This blog is contributed by Team Spectator.
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At Spectator, we exist to help make the process of recruiting and retaining valuable donors and members incredibly simple and streamlined. We make life easier for booster clubs across the country with teamspectator.com. In dealing with booster clubs nationwide, we see some major differences between the good booster clubs and the bad. A major challenge that many groups face is finding a balanced relationship between coaches and their booster clubs.
Athletic programs depend on booster clubs to provide the supplemental funding necessary to meet the needs that the athletic department can’t. In order for those needs to be met and for the program to be as successful as possible, the coaches and their booster clubs need to work together. Below is a guideline on how the relationship between a coach and a booster club can be maximized so that both sides get what they need for a long-standing and successful partnership.
Open Lines of Communication
There should be open lines of communication between the coach and the booster club. Being on the same page as far as what is available and what is needed on both ends is crucial to both parties having success. The coach should always be able to come to the booster club with requests, whether it be for new uniforms, dummies, or even for supplemental income for an athletic trainer, the coach should feel comfortable asking the booster club to help out where the athletic budget simply falls short.
Well Thought-Out Requests
For many schools, the booster club supports not just one sport or activity, but all sports and activities at the school. When this is the case, it makes it impossible for the booster club to meet every request from every coach in the system. As previously stated, the coach should be able to freely come to the booster club with requests, but the requests need to be well thought out. Coaches who are constantly asking the booster club for money become a nuisance. Coaches who think through their requests and make them in an appropriate and well-timed manner have a much higher chance of getting their requests approved.
Separation of Roles
All too often, there are coaches who have to go above and beyond to provide for their teams. Take Doug, a football coach from Oregon, for example. His team needed new helmets, and after multiple attempts to get the proper funding from the athletic budget, he took it upon himself to rally his team to go around town doing odd jobs to get the adequate cash needed to make the purchase. While the effort and passion is very admirable and appreciated, it should NEVER be necessary. The coach has plenty of pressure on his plate already such as the players’ growth and success both on and off the field. The booster club should be proactive enough to provide for the team’s needs that the coach should never be so hands-on in the fundraising processes that it takes away from his time or ability to coach and mentor his players (though the coach should still attend booster club meetings and remain involved).
Coach Should Give Back
When done right, the booster club is an extremely valuable asset for a coach. How can the coach return the favor? Well, aside from using the funds obtained from the booster club to win games and help the students to success, the coach can also be a crucial recruiter for members and donors. Coaches should always be drawing attention to the great things that the booster club is doing both out of appreciation for what the booster club has done for their teams, but also to help prompt other parents to get active and help the booster club in some way or another. The coach has many opportunities to tell the parents about how they can get involved such as at the team meetings before the season, in email blasts, sending forms home with the players, and even in his day-to-day interactions with parents and the community. Have your coach be an advocate for your booster club so you can continue strong involvement and support from year to year seamlessly. Another way to seamlessly pass on booster responsibilities from year to year is with Spectator, the online booster club management system.
Keep Focus on Students
At the end of the day, the goal of all of the effort put in by both the parents, booster club, and the coaches is to benefit the student athletes. When the coaches and boosters can see eye-to-eye on this concept, things will run smoothly, and both the booster club and the athletic teams will enjoy perennial success.
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