls, try taking the training and becoming an official yourself. I guarantee that you will be less likely to yell at an official ever again!

Volunteering to do even a small job can curb your critical spirit. Get off the bench, parents, and start helping. If you sit long without serving, you become a critic.

In this list of jobs to be done for a youth sports team, find one that fits your schedule and help out.

  • Set up the team roster
  • Order the team banner
  • Schedule picture day
  • Oversee & set up fundraisers
  • Set up an email distribution list or texting group or FB page for communication
  • Send out welcome email
  • Keep registration information
  • Order/pickup uniforms and give to players
  • Set up snack schedule
  • Before each practice or game, send out reminder emails
  • Order trophies
  • Schedule and plan parties, mid-season or end-of-year gatherings
  • Organize snack-bar duty
  • Call to remind snack bar workers
  • Order coaches’ gifts
  • Keep stat books
  • Control scoreboard
  • Drive for away games or tournaments
  • Organize and/or cook for team meals

Find something you can do to help the team, no matter how minor you think it is. If enough parents do this, things will get done without overloading one parent.

Learn about the other 10 Habits of Happy and Positive Sports Parents in Janis’ new book 11 Habits of Healthy and Positive Sports Parents. You can order the book on Amazon.

This has been a guest post from Janis Meredith. Janis helps sports parents guide their children to get the most of their sports experience. “Sports should be more than just a game. More than wins and losses. More than stats and scholarships.”

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