To run a successful booster club, understanding how to maintain the booster club’s and coach’s relationship is critical. When the school, booster club, and coaching staff know their roles, building a winning culture is a realistic goal. However, sometimes a booster club’s and coach’s relationship strains when, for instance, the coach needs to fundraise for new equipment.
Simultaneously, the booster club should never try to influence a coach’s decision but instead work as partners with the coaching staff, parents, students, school, district and community. This article will help booster clubs understand the distinct roles they play in helping a team succeed. We’ll also cover how to clearly define a previously blurry dynamic in the booster club’s and coach’s relationship.
Hassle-Free & Regular Communication Strengthen a Booster Club’s and Coach’s Relationship
An athletic program’s coach shouldn’t have to take time away from the team to raise funds for equipment, especially if the booster club has the means to provide. For instance, a lacrosse coach should easily be able to ask the booster club for safer helmets. They shouldn’t have to organize their players outside of practice for a fundraiser, which takes them away from the urgent need for game-planning and off-season training schedules.
Instead, the booster club should have the organizational structure to gather the players in their free time to help support their team. These events can happen year-round, such as around holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter–times in the year when people feel more inclined to give back to the community.
Working Together for Recruitment is Important in a Booster Club’s and Coach’s Relationship
The coaches and boosters clubs share a burden in recruiting people to the athletic program and the booster club. The coaches of these teams are part of the program’s outward perception, so taking an active role in recruiting people to the athletic program is a job where a booster club’s and coach’s relationship blends.
Coaches have firsthand experience in the most remarkable aspects of a sports team, making them the best spokesperson besides the players themselves. As a result, attending fundraising events should be on the calendar for coaches who want to see their programs flourish.
In current digital age, some coaches have even taken to social media to boost their program’s virtual presence. A booster club’s and coach’s relationship should always be separate, with the coach focused on helping the team win and the booster club expected to raise funds and support. While the booster club has to deliver on organizing effective fundraisers, coaches should help put a winning face on program as a whole.
Compromise: One Key to Maintaining a Booster Club’s and Coach’s Relationship
While booster clubs need to provide support to the athletic program, the coach should also find compromises with the booster club. Compromise is especially important when a booster club works with different sports teams. This can mean finding another way to fund transportation in exchange for an overhaul of the team’s more expensive equipment that season.
A booster club’s and coach’s relationship should always be mutually beneficial, with the roles clearly defined between the two groups. However, every organization’s structure is different and, over time, these roles can blur into each other and create unnecessary problems. Below we’ve compiled a cheat sheet that clearly defines the roles of a booster club and the coaching staff.
Duties & Responsibilities of a Booster Club
What Booster Clubs Should Do
Volunteering time is a broad duty of a booster club, consisting of responsibilities such as organizing and executing fundraisers, providing pre-game meals, transportation to the games throughout the season, and more. The funds a booster club raises can go toward various functions, and that’s where a clear line of communication with the coach is important in optimizing a booster club’s and coach’s relationship.
What Booster Clubs Should Never Do
Booster clubs should never take it upon themselves to make coaching recommendations, such as firing or hiring specific coaching staff. Hiring and firing is a job for the school district, and members of a booster club should always encourage its members to refrain from critical remarks, which set a bad precedent. With the booster club’s ability to distribute funding on top of the district’s budget, any influence over coaching decisions leads to a conflict of interest.
How to Fix a Booster Club’s and Coach’s Relationship
Every organization has its struggles, and sometimes the relationship between a booster club and the coaching staff can fray at the ends. However, this uncertainty doesn’t have to become a crippling issue for a sports team. Often, these relationships strain because the roles between a booster club and the coaching staff become ambiguous.
Sometimes this disparity can happen because a booster club hasn’t been successful fundraising, forcing the coaches to bear some weight. Or the coaching staff can start asking too much from the booster club, requesting more funds than the booster club can afford. These issues compound over time and, if left unaddressed, fester into diminishing a booster club’s and coach’s relationship and ability to develop the players.
Either way, the coaching staff, school, and booster club need to come together and clearly define each party’s roles. Ultimately, a clearly defined relationship between everyone helps the players work toward the playoffs and a championship. When these lines are drawn, a booster club’s and coach’s relationship can flourish to help make the program as effective as possible.
Booster clubs are the most common way for sports programs to provide the best experience for their players. When a booster club’s and coach’s relationship works within clearly defined roles, the result can be that extra edge the team needs to take it to the next level.
However, if the roles of the coaching staff and the booster club become ambiguous, that uncertainty can strain the relationship and hurt the team’s performance over time. When this happens, it’s necessary to sit down with the booster club and coaching staff to clearly define their responsibilities. At the end of the day, the purpose of a booster club is to help a sports team where the district’s budget doesn’t reach.
When a booster club’s and coach’s relationship is at its best, the people who benefit the most are the players and parents themselves.