At the end of every Little League® season, parents who recently had their child graduate from the program face an emotional time. The family will likely reminisce about the fun you have had at the baseball and softball fields throughout the years. While your child’s Little League playing days may be over, there’s no need for you to leave your league. The success of local programs depends on a large team of dedicated parents. If you’re like most involved parents, you’ve learned many of the ins and outs of what makes for a successful league over the years. Not having a child actively playing in the league provides you with a unique perspective on how you can assist your league’s operation, while not having to also play the vital role of being a Little League parent. The players who follow in your Little Leaguer’s footsteps can greatly benefit from your knowledge and experiences if you stay engaged at the local level.
If you remain in the Little League community, you’ll find new ways to appreciate what your local league has to offer, and, without a child playing, you’ll also have more time to figure out and suggest ways to make your local program even better. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to stay in contact with the families and friends you’ve gotten to know. And, you’ll be able to provide support to those families, so they can have the opportunity to enjoy their own Little Leaguers’ experiences.
If you are already a member of your local Board of Directors, consider staying in that position. If you are not a member, but would like to be, talk to your League President, and express your interest for next season. If being a Board member is not something you’d consider, there are plenty of other volunteer positions. With the proper background checks, parents can assist with umpiring, maintaining the field, helping out in the concession stand, announcing games in the press box, and many other activities. Parents can also help create fun off-the-field activities and coordinate spirit-wear and signage.
Just because your Little Leaguer has handed in their jersey, that doesn’t mean he or she can’t join you in staying involved, as well. They’d enjoy interacting with the friends they’ve made and seeing the coaches and local league officials who have made a positive impact on them. If there’s a field clean-up day, for example, bring your kid with you to pitch in. Many leagues also have junior umpire programs or opportunities to help coach younger division players or be buddies for Little League Challenger Division® teams.
The Little League experience for you and your Little Leaguer extends far beyond that last out in the final game. You’ll always be considered a part of the Little League family, and we hope you can stay involved in your local league for many years to come.