As you know (so, so well), a few parents can make your football more challenging than the most demanding action on the field. And no one can empathize with coaches more than the refs. It’s an unlikely alliance, but you’re on the front line together.
While it’s natural for parents to want to be involved in their child’s athletic endeavors, it’s important to find ways to make it positive, if possible.
Is it easy to give parents access to your program? Unfortunately, no. But if you give them ways to be involved instead of having parents create their own involvement, the negative interactions decrease, and they’ll have more buy-in to your program. We did the brainstorming for you. Check out these 14 creative ways to engage team parents.
Invite player parents onto the field or court before the game and into the locker room for one pregame speech each season. Allow them to share that special moment with their athlete.
2. Team Photographer
Do you have parents with a passion for photography? Then put it to good use and have them take game photos to share with the team. Bonus: they’ll be allowed on the sidelines.
3. Team Videographer
Film study is critical. Parents can help by filming the games. Sitting in the press box or high up in the bleachers offers the best vantage point.
Fundraisers and high school athletics go hand in hand. While asking for global donations is fine, have you tried fundraising for a specific team project? Many parents enjoy knowing what they’re supporting (like a new net) and feel more involved.
5. Booster Club
Since your Booster Club is 100% staffed by volunteers, parent participation to raise funds for the program is critical for success.
Student athletes can consume a lot of food—all the time. You’ll need parents to set up, make the food, serve the meal, and clean up afterward.
- Pregame Meal: Hosted at a player’s home or school cafeteria.
- Game Day Meal: Feeding a team on Game Day is no small feat! Parent volunteers can ensure meal delivery before the bus departs or at the game site.
- Post-Game Meal: After away games, sub sandwiches are great since you can have them ready as players board the bus (loaded with coolers before departure).
- Snacks: Light snacks and beverages after the game allow players to eat and debrief before heading home.
7. Ticket Taker/Sales
A necessary part of Game Day operations that’s ideal for parent volunteers.
Sell hot dogs, burgers, chips, pop, candy, and more. Parents who are friends and enjoy hanging out together are perfect for concession sales.
9. Sell spirit wear
Encourage fans to rep and rock the team’s colors at the table with your spirit wear.
10. Youth Football Camp
Does your team have a youth football camp? Let parents bring snacks and drinks after each practice.
11. Ad Sales
Think of the money you can raise for your team with ad sales from programs, team calendars, and your website.
12. Corporate Sponsors
Perfect for parents with strong community connections to get sponsors with tiered levels of involvement.
13. Senior Night
You’ll need help coordinating flowers and senior biographies.
14. Varsity Banquet
Celebrate your team’s year with food, decorations, gifts for coaches, and anything else needed to make the night memorable.
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