Dear fellow sports moms,
Lets talk about ways we show our gratitude, because I take this very personally and some do not. And that is ok.
First, let me start by saying “With all due respect”. And as sarcastic as I normally am, I do mean that. I am not sharing my thoughts on this lightly. As a matter of fact this is something that has bugged me in many ways, in various times and places, and on both small and large scales.
The reason I am talking specifically to my fellow sports moms, is because this is happening to me a lot. And its driving me nuts. “NO, I do not want to give you money for a coaches gift”. There I said it, and it feels bad that I even have to say it. But why do I even have to be asked? I get that perhaps you want to express your appreciation to the coaches for all their hard work, as a matter of fact, so do I. But I prefer to thank them in my own ways. And I really hate when people ask me for money. If I wanted to give a gift card to a coach, I would pick it up myself. I don’t feel bad handing someone a gift card as low as $5. But I would rather do something more personal, like offer to host the team party, take pictures all season long and share them with the team, or offer to make a team video, or buy all the pizza for the team party. I often offer to help carpool kids around if they live in my hood. Ok, so the things I am saying some of you are probably thinking “ok Brandi, no big deal, why are you complaining?” Well here is why, not everyone is in a position to give $5. And maybe there are some people who don’t even like the coach. When I worked for a retail company, this happened a lot. An eager employee would round everyone up and ask for money to give to the big guy (The Man) in some shape or form. So that the team could show appreciation. I get it, I really do. And I am a grateful person. But there were many people that either did not have the money, or weren’t grateful. This only happened twice a year. Bosses day and Christmas.
Alright, here’s why its bugging me so much with sports. I have 5 children and 3 of them are in sports. Which in one year we have roughly 6-7 seasons. These are club sports. Meaning, I am already paying for them to be in it. Along, with gear and sometimes uniforms, it adds up fast. Some of the coaches are being paid in some leagues and some are volunteer. My irritation comes from dishing out money year round for my kids to be in the things they love and are passionate about. So why don’t we redirect the gratitude towards them… the kids on the team. Why aren’t we asking the kids how they want to show their appreciation? Why do we feel compelled to monetarily give all the time?? Why don’t we ask our kids to wash the coaches cars, or do some of their yard work? I could go on for awhile on the topic of teaching our kids about service, but that’s for another day.
In closing, please don’t misunderstand my “Oh no, I will not be giving you $5 for a gift card”, for being a party pooper. Please don’t think because I am in my car on my computer working during practices or not there at all that I am not a team player either. I see your expressions. Please don’t read to far into this thinking I am rude, and my intention is not to be mean. Take some time to get to know me, and please let me be grateful in my own ways. Or find better ways to approach me about asking for money so I don’t have to say no. EX: Announces to all the parents at once, “I (because you are the person that had the idea) am going to be purchasing a gift card for the coach/coaches this year. If anyone would like to pitch in let me know by __/__ (insert date).”
And if there are coaches reading this, thank you for sharing your time with our youth. Showing them the importance of both team work and independent critical thinking. What winning and losing is all about, and just generally being awesome. I am utterly grateful to you and I’m sorry if you are disappointed that your gift card was $5 shorter than it could have been. I hope I can make it up to you in my own way.
PS. I do usually donate to the gift card fund. Because I feel suckered into. I just recently started saying no.