What better way to celebrate the growth of the team and the completion of a successful sports season than to throw a team party? The party also gives kids, parents, and coaches a chance to relax and really enjoy each other’s company. In order to make this event one that will be talked about for days, there are few tips you should keep in mind.
Lay the Groundwork for Success
Choose a Spacious Location
While you may only have 15 kids on your sports team, expect a much larger turnout. This is because parents and siblings of each team member often stay for the party. Younger children also have plenty of energy and you want to have ample space for them to run around. Parks and fire halls are always great spots for an after season team party. Should you happen to be finishing up a summer sport, you can opt for a pool party if someone in the group has a large backyard with a pool. Just be sure to double check your league’s policy on needing a lifeguard at such events.
Order the Trophies and Prepare a Speech
The whole purpose of the after season team party is to reward the team for their dedication and their efforts at playing their best. A trophy with each child’s name inscribed on the front is perfect. Depending on the cost, you may also wish to add the year and the name of the team. Once you’ve picked out and purchased the trophies, it’s time to prepare a speech. This is where you get the chance to tell the kids what you are most proud of and how you can’t wait to watch them excel in the future.
There are plenty of cheap and cute ideas that you can utilize when it comes to creating invitations to the team party. You could cut the invitation in the shape of the ball for the sport you just finished up, such as a basketball or a baseball. Another option is to make an invitation that looks like a ticket to a professional sporting event. Yet another idea would be to use sports lingo on the invitation. For example, if you’re having a party at the end of a soccer season, your invite might read “Let’s Kick It!” at the top.
Make Organizing the Party a Cinch with SignUpGenius
Unless you have a detail-oriented mom who wishes to take over the task of organizing which families can come to the team party and what they can bring, you’ll want to go with a site like SignUpGenius. This handy website has a basic version that is totally free. Parents are given the link so that they can sign up for the party and volunteer to contribute drinks, chips, or desserts. They will be able to view what other parents are bringing, which means you won’t have 15 of the same item. It also gives you a quick glance at any foods that are lacking, so you can make additional arrangements if you need to.
Create a Slideshow
As parents to email you any photographs they took during the season and then use them to create a slideshow. You can upload the slideshow to YouTube after setting it to music and then project it onto a screen at the party. Not only will the kids get to see themselves in action, but it’s a great way to reminisce about the events of the season. Make sure to end your video with a team photo.
Put on the Finishing Touches
Incorporate Appropriate Decorations and Food Items
In order to keep the team party focused on the sport that was just completed, you can incorporate a few themed decorations and foods. For example, you could serve sugar cookies that are iced to look like baseballs, or you could erect an inflatable goal post for a football party. Popcorn and hot dogs are commonly served at baseball games, while football participants gravitate towards chili and chips and dip.
Awards for Everyone
Remember that not everyone on your team is going to shine at every sports skill you’ve worked on this past season. Make sure that everyone gets a piece of the spotlight with candy bar awards (or any similar idea). These simple awards help children (and parents) see the value of life skills that are honed by participation in sports. Check out the list at Candy Bar Awards from Be the Change Consulting, but it’s just fine to be creative and highlight everyone in the process.
Schedule Some Free Time
Taking time for the meal, awards, and speeches is great, but you’ll also want to leave some free time at the end of the party for attendees to mingle or toss a ball around. The kids will have fun and their relationships will grow stronger. They’ll also be encouraged to get together during the off-season and maybe even keep in practice and stay active for the following year.