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Top Tips for a Basketball Team Manager

A Guide for Parent Volunteers Team Manager

Volunteers are the lifeblood of amateur sports and basketball is no different. Many basketball associations, especially at the junior levels, rely heavily on volunteers to keep the club running. The team manager, usually a parent volunteer giving up their time and effort, plays an important role to ensure the smooth management and administration of the team, thus allowing the coach to concentrate on coaching and training.

Managers make sure everything is ready for training and games and ensures everyone is organised and aware of what is happening. Managers are the liaison person between the team, coach, parents and the club association. Responsibilities may vary slightly from club to club however, typically team managers are responsible for: 

  • Uniforms: allocating team jersey numbers, ensuring the team is wearing the right colours at a game;
  • First aid kit: ensuring the team has a first aid kit/ice at training and games;
  • Drink bottles and bottle carrier: look after team bottles for the season,  ensure they are filled for games and offer drinks to players on the bench;
  • Organise a bench roster for the season with other parents;
  • Game balls: look after the association’s game ball and ensure to bring it to every game;
  • Communication and liaison: facilitate communication between the team, coaches, parents and the club association;
  • Providing or arranging transportation for club officials (such as referees) to and from games.

In addition to the ‘official’ duties, team managers will also often co-ordinate team events to help new team members get to know each other, and build a strong team culture and help with team bonding activities. 

Tips and Tricks

Below are some tips and tricks we have learnt along the way as team manager parent volunteers, as well as observing other managers.

Communication and Liason

The easiest and most effective way to mass communicate to parents is to setup a group chat using mobile apps such as WhatsApp. In addition to a chat group, setting up an email group is also necessary as its much easier to forward communications from the club association, send documents such as season schedules via email.

The group chat is an excellent communication tool to provide short timely updates to parents and players. The types of messages that typically go through a group chat include:

  • Weekly reminders of training times and venues;
  • Weekly reminders of game times and venues;
  • Weekly reminders of bench rosters;
  • Parents informing managers and coaches of player absences from training or games;
  • Informing parents and players of ad-hoc official club events such as team photo days or parent information sessions;
  • Sharing of non official team photos, videos and general conversation.

Pre Game Preparation

Being a team manager as well as a parent requires twice as much preparation! We’ve found it less hectic to ensure everything is ready the night before a game. 

  • Team manager’s checklist – have a  list of all the items your club expects you to manage for a game and simply tick it off the night before so nothing is ever forgotten;
  • Have everything ready in a dedicated place or loaded in the car beforehand – such as water bottles, team jerseys, game ball, first aid kit;
  • Player list and jersey numbers – have a printed list of players names, jersey numbers as it’s usually the managers’ responsibility to ensure player details are recorded accurately on the scoresheet
  • Contact list and contact numbers – have a printed copy or saved to your phone, all the parents and their contact numbers because inevitably there will always be an unexpected need to urgently contact a parent, such as their child is late or not showing up for a game. It is also useful to make sure you have the coaches and also key club association officials’ contact.

Game Day

At the game, the team manager sits with the team on the bench and takes care of their players. Some useful things to watch out for include:

  • Making sure the team arrives early to warm up before the game;
  • Knowing where to find the court officials;
  • Knowing where to get ice in case of any injuries;
  • Ensuring the players’ bags and equipment are neatly organised near the bench;
  • Ensuring the players exit the court quickly and in an orderly fashion to allow the next team to start;
  • Helping coaches record the number of fouls for each player (and for opposing team as well) as a process of keeping track.