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A (Little) League of Their Own

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Most of this post is about softball and summer activities but first I want to say something. My laptop is jacked. For real, y’all. I thought at first it was my Internet but then realized, nope, it’s that magical foldable piece of….um, electronic device. So, the tables of numbers and such won’t be up until next week. Sorry. Now on to a post that I can write on my phone.

I know I’ve mentioned before that my girls are playing softball. I played several sports growing up and softball was my favorite so coaching their teams seemed like the natural thing to do. I’ve coached them before in various sports but never both of them at once. It’s been real. Real what, you ask? Sometimes, real fun. Sometimes, real rewarding. Sometimes, real exhausting and high blood pressure inducing. Also, I may have thrown my glove once (ok, twice) I’m not proud of that but, I did it. I’m extremely competitive and sometimes that’s a bad thing.

Coaching two teams At once means a couple of things.
1. There are two games a week per team.
2. There are 25 girls from the age of 7 to 13. They are all so awesome and totally worth it but that’s a lotta ‘lil girls, y’all!
3. I’m tired and at times their attitudes are totally more intimidating than my attitude.
4. If the girls do especially well (I don’t mean win, I mean play hard and do their best) I buy them drinks after the game. It’s $.50 a child.
5. We don’t get home most nights until almost 10:00 and my husband and I work 30-45 minutes (depending on traffic) from the town we live in so, as soon as we leave work we are running. He gets off of work at 4:30 and I get off at 5:00. Some games start at 5:30. Our town has 3 sets of fields that are all across town from each other and their games are sometimes at seperate fields. *If you live near me and I cut you off on the interstate or you see me flying down the road looking like Cruella DeVil (you know the look!) I’m so very sorry.*

This has impacted our budget a bit. My parents are awesome and are my base coaches and dugout help and they buy drinks sometimes too. Also, several of the girls’ parents have pitched in on drinks so, I’ve only had to do it a handful of times and I take it out of our grocery budget. Gas from all the road running has been costly, too.

My eldest daughters’ team played their final game last week. My youngest daughters’ team has two games left. We will have parties for both and I’m trying to figure out how to put out as little money as possible. I can have the parents chip in a little but I’m not sure how much. I’m thinking for my 11-13 year olds we can do a parents vs. girls softball game and that would keep the cost low. It’s common here for the younger kids to have a party at a pizza place but that could get expensive.

All that complaining aside, I really love it. Here’s one example.
I was explaining to one of my seven year olds how to do something and the whole time I’m talking she’s smiling and nodding. When I finished I said “Ok, did that make sense, do you have any questions?” She shook her head no, smiled, and said “Coach, I really like your earrings!” that sweet child never heard a word I said because she was so distracted by my earrings.

I’ve spent the past three months with all “my girls” and I’ll really miss them when it’s over but I’d be lying if I said that I’m not ready for a break.

So, how are y’all spending the summer with your kids or grandkids? Anyone have ideas about keeping my softball costs down? Any suggestions are appreciated!

P.S- I’m so sorry if this isn’t an easy read, posting from my phone is frustrating!


12 Comments

  • Reply Teri |

    My husband coaches for LL for my 7 Yr. old–I know what you mean; in addition to volunteering your time, you get a chunk taken out of your budget! For our end of season party we’re thinking maybe we’ll invite the kids/parents to the house and grill out. Probably be cheaper than a pizza party……

  • Reply Sheila |

    Haha, I don’t have any suggestions, but I love the story about the earrings! It just rings so true of that age girls. So sweet.

  • Reply Den |

    My husband coached a lot of our kids’ teams…..usually after the final game he would buy the team slurpees or small ice cream cones and we’d celebrate at the ballpark….it was simple and worked really well. You could even bring a cooler of ice cream treats to hand out. That’s when we handed out awards, etc….and I think the other parents appreciated not having to find time for a party at a later date.

  • Reply Shaun |

    My 4 kids have all played sports for years, we would never dream of the coach paying anything towards a year end party. The party is put on by the parents to celebrate the season and the coaches! Usually a parent is in charge of planning and collecting for the party/coaches gifts and the coach is treated. This may be different in different parts of the country but in Nor Cal we always treat our coach 🙂

    A suggestion for a really inexpensive treat for the girls is popsicles in a cooler at the end of practice (although it may not be practical with your schedule). You could even ask parents to take turns bringing a cooler of popsicles weekly??

    Good on you for coaching!!

    • Reply mary m |

      That’s the same here. The parents organize the party, and usually the families all buy their own pizzas! We appreciate the coaches and the time they give 🙂

  • Reply Shaun |

    And Den’s idea is awesome! Finding time for a party is hard and we have loved having teams that celebrated after the last game at the venue.

  • Reply Danielle |

    What about a pizza party at the park? My son’s Cub Scout Pack always has their final meeting at the park and they pick up several $5.00 Hot-N-Ready pizzas from Little Caesars (maybe there is someplace similar in your area). Then you could have parent volunteers to bring plates, napkins, drinks and cookies. The kids always have a great time and it’s fairly inexpensive.

  • Reply Julene |

    Our kids played sports for a number of years and we never expected the coach to pay for the end of the year party. We usually meet at a pizza place and everyone is on their own for food. If there are trophies or sweatshirts or anything like that for the end of the year each parent is expected to pay the amount for the item before the party. In fact most of the time we as parents chip in and get the coach a small thank you gift (gift certificate to a restaurant, etc.). I’m sure you coaching is very appreciated and I would simply state that you don’t have the budget to pay for an end of the year party and ask the parents to all chip in.

  • Reply Laura |

    End of year party idea- picnic in the park and make your own sub sandwhiches. But a few loafs of French bread, find some cheap lunch meat or better yet roast a chicken or ham, slice thinly, and use that. Some chips and fresh fruit to round it out. I did this for one of my sons birthday parties and it worked well. The suggestion of a cook out at your house was a good one too.

  • Reply tami |

    In our area, each parent is given a volunteer job – and one of them is party planner. That person gets a couple of parents, plans the party and collects the funds. Coaches never pay for that! Coaches occasionally bring juice or popsicles, but are never in charge of anything other than coaching – which is a lot of work.

  • Reply Cissy |

    I agree with the others on the party- in my experience there has always been a team parent to organize snacks and team parties. Probably doesn’t help with this season, but when you coach again it’s an idea to consider.

    And I’m sure you know, but you may be able to deduct expenses like transportation, supplies, and snacks/team parties when you file your taxes. It won’t be a ton, but you can recover at least a little of your monetary contribution.

  • Reply Theresa |

    The coaches are already volunteering their time, so the parents are responsible for bringing a healthy snack. (And when I say healthy I use that term loosely…the kids’ favorite was actually the donuts one parent brought!). The coach just assigned a parent per game. Could you do that?

So, what do you think ?