The most effective methods are often the simplest. In Lititz, Pa., Warwick Little League begins its season by inviting the players and parents to meet with their team’s manager, have their equipment checked, convey pertinent dates and details, and introduce the Board of Directors in a relaxed, informal event.
Held after the player draft and about a month prior to the start of the regular season, the “Meet the Managers” event welcomes all of the league’s families in three sessions, beginning with the oldest players and ending with the Tee Ball division.
“Each time we’ve organized Meet-the-Managers it’s been successful because parents look forward to meeting their child’s manager, and the kids like getting to see who their teammates will be,” said Spencer Todd, President of Warwick Little League. “It also is great administratively, because the Board of Directors have the opportunity to explain their roles as well as give information about the upcoming season.”
Mr. Todd, is a Little League graduate and the son of District 23 District Administrator Jennie Todd, and Assistant District Administrator Barry Todd. Mr. and Mrs. Todd developed the Meet-the-Managers concept several years ago, and the league has made it into a marquee date on the league’s annual calendar.
“In today’s world of technology and online registration, Meet-the-Managers is a fantastic opportunity to obtain the needed volunteers to run a Little League program efficiently and effectively,” said Mrs. Todd. “It is the first time parents and players get to meet the manager of their child’s team. But as important is everyone shows up and meets face-to-face.”
Both Spencer and Jennie Todd agree that organizing a similar event is possible in any local league regardless of the size and location. As they see it, the keys to a successful event include organizing what is important to share with the families, and delegating responsibilities.
Here is how your Board of Directors can organize a Meet-the-Managers event.
- Locate and reserve an indoor meeting place large enough to accommodate 100-plus people at one time.
- Organize and assign Board Members for these responsibilities:
- Greeters at door to provide direction
- Equipment check
- Roster confirmation
- Manager/coach materials
- League novelty sales (i.e. – hats, shirts, pins)
- Locate/designate team meeting areas
- Agenda of items to for League President to discuss (if possible, use a PowerPoint presentation)
- Introduce each Board member by name along with their roles and responsibilities for the season.
- Plan to collect any paperwork not already in hand, including, volunteer applications, names and contact information for all coaches, team moms/dads, umpires, and field maintenance staff.
- Question-and-Answer time for parents
- Allot each group two hours with enough time between sessions to re-set for the next session.