Holiday gift ideas for your favorite coach

Some people have their act together and are already Christmas shopping. I am not one of those people. But that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about it. All year long I keep my eye out for gift ideas for that special person in your life–your youth sports volunteer coach–and then wait until the last moment to buy and wrap them. Here are some of my best ideas for 2015, sure to please your coach and earn your kid some extra playing time.

Sensor Bag Light by SOI
SOI LightThis little orb of light will illuminate the darkest of coaching bags with just the wave of a hand. The detection technology recognizes when a hand is nearby and turns on, then automatically shuts off a few moments after you remove your hand. No more rummaging around in a poorly lit locker room or dark car trying to find something in your coaching or equipment bag. Because for some reason, designers think it’s cool to have black linings in all these bags. It runs with AAA batteries and is $34.95 at The Grommet.

Hockey Stick Stuff
il_570xN.387681222_318jThis Etsy retailer has great gifts made from used hockey sticks. Pick out a custom hockey stick bottle opener for $15, or a 3-piece set of hockey stick BBQ tools at $45, or an ice scraper, $27.50. In general, Etsy has a lot of cool items themed for any sport or hobby so give it whirl if you are looking for something as unique and special as coach.

Redbubble coffee cup
Go beyond your average travel mug and give coach a custom piece of art from Redbubble. These cups come in three styles and feature wraparound printed graphics. With hundreds of designs, you’ll find one coach will love. About $25, depending on style and design.

Zipboard
ZipboardThis retractable whiteboard will be a hit with coaches who are tired of carting around the rigid clipboard style whiteboard to diagram plays and practice plans. This board rolls up into a cylinder for easy carrying and comes with an expo marker. It sells for $29.95 at The Grommet.

OYO sports figures
Gordie HoweCoach may be a grown up but I bet he or she still has a soft spot for action figures. These mini sports figures are meant to be played with and have rotating forearms and bending knees and come complete with the equipment of a real player. They integrate with the LEGO system and I bet they’d be more relaxing than the Zen sand garden or the weird magnet thing some people have on their desks. Get coach’s favorite player or a team bundle from MLB, NHL, NFL, MLS, college and other sports. Prices from $12.99 on up.

Home Office equipment
wireless mouseAlong the lines of the mini sports figure, is the mini sports figure flash drive. This high speed USB 2.0 holds 4 GB of data, and you can choose a man or woman player. $21.95 on USAHockey.com. Or get coach a custom wireless NFL keyboard, like this one for $70, or a wireless mouse for about $30, honoring a favorite team.

Earphones
If coach is a music fan, some new headphones may be the perfect gift. CNET recommends the Klipsch S4i Rugged for an in-ear workout model, retailing at around $79. A sweat-resistant design and tough rubber moldings encasing the earpieces make these good for runners or the gym and there’s a handy inline remote/microphone  If that’s a little pricey, try the highly-rated Monster iSport Intensity earbuds, which savvy shoppers can find for as low as $35. Yeah, I know that Oprah picked the Beats by Dr. Dre wireless headphones but who has that kind of money? We’ve got ice bills to pay.

For the coach who loves to eat
This website will deliver coach’s favorite foods right to his or her door. You can order anything from Kansas City barbecue to Chicago-style dogs to holiday cookies from Goldbely.com and let coach indulge his inner foodie. Not sure what to get? They have gift cards, of course.

Edit– Oh my gosh! I completely forgot one of my favorite gifts so here it is:

The Rimroller
I feel sorry for folks that don’t have a Tim Hortons nearby because they a) don’t get delicious Timbits b) don’t know the joys of the double double on the way to hockey and c) don’t get to take part in one of the greatest fast food sweepstakes known to man, Roll Up the Rim to Win. This requires rolling up the rim of your coffee cup to reveal your prize, which beats the pants off that ridiculous Monopoly game from McDonald’s. Admittedly, rolling up the rim can be tricky sometimes. Until now. Because you are going to order a few sets of these beauts, the Rimroller, which doubles as a key chain, and hand them out as gifts to your coach, assistant coach, team manager, trainer, Zam driver, etc. and totally make their day. There are 5 colors available, online or at the Lee Valley stores for my Canadian readers. A pack of 5 Rimrollers will cost your about $15, including shipping. Toss in a Tims gift card and BAM! Present. Done.

Side view of Rimroller

From the Rimroller folks: It couldn’t be easier. Grip the Rimroller by the thumb and finger spots, push it down over the lip of the empty contest cup, and pull it straight upwards. The rim will be unrolled! That’s all there is to it. It takes only a second and it saves you from broken fingernails or wax in the teeth. The Rimroller doubles as a keyring, so you can keep it handy at all times. Most importantly, it’s fun to use! Show it to your friends and see how impressed they are!

Support Coach’s favorite cause
Maybe coach is the altruistic type who truly doesn’t want anything. So get the team together and make a donation to a favorite charity, or perhaps perform an act of service. There are plenty of worthy organizations.

Amazon to the rescue
If you are racking your brain for ideas, try the Amazon Gift Finder. You put in the gender, age and dollar amount and it gives you some ideas for gifts that are just a click and a credit card away.

Still looking for more ideas? Check out my post from a few years ago for some other gems. And please, share some ideas in the comments and happy shopping.

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