There are two main reasons for this change:
Reduce the burden on coaches. Coaches are the front line of contact between your children, AYSO, and the game of soccer. They have enough to do teaching the skills and strategies of the sport, and presiding at games. We want to give them more time to focus on these critical tasks, while minimizing the distraction of administrative chores.
Better tracking and utilization of volunteer resources. AYSO is an all-volunteer organization. Corvallis AYSO facilitates soccer for about 1300 players on 110 teams, which translates into about 1300 volunteers. By making the Team Parent responsible for ensuring that each family on a team is assigned to a volunteer position, and meets that commitment, a tremendous load will be taken off of coaches and regional volunteer coordinators.
Basically, we hope to use the philosophy "Many hands make for light work."
These are the principle tasks for this position:
Confirm rosters and volunteer positions. In the summer, before the August meetings, and again in winter before the spring season, rosters and other important team information will be sent to the Team Manager. The Team Manager will contact each player to confirm that they intend to play, and, in the summer, will determine the volunteer position each family will fill. The goal will be to have the full team registration sheet filled out before the meeting in August.
Facilitate team communications. The Team Manager will communicate needed information to the team: time and location of games; changes to the normal practice and game schedule (such as by weather); team-initiated activities such as halftime oranges; and communications from the AYSO board. We strongly urge a weekly team email (or other form of communication) as a centralized source of information that players and parents need to know. It is also expected that the Team Manager will attend games to help ensure that parents are well informed, and just as importantly, to communicate any concerns back to the AYSO board.
Better tracking and utilization of volunteer resources. The Team Manager should know the volunteer commitment of each family, and the time this commitment is scheduled to be fulfilled. The weekly team communication should include information on any volunteer commitments scheduled for the week.
We believe that the time required per week during the season should be an hour or two. While not a lot of time, we believe it will result in better focus on soccer by the coaches, and improved organization for the team.
This page looks in more detail at the principle tasks of the Team Manager. But first a few words about the relationship between the Team Manager and the coaches.
Understand that it is not the intent of this change to diminish the authority of the coaches. We hope the Team Manager can relieve the coaches of many of the administrative details of team management so the coaches can concentrate on practices and games. However, we strongly urge that the Team Manager meet with the coaches to discuss the division of responsibilities. We expect that most coaches will be happy to offload much of this work, but some coaches may prefer to remain personally involved in some administrative tasks. It is important that both parties understand and agree on where the divisions of responsibilities lie.
It is vitally important, both for the team and for AYSO, that the organization of a team begin before the August meeting. The August meeting is intended to: (a) give parents an opportunity to meet the coaches and learn about expectations; (b) provide the Board with final information about volunteers; and (c) ensure that all Coaches, Assistant Coaches, Referees, and Team Managers have turned in their Volunteer Application form to the CVPA. Many families either cannot or do not attend the August meeting, so contacting them beforehand is critical. Failure to communicate with parents prior to the August meeting leaves teams scrambling up to the first week of practice to find referees and other important volunteers, when the focus should be on the start of practices.
A simple phone call from the Team Manager to each of the families on the team could avoid most of this confusion. The goal should be to have all families committed to a volunteer position before the meeting. The meeting time can then be devoted to more interesting topics. Coaches can explain their approach to soccer and to practices, and parents can ask questions. This should give all concerned a better idea of what to expect, and what is expected. Getting the team signed up and uniforms distributed should become a mere formality.
As Team Manager, you need a reliable way to get in contact with each family on your team. These days that is easier said than done. There are many ways to communicate, and different people prefer different ways. You should consider:
In the end, you may want to use a couple or three different ways to communicate. You can find out the preferred and most reliable way to contact each family when you make your initial phone call before the August meeting. Then you may end up sending an email to some, texting others, and calling up the rest.
Whatever methods you choose, you should communicate with the team at least once each week. Your communication should cover at least these points:
AYSO cannot function without volunteers doing their job. But the reality is that many families either honestly forget that they have a volunteer job that day, avoid committing to a volunteer job, or do commit but avoid meeting their commitment. This has a significant negative impact on the quality of the soccer experience AYSO can provide. You can help.
You can make a huge difference. Some volunteer jobs -- like yours! -- take real time. But many are a relatively minor commitment. Still, they matter. If everyone contributes, nobody has to work too hard, and the children of Corvallis can benefit from an outstanding soccer organization.