Youth sports tournaments provide an excellent opportunity for children to learn important life skills such as teamwork, discipline, and sportsmanship. But let’s not forget about the unsung heroes in the stands: parents. Marriott Bonvoy helps make tournaments away from home more fun by bringing the team together.
While the spotlight often shines on the young athletes, it’s equally important to make the experience enjoyable for parents who invest time, energy, and emotions into supporting their children. In this blog post, we’ll explore some strategies to make youth sports tournaments a fun and engaging experience for parents.
Create a Positive Atmosphere
Setting the tone for a positive atmosphere at youth sports tournaments is crucial. From the moment parents arrive, they should feel welcome and appreciated. Create a designated area for parents to congregate, relax, and socialize. Providing comfortable seating, shaded spots, and even some refreshments can go a long way in making parents feel comfortable and engaged.
Tip: Bring snacks for your grown ups. Snacking parents mean happy parents.
Effective communication is key to ensuring that parents are well-informed about tournament schedules, rules, and other important details. Utilize various channels such as emails, social media, and dedicated websites to keep parents updated. By providing clear and timely information, parents can plan their schedules accordingly and focus on enjoying the tournament experience.
Tip: As a club or coach, you can’t communicate enough. There are so many apps you can use, including iSport360.
Embrace the Spirit of Community
Youth sports tournaments are not just about the competition; they’re an opportunity to foster a sense of community. Encourage parents to get to know each other, share stories, and build connections. Organize pre-tournament social events, like picnics or meet-and-greets to bring parents together in a relaxed setting. When parents feel connected, they’re more likely to support not only their own child but also the entire team.
Tip: Ask for a volunteer parent to help your club do a small tailgate before or after the game.
Showcase Parent Involvement
Acknowledge and celebrate the role parents play in supporting their children’s athletic endeavors. Consider dedicating a portion of the tournament to recognize and appreciate parents. This could be through a brief thank-you speech, presenting small tokens of appreciation, or even involving parents in honorary roles during the tournament’s opening ceremony.
Tip: Do an award for best driver or best social organizer. Think of something fun and honor your parents.
Provide Entertainment and Amenities
Long tournament days can sometimes become tiring for parents, so offering entertainment and amenities can enhance their experience. When you stay at a Marriott Bonvoy, there are so many fun activities that you can do right on the property. Between games and smores, just check with your local property.
Tip: Bring games with you, especially cards or Jenga.
Offer Educational Workshops
While youth sports tournaments are primarily about the kids, parents can benefit from educational workshops. These workshops can cover topics like nutrition, injury prevention, and mental health support for young athletes. By providing valuable insights and practical tips, parents can feel empowered to support their children’s athletic journey more effectively.
Tip: Parents are always looking for ways to help their athletes. Give parents something to learn to help their athlete off the field or court.
Encourage Positive Parental Behavior
It’s no secret that the emotions can run high during intense sports competitions. Encouraging positive parental behavior is essential for creating a supportive and respectful atmosphere. Develop a code of conduct that outlines expectations for parents, emphasizing sportsmanship, respect for officials, and positive cheering. By setting clear standards, you can ensure that the tournament environment remains conducive to fun and enjoyment for everyone involved.
Tip: Do a quick sheet of 10 activities parents can do in the stands to help support the team.
Youth sports tournaments are a culmination of hard work, dedication, and passion from both young athletes and their parents. Creating an enjoyable experience for parents not only adds to the overall atmosphere but also strengthens the bond between families and the sports community. By fostering a positive atmosphere, clear communication, and a sense of community, you can ensure that parents leave the tournament not only proud of their children’s achievements but also grateful for the memories and connections they’ve made along the way. After all, when parents have fun, the entire tournament becomes a more vibrant and enriching experience for everyone involved.
iSport360 is the only app that does it all for youth sports. For more information on what we do, click here.
About the author:
Amy Masters is a sports mom, coach and club administrator. She has been coaching youth sports for more than 10 years. She started Jr Lions Field Hockey, the youth recreation program for the Hunterdon County community growing it from 40 players in year 1 to 150 players by year 3. A few years later, she saw the love and competitiveness grow then started Omega Field Hockey Club serving NJ and PA players. Prior to coaching, she was a collegiate field hockey player for Lock Haven University. In her spare time (lol), she is head of marketing for iSport360, where she brings her love of sports to a bigger audience.