Many tasks have been divvied up to reduce the individual burden. Some tasks are quick & easy; others take more time. We are all volunteers, so we respect the time & commitment you make. Also, a vital component toward organization’s success is to always find your own successor.
- Treasurer – Lead, guide & be responsible for all financial matters for the organization. Bookkeeping skills required. Knowledge of general accounting principles helpful. Currently, Julian Alleyne has served in this role since 2015, when we began working w/in an annual budget. Heather Jones is assisting him in the position. Estimated 2-3 hours/month off-season, then 10-15 hours/month during April-May registration & June-July season.
- Fundraising – Establish, coordinate & lead a comprehensive, year-round effort; recruit & delegate support; implement tasks & track results. Commit as much or as little time as you can. Fortunately, Cindi Sandridge & her committee of Shannon Davis, Kristin McCay & Jennifer Taylor were extremely successful in their first year.
- VSL Reps – Two parents from each team are needed to make an annual commitment to attend up to 10 monthly VSL meetings (7pm 2nd Tuesdays at Spotswood CC). Facilitate relations & operations, particularly at annual Champs meet. Michael Alexiou & Julian Alleyne have serve in this capacity since 2014 & 2015, respectively.
- Swimsuits, Waves Wear Apparel & Merchandise – Essential task b/c it promotes team spirit & is also a fundraiser. Two parts: 1) Work w/ vendor SportFairUSA re: swimsuit pre-orders, fittings & on-site sales at “Splash In” Sunday, June 11. 2) Manage all aspects of Waves Wear apparel & merchandise sales & distribution. Estimated five hours/week March & April, 10 hours/week May & June = 120 hours total. Currently, Tammy Brown & Pamela Bell share this role.
- Registration – Learn to use Team Unify website software to facilitate process & to help resolve issues the last week of April through May. Role is currently handled by team manager, treasurer & tech manager. The learning curve is steep, but quick.
- Publicity & Promotions – Explore opportunities, including schools & media. A volunteer can work as much, or as little as required.
- Yard Signs have proven effective. Estimated five hours to erect signs in late April at city schools (get permission & parks; five hours to collect them in late May; then another two hours to wash, inventory & store them for next season. Carolyn Poirot leads this task.
- Tech Manager – Assist & troubleshoot issues w/ team website, particularly swimmer registrations; also, scorekeeper & meet director w/ Meet Central software. Yong Ma serves this role.
- Equipment Shed – Built in 2015, it requires minimal annual upkeep to improve the use & to extend the life of the physical structure. Last year, Trevor Graham & John Waters kept an eye on it & spend one morning making repairs & improvements.
- Schedule Cards – One step of the process for meet participation is creating index cards of each swimmer’s events. Use computer to merge individual & relay events onto a separate card for each swimmer. Coaches distribute cards as swimmers arrive at meets, thereby ensuring everyone is present & knows their scheduled vents. Since 2015, Veronica Perez & Tony Britt have handled this once-a-week task for six meets plus Champs.
- National Anthem – Recruit, audition, select & prepare swimmers to sing at home meets & (this year) Champs. Respectfully erect the American flag prior to home meets, then see that it is respectfully put away afterward. Last year, Tricia Cummings & Kristin Kirwan saw to this task.
- Weekly Ribbons – Weekly labeling & distribution for places 1st-8th & personal bests, or participation. Apply individual meet results labels to corresponding ribbon during practice the day after each meet, w/ help from other parents. Sort labeled ribbons into file folders for swimmers to retrieve. Maintain inventory to ensure we have enough ribbons for the entire season. Estimated three hours/week the day after five dual meets, then after Champs on Sunday, July 30 = 20 hours total. Last year, Kara Vance & Jerri Alexiou led this effort. To elp, simply sign-up online.
- Season Awards – Select & order trophies, medals & participation awards per team & coaches’ direction for distribution at season end. Last year, Brian & Erin Hess helped us move from expensive medals for everyone, to more affordable, laminated, personalized bookmarks that included all the swimmer’s times that season. Estimated 20 hours total. This year, however, their family cannot participate, so successors are needed.
- Friday Night Socials – Three years ago, Angie Osinkosky began this wonderful program to bring our team together. After a few problems arose, it did not happen last year, but the concept is certainly worth revisiting. Who’s interested to start this back up?
- Team Manager – This person sets the tone for the entire organization. Studies consistently show children leave sports around age 13 b/c it’s no longer fun; the biggest reason kids say is, parents ruin it. Youth sports must be first & foremost about fun for the kids. When that happens, entire families enjoy a wonderful, summertime experience. Also, always promote good sportsmanship!
Our coaches – the direct contact w/ your children – are most important toward this endeavor. Keep them happy, providing as much support as possible. Do not interfere! Keep a clear division between “wet” (coaches’) & “dry” (parents’) tasks.
Thus, the team manager’s primary responsibility is to keep parents focused on fun, too. To succeed, first, reduce, or eliminate all unnecessary tasks; second, divvy up all necessary tasks so nobody stresses out. This is especially true for the Team Manager themselves; lessen your own burden w/ the help of others. Stress open communication to prevent & minimize conflict.
The most important skills are organization & communication. Feeling & expressing gratitude is also extremely helpful b/c we are all volunteers. You must be able to delegate & trust fellow parent volunteers to do their tasks as they see fit b/c micro-managing destroys volunteer spirit. The number of tasks is considerable, but not difficult the more everyone knows & understands them.
Always seek to share the load & avoid additional commitments of your own time, estimated at 15 hours/week in April, May, June & July; & five hours/month August through March.
This is Tony Britt’s third & last season b/c all except one of his children have aged out. The position certainly can be shared.
Please contact any of the people listed above, all parent volunteers who were once like you, perhaps overwhelmed by the madness that is summer swim team & reluctant to make a commitment. Believe me, you will not regret becoming more involved as a swim team parent volunteer. Simply select a task you think is best for you & join the team! Thank you. – Tony Britt