How to win friends and influence your team manager

Some day, maybe we’ll eat at this table again.

It’s the beginning of the new season and right now in my world, parents are falling into one of two categories: 1) wonderful helpful people concerned about making everything run smoothly or 2) complete PITAs.

I know that most parents aren’t intentionally a pain in the derriere and they probably just don’t realize how to go about being a good team parent. So I’m going to tell you how.

1. When the team manager sends out an email with important team updates, open it. Read it through. And maybe save it to refer back to because it’s chock full of informational goodness.

2. That part about confirming your contact information? That’s really, really important. Because if practice is cancelled or the game site is moved and you’ve already left your office or home, your phone is the only way I can get hold of you. Don’t worry, I’m not going to inundate you with chatty calls and use up your cell phone minutes, honest. Just passing on vital pieces of information.

3. Take a look at the team website on occasion. You’ll find this little thing called a team calendar loaded up with game and practice schedules. Now you won’t have to start every conversation with me with “When’s our next practice?”

4. Paperwork. Arrrghhh! Please turn it in. All of it. At the same time. With all the information filled out. Within two or three days of receiving it. What? You aren’t going to be at the next few practices before your paperwork is due? There’s this thing that’s pretty effective– it’s called the US Postal Service. Costs you 45 cents and I get it in about 2 days.

5. Refrain from the conversation that goes like this: “I don’t know how you do all this, I mean, I’d help out but I’m just so busy, I don’t know when I’d ever have time.” Because me, between my job, my 3 kids and the dog, keeping the house in a livable condition and grocery shopping, well I’ve got all kinds of extra time so I just can’t relate.

6. Refrain from the conversation that goes like this: “Take my turn running the score clock two times a year? Please. Can’t we just pay someone to do that?” Don’t go there. I’m not kidding.

7. Refrain from the conversation that goes like this: “When I was team manager on our old team, I had all the forms color coded and sorted alphabetically, laminated, scanned into my iPad and   . . .” you get the picture. An offer to help is appreciated. A critique is not necessary.

8. There are two ways to pay for youth sports. You write a check or you get someone else to write a check on your behalf. So unless you’ve got a rich uncle who owns a car dealership and wants to sponsor the team, just write the check. If you’ve got a cash flow problem, and who doesn’t these days, just let me know, we can work around it. But that trick where you drop your kid off at the door and take off really fast is getting old.

9. Don’t ask me about your kid’s stats or if I can change the scoresheet to reflect the assist that you think your kid should have received. That’s so obnoxious.

10. When the hotel pool runs out of towels, don’t call me in my room and ask me to have them bring some more out. Yes, this actually happened.

There, now you all know how to avoid being THAT parent. Your team mom will thank you. And when the hotel is handing our room assignments, maybe she won’t put you across from the elevator and ice machine. What? No, I’ve never done that.

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One Comment on “How to win friends and influence your team manager”

  1. Your towel comment made me laugh out loud…good advice for team parents. Too bad the ones who need it the most will never read this- lol! Great post


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