Season after season parents may have complaints or compliments to give to the coaches of their kids teams and many are not aware that so much of what happens is done by the team parent. In order to be a good team parent, first have a plan of action and put it in writing. In this you will want to include a roster (one for the coaches and one for the parents), tournaments or other team activities that are planned, fundraisers, and a team book. Starting with the roster, make sure to ask the parents what is the best contact info and which is the preferred method of contact. Many people now use email only, however, some can’t check it during the day so texts or phone calls are better. If you have parents who want texts-you can send the emails to their text number. Second meet with the coaches to determine what tournaments or other expenses they have in mind, once that is done, get the players/parents availability so that there will not be conflicts. Now figure the cost that the team is looking at including an estimate for the banquet and trophies or other awards. Now plan fundraisers. There are many options from pancake breakfasts, car washes, to selling candy or other food, many people like a night out gambling or at a comedy club. Plan the fundraisers according to how much the team will need, now when you do this take into account that some people will not participate so have a back up for that-make them donate a specified amount and make sure that all parents know what the funds will be used for and why everyone needs to help contribute. Understanding that some may not have extra money, but that is why they can do the fundraisers. The roster is more for coaches, but as a parent how do you know who everyone else is? Make a mini pocket roster that has the players name and number and on the back side the parents names with the players number. The last thing to get started is a team book. Many leagues and tournaments require sportsmanship agreements signed, birth certificates etc, so have all of it in a book along with a roster with full contact info for the players. In this you can also keep the league rules, so if there is ever a question you have it handy. Keep the snack and drink list in the book as well so that you can remind parents before it is their turn. These are just some ways to get started as a team parent, but remember communication is key, talk to the parents, don’t rely on email when things change make a quick call or send a text out. You signed up for this and it is a lot of work, but if you get organized walking out the door it makes it much easier to be successful.