5 ways parents can help on game day
March 1, 2018


Not every parent has the time, desire or skills to be a coach. But every parent can help the coaches on game day doing any of the following typical responsibilities.


Whether it's a formal stretch or just keeping track of the players as they arrive, the head coach always appreciates another adult supervising the kids as final game preparations are made. This is especially helpful for games that are played on large complexes with several busy fields. And the younger the players, the more supervision is needed.

2. Putting gear on

In the younger age groups especially, kids always need help getting their gear on. Whether its pulling the jersey over shoulder pads, strapping on the catcher's gear, or snapping chin straps in place and ensuring the helmet fits properly, the more hands on deck the faster the team can get started warming up.

3. Warm-ups

Speaking of warm-ups, I always ask a reliable parent to oversee stretching exercises -- usually led by a player -- so that our coaching staff can focus on final game preparations. It gives us time to make last minute adjustments based on any unexpected absences and also allows us to watch the other team warm up and look for tendencies, strengths and weaknesses that may or may not alter our game plan.

4. Snacks

Postgame snacks have become a tradition and whichever parent is responsible for providing them on that particular day should manage the distribution from start to finish. If the league provides them, a parent should still step up and be responsible for obtaining them at the designated time and location.

5. Scattering of players

On those complexes with multiple games being played at the same time, players tend to scatter quickly after the game. But it's important to ensure every player finds and leaves with their parent and this can be the job of another parent to ensure it happens. While the coaches are gathering up equipment and handling other postgame responsibilities, a parent can offer to keep all the kids in one location and ask the parents to come to that spot to pick up their child.

A lot goes on before, during and after a game. While many of the typical responsibilities must be handled by the coaching staff, these are a few than parents can volunteer to manage.

Jon Buzby has been involved in and writing about youth sports for the past 30 years, originally as a coach and board member with his now-adult son and most recently "just as a dad" with his 8- and 10-year-old sons. Jon is an award-winning writer and his latest book, "Coaching Kids Made Easier," is available on Amazon. Send comments or future blog topics you'd like to see to and follow him @YouthSportsBuzz on Twitter.


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