Team Mom (or Dad) recognition and appreciation

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Originally printed in the pages of Simply Family Magazine’s March 2017 issue. Never miss an issue, check out SFM’s digital editions, here

article and photos by TJ Wierenga

Team Moms and Dads, those dedicated volunteers who give forth effort on a weekly and sometimes daily basis to take care of people issues and administrative responsibilities so that the coaches can focus on the team. They are masters of rosters and snack schedules, picture day details, and contact information. With all of the tasks and duties that Team Moms and Dads take care of, coaches and other team parents owe a great big THANKS of appreciation and encouragement.

There are as many ways to say thank you as there are recipients. Does your Team Mom or Dad always show up with a steaming, jacketed cup of specialty coffee in hand? Note the label and present them with a gift card or mug (or a gift card in a mug) from their favorite coffee bar, or a bag of their favorite coffee beans.

Are they a TEA-rrific help? For tea drinkers, a fun variety of teas stuffed in a new tumbler, along with a box of tea cookies, are a unique and comforting gift idea.

For summer sports, a personalized water bottle is a great option, or upgrade it to a cooler big enough to hold player drinks during the game!

Photo calendars of team members and games or meets are a great memento and are quite reasonable. Try local “one-hour” photo shops or online photo sites such as: Shutterfly or Zazzle.

Gift certificates are always popular especially for busy Team Moms and Dads who are on the run and away from the kitchen at suppertime. Restaurants (ask the spouse or good friend about preferences), movie tickets, gas cards, sporting goods stores, and big box stores are all great options. Don’t forget personal care certificates for a massage or nail salon for those parents who would enjoy them.

During picture day, make sure to get an extra team photo for your Team Mom or Dad… have each member of the team sign it and perhaps include a short note of gratitude. Frame it in a cute frame.

Depending on your budget, personalized team-color caps, t-shirts, or hoodies are fun and practical. Iron-on decals from craft stores offer DIY bling at a discount, or local shirt stores produce fantastic, quality results.

Come trophy time why not pitch in for a small Team Mom or Dad trophy? Something small that can be used as a paperweight will be a great memento of the season.

For a Note-ably helpful Team Mom, a packet of team-colored cards and envelopes along with new gel pens, highlighters, and removable flag stickers may come in handy. Who doesn’t enjoy a new pen?

If funds are limited the simplest message can sometimes be the best thank you! Simply ask team members and other parents to sign an oversized card expressing gratitude and appreciation with a thoughtful message. You may want to include a chocolate bar or a shiny red apple!

about the author…TJ Wierenga is a Billings area mom of two homeschooled 5th graders.