Q&A: How Do I Motivate Parents to Volunteer?

getting-parents-to-volunteer-postThe saying “it takes a village” is not just true in parenting, it also applies to youth sports. Keeping a team running smoothly is not just the responsibility of the coach. Rather, it requires help at all levels. Jim Johnson, founder and director of flexxCoach, offers the following advice on the age old issue of getting parents to volunteer.

Brenda asks: I know getting parents to volunteer has been a long struggle in youth sports, resulting in the same few parents picking up all the slack. I have players graduating out of our high school team this season, taking most of my regular volunteers. This causes a problem because I cannot get new parents to fill their spots. Do you have any solutions so as not to make parents angry but get them to help?

Answer: Volunteerism is a challenge at every level. If you can convey to the parents that this is an essential part of a “team” sport and can be reflected in the overall experience of both the player and the parent, that might motivate some of them. However, that being said, time can be extremely difficult to give for many families in the present economic landscape. Most people are happy to volunteer if the objectives and the expectations are well defined. In addition, it is imperative that the volunteers feel appreciated—including the volunteer coaches and managers.

Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Jim Johnson for his valuable advice.
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