Throughout last season, I was one of those parents who regularly complained. I wasn’t over-the-top at all, and tried to act as courteous and professional as I could. That said, I expressed my feelings whenever I thought it was necessary. And, I thought it was necessary quite often. I shared my thoughts on how I didn’t care for the younger kids using a pitching machine, how I didn’t think it was right to ask parents to fundraise on top of the registration fee, how the concession stand didn’t include more healthy options, how the grass needed to get cut more often, and how the older uniforms should be replaced.
I raised my concerns to managers, and I even attended a Board meeting toward the end of the season. I’ll never forget that meeting. After I shared my thoughts about why we should have a season-ending tournament (I was told it wasn’t in the budget), the League President sat back, thanked me for my feedback, he said, “I think you need to get involved more. There will be a few open Board positions next year. You should consider one of those.”
No way, I thought. With three kids, I was too busy. Plus, with all of my complaining, there was no way I’d be elected, and even if I was, the other Board members would tune me out. Over the course of the summer, though, I ran into the League President occasionally, and each time, he encouraged me to run for a Board seat. He said while he didn’t always agree with my opinions, I was at least engaged and interested in the well-being of the players and running a better league.
I called my sister who once was a Board member in a league in Georgia. She told me the only way for a league to improve and prosper is for a lot of parents to get involved, especially committed ones with a good heart who will see projects through.
So, I submitted my name, and to my surprise, I was elected as the league’s Concession Stand Manager. I could tell not all Board members were thrilled, and I probably was elected by the slightest of margins, but I was onboard. And, to be honest, most of the Board members welcomed me.
Over the course of the next month, as we began to prepare for next season, I realized just how much work is involved in operating a league. I mean, A LOT of work, but you know what, I liked it. I saw that while I didn’t always agree with some of the decisions, the Board definitely had the kids’ best interest in mind. Instead of just complaining, I was doing something, and I was making a difference.
I not only handled my responsibilities as Concession Stand Manager, taking inventory of leftover items, planning the menu for next year, etc., I also pitched in to help with the field cleanup, and even provided some ideas on how to increase sponsorships, so we might have some extra money in the coffers for things like new uniforms.
At the October Board meeting, a parent came in, and addressed the Board, complaining about this, that, and the other. I smiled when the Board President said that she should get more involved in the league. Her and her husband own a landscaping business, so I suggested she help out the Board member in charge of field maintenance. She immediately said she had no time. It sounded very familiar.
I’m committed to getting her involved next season. My guess is it’ll happen. I also guess I’ll be allowed to offer people a few more healthy options in the concession stand.