July had become our new vacation month. After years of dodging the “dog days” of August up in Lake George, NY our family had to adapt to a new schedule. Starting in 1995, August revolved around High School fall sports and their pre-season practices. So over the years as our four participated in soccer, field hockey and football during the month of August, I became involved with the various team booster clubs. While the kids ran, lifted, sweated and practiced, I was busy with the Boosters getting activities planned for the season. High school sports booster clubs, if run with spirit and enthusiasm, are a great means of boosting team spirit.
Between our four children and all the various sports, we have had both superstars and bench sitters. However, I think they would all agree that team sports overall were a great experience. By broadening the focus of the various high school sports booster clubs from fund raising to “fun raising”, these organizations can enhance the team experience and encourage team spirit.. Booster clubs can help make each player feel a sense of belonging. Over the years, our Booster Club activities ranged from Team Tailgates, to door decorating, player gifts and Kick Off parties. By providing some balance of fun with the rigors of athletics, booster clubs can spread the team spirit. It takes time and energy to put together a pre-game breakfast for 80 football players, but it is well worth the effort. What started as a pre-playoff event, turned into a weekly Saturday morning café hosted by the Dads! It was such a huge hit, that by the time my younger son was playing, we could have run a restaurant. For Friday night games, we organized “post walk through” dinners on Thursday nights.
Our girls were not left out in the cold. Soccer and Field Hockey benefited from booster club energies. They had a season Family Kick Off party. Funds short.. we improvised and assigned each grade level a category; desserts, drinks or salads. Seniors exempt! We used booster club funds for the pizzas. It was the perfect compromise! For more fun, we let the kids design team practice shirts, complete with their own tag line. They were meant for the practice field but the kids wore them all over the place. We made “pride pins” with the team mascot, player name and number for the parents. These buttons were so popular that they found their way into the locker rooms and a generic version turned out to be a great club fundraiser!
So as your son or daughter heads out to the practice field this August, find out who is running their team booster club and volunteer. Your child will appreciate it, you will enjoy it and you will have a whole new group of friends by the end of the season. We still have “team reunion” parties with one of our booster groups and it is 6years later. Check out some more fun team spirit ideas at Celebration Ideas Online Team Spirit Ideas