Supporting Your Booster Board In-Season

Supporting Your Booster Board In-Season

We’re a few games into the season now and it’s going as expected in some ways and in other ways, there is surprise improvement. Through it all this year I’m more in-tune with the emotions of the players and parents than last year. It always takes a bit to learn to read a new team accurately and in year two I have discovered I’ve earned the trust of our boosters.

High school boosters are the lifeblood of most programs. The parents are working concessions, helping with homecoming decorations and the end of the year banquet, making meals for the away games and in between they are cheering the team on from the stands home or away, rain or shine.

At the same time, the boosters are the parents of the players and there is a lot of emotional investment in each season in addition to all that hard work. It’s a tricky line to walk in any scenario with parents, but I believe there is an opportunity to support the booster board in-season.

Listen

There are always a lot of emotions when a group of parents gets together to support their children. A booster board in particular has the challenge of determining how to best use the money they raise to help the whole team. Sometimes the parents just need to talk to someone who understands the situation and will let them process their emotions.

Encourage

Reminding parents that their hardwork isn’t going unnoticed is a huge way to support your booster board in-season. Tell them they did a great job organizing something and thank them for their time. If you have a story that will encourage them as a parent tell them! I love being able to tell our parents how respectful their sons are to our family members.

Pitch In

There is always something that can use an extra set of hands. The biggest way I contribute is by taking pictures at games. It’s an easy way to support our team, give the parents some keepsakes and avoid the stands all at once. But if they needed an errand run that fit my schedule I’d happily do that as well.

Supporting your booster board is a great way to also support your coach. While they are busy with the team you can ensure the parent’s feel heard and coach is in the loop of anything the parent’s are organizing. So there you have it! Three ways to support your booster board.

How to Best Support Your Booster Board

Booster Board Support

One of the biggest changes in the last year as we’ve transitioned from college football to high school is how different the opportunities there are for our whole family to serve the team. I’ll be honest, after almost two decades of the same insane schedule I was a little bewildered on where to begin to establish our new football normal.

I had a clean slate of opportunities. There were zero expectations as to whether I would support our booster board or even attend the football games. That left a lot of space to jump in (or not) but also created a unique opportunity.

Here’s how we are Best Supporting Our Booster Board:

Observe

With each year the booster board will look different as seniors graduate and new parents join the group. I believe this creates a new opportunity for traditions to be re-evaluated and tweaked to best serve the group as a whole for the coming season.

Instead of jumping in with a “we always” take time to listen and observe body language. Is this a group of parents who are eager to serve but already has over-commitment-itis? Or is this a group that has worked together before and has well-defined roles?

Wait

At the first booster board meeting, I attended the parents had many roles established. Since they meet year-round officers had job descriptions and knew where they had holes to fill. Since this is the parent’s booster board you aren’t likely to ever have a position as an officer, so consider yourself support staff. 😉

As the booster officers are announcing the ways parents can be involved or the holes they need help filling let the parents volunteer first. I’ll be honest, this was hard for me, but in the end, I believe it is an important step.

The parent’s involvement in fundraising, being present in the stands and seeing your husband invest in their sons is the priority here. 

Say Yes Where You Can

When all was said and done there was a job that the booster board was very concerned about filling. They wanted someone to be on the sidelines at the football games and possibly practices taking action shot pictures of their sons.

They had a few needs with this task:

  • It couldn’t be a parent
  • They wanted the pictures to be large in quantity
  • They didn’t want to pay someone if at all possible.

Taking pictures of our teams is something I’ve done for years. It’s also something that I enjoy. This was an easy way to step up and support our parents as a whole, fill a need for our booster board and stay involved. As an added bonus, this job is one that allows me to serve the team in a way they see, which is a cool way to show them we support our coach without having to say it.

Don’t be Afraid to Say No

There was another large gap that needed filling this year, that was the concessions. The thing about concessions is that often needs extra help because it’s rarely a favorite of anyone. This includes me. 🙂

Here’s the thing, concessions are a massive fundraiser for any booster board, and if they want the special things for their sons they need to step up. There is a balance between helping to fill a gap and doing the work that parents can do.

This goes both ways, even if there is something you love to do if a parent prefers to take on the role, it’s theirs for the taking.

Be Grateful

The last thing I’ll add is to always be grateful for the parents and to let them know you see their sacrifice of time and value them. If appropriate take time to send them thank-you notes after the season or even purchase flowers or a small gift for the board members who have gone above and beyond.

One caution, don’t establish a standard you aren’t willing to continue. If you aren’t going to give a gift each year, don’t do so publically.

Supporting a booster board isn’t always possible. You may find that parents prefer a separation between staff and families. That’s ok! Each season is different, each team is different, and every school is different. If you are looking for small ways to support your teams consider partnering with your booster board. In my experience, it’s a great way to stay involved.