Tryouts are over, and a new season is on the brink. Just when you thought the stress of all the planning was behind you, you’ve been asked to be the team parent for your child’s new squad! While you feel honored to be trusted for the role, you may feel a little overwhelmed with the responsibility. Fear not! You are not alone in this role! But, if you can get through the five stages of accepting the team parent role, you’ll be solid for the season.

1. Denial.

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Whether you volunteered for the position, or the coach asked you, the realization that you are going to be the team parent might not be sinking in. You will be responsible for others besides your own family? You can barely get where you need to be on time–how are you going to help others get where they need to be? How will you communicate with everyone? What if you miss a practice? While you may be denying the fact that you were appointed as the all-mighty Team Parent, it’s time to get into gear and open the lines of communication with your coach, your team, and even your family. Starting off on the right foot will set you up for success in this new position.

2. Overwhelmed.

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You’ve moved past the denial phase: you’ve met with your coach to review logistics, understand your responsibilities, and, well, you are officially overwhelmed. It’s normal–totally normal. Just like with any major change in life–new job, new house, marriage, having a baby, becoming a team parent–it’s just a matter of adjusting to how you think about the situation. Think of the position in smaller segments by breaking down your role in to sections. Create a timeline of upcoming events. Jot down a list of items needed to help you and your team succeed. Breaking down the position into smaller, bite-size tasks will keep your mind at ease and free of unwanted mental clutter.

3. Organized.

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It’s time to get down to business. You were selected, trusted, and appointed as the team parent because you are the organized one in the group. Even if you volunteered, you did it because you know you can handle it. Getting organized is the best way to start your position. If you haven’t already, meet with your coach to see what is expected of you. Start scheduling your team parent duties into your calendar so you don’t miss any important deadlines. Consider past experiences that were helpful, and put some best practices into place.

4. In the Loop.

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Determine how you are going to communicate with your team. From the get-go, make sure everyone has your contact information–email and phone number. Remember, you are a liaison between the coach and the parents, so remember that setting up a great communication loop is key. Consider using a reminder app or other team sport app to help you keep everyone on the same page about practices, games, and competitions. The more you communicate information with the parents, the better your season will go.

5. Boss.

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Every team parent knows that while they don’t need to be bossy, they can certainly get others to help with the responsibilities. Delegate. Delegate. Delegate. Being a team parent can take a lot of time, however, there are other eager parents who may want to also volunteer. Play off your strengths. Find those who can help you with the weaknesses. Set up schedules, and spread the love. Do you have a parent who loves to organize team get-togethers? Find her, and ask her to be the social chair. Have a dad who is crafty? Ask him to help create signage for the next big game. There is so much cheer love to spread around, there’s no need to keep it all to yourself! Being a team parent is an honor! Enjoy the season because, before you know it, it will be over. 

Share your favorite team parent tips with us in the comments or on social media!