10 Team Mom Tips for Senior Night

If you are the Team Mom for a high school varsity sport, quite possibly the most important event you’ll ever plan will be Senior night. As important to the parents as it is the kids, Senior night is a truly unique event that deserves thoughtful planning and your best execution yet.

Senior night is your opportunity to give parents and players a truly special time that helps everyone celebrate and gently move on. Here's my tips for you!

As a parent of a Senior athlete, you are closing a chapter in your child’s life and with it, your involvement in helping them reach their goals. And as a student athlete, your senior year can be very emotional because this is likely the last season you’ll ever play for a sport you have been dedicated to and loved for as long as you can remember.  At the same time, for some of of your teammates, it just may be their worst season ever. And this only makes these fleeting days on the field that much more bittersweet.

I can’t imagine navigating these seasons without my planner in hand.  If you are looking for the perfect printable planner that you can customize to your organized heart’s delight, be sure to check out our 2015-2016 GO MOM!® DIY Planner.

So in the midst of all that emotion, it’s go time for the Team Mom or Junior parent who has volunteered to plan Senior night.  It’s your opportunity to give those parents and players a truly special, come full circle kind of night where its all good, helping everyone celebrate and gently move on. So here are my tips to get you pointed in the right direction!

Pick a Senior night date with the coach’s blessing.

Senior night usually happens on the last home game of the season so you need to reach out to the coach well in advance to make sure that is the case. Once confirmed you can give families an early heads up so they can plan to attend in full force.

If you feel like you simply aren’t ready for the graduation process, that you honestly don’t know how you can possibly let them go; I can totally relate.

Ask about any special Senior night traditions.

Make sure you ask about anything special that the coach will expect to see happen.  Often times there are team traditions that happen each and every year so it’s important as the junior parent coordinator that you find out what these are and include them this year too.  This is your bare minimum for the basics.  Don’t be afraid to make suggestions to the coach based on experiences you may have with other sports that would work well.

Share expenses with Junior families and Booster Club.

Because this is usually hosted by junior parents, there are expenses to share and you shouldn’t hesitate to make sure everyone donates. Some years there can be a lot of kids to support but if you plan wisely, it will rarely cost you more than $20 per player.  As the parent of high school athletes, I have no trouble doing this to make sure that when it’s my child’s turn to be recognized as a senior, it will be just as special as it can be.  You can also consult your Booster Club to see if they make provision for Senior night and end of the year expenses too.

If you’ve got high school juniors or seniors, check out A Mom’s Guide to Senior Year for a road map to carry you through all these incredible milestones.

Make a program.

The key here is to get those names spelled correctly and the player’s corresponding number noted as well.  You might also include some other traditional notations such as most meaningful experience on the team. You also want to note where the athletes will be going to college regardless if they are pursing collegiate athletics.  Hearing their plans for the future is very exciting to all who attend.

Arrange for flowers for the moms.

Its so important to help the athletes also support their parents.  Having corsages for the athletes to present their moms is a very special touch for everyone involved.  You can do this in the school colors and include something that personalizes them for each mom such as the player’s picture or a brad with the player’s number.  It’s the best flower she’ll every receive! You can also give potted plants with school colors adorning the pot and a special message just for Mom.

Don’t forget to stop by our Team Mom Tips Pinterest Board for our favorite finds from around the web. SO many great ideas, so little time!

Plan to serve cupcakes.

Its not a party until somebody brings a cake or cupcakes.  Because this is the last time this will happen at school, make sure they are as full of team spirit as you can possibly include and plan ahead for these to be brought to the event.  Be sure to assign paper goods, drinks, a serving table, and anything else you might need to set a nice hostess table for this kind of treat.  Remember, you’ll be court or field side and you’ll have to bring whatever you need.

Create personalized player gift bags.

This can be hard to control the cost but its always fun.  Think candy, something in their college colors, something specific to their sport like sunscreen and a can of tennis balls, and a gift card for college shopping.  Getting them an Amazon.com card is an easy choice because it let’s the player choose exactly what he or she wants from the largest online retailer in the world! Having player gift bags is the same kind of special gesture you are making for the Moms ~ it doesn’t have to be huge but the more personalized the better.

Arrange for a volunteer photographer.

Because the parents will be involved in player introductions, they won’t be able to take pictures. If there is an underclassman parent who already takes tons of great pictures, enlist their help to do the same on this very special night, not only for the ceremony but throughout the game or match too. Then post those pictures on the team Facebook group for everyone to enjoy and download as they choose. If the team photographer happens to be you and its time for an upgrade, I’ve been thrilled with my Canon T3I but have my eye on the new T5 on Amazon. Once you fall in love with your DSLR, you’ll never look back!

Have a banner announcing the event.

Whether its a banner or sign hanging on the back stop at the ball field or styrofoam cups stuck in the fence on at the tennis courts, you want to have something that makes it clear you are celebrating the seniors.  Often these are ordered within the first few games and on display all season long so that at every home game, the senior banners are proudly displayed. If that’s not the case at your player’s high school, be sure to research the banners early enough for production and delivery so you don’t cut it too close to this very special night.

Be sure to check out this Graduation Pinterest Board for all my favorite Senior year finds.

Introduce parents and players.

Typically done during a ceremony of sorts prior to the sporting event beginning, this is a very special time to recognize the players and their parents to the entire crowd. Make sure the announcer reads the player statements from the program and that the Coach steps onto the field to say a few words as well.

So those are my tips for team moms and junior parents to plan a wonderful senior night for your varsity athletes this year. Tell me…

What are your best tips for a memorable Senior night?                                                                                                                                                           

If you are looking for key items for your Senior Night, Amazon is a great place to start. A few of my favorites…

If you are looking for the perfect printable planner that you can customize to your organized heart's delight, be sure to check out our 2016-2017 GO MOM!® DIY Planner.

Thanks so much for stopping by to talk sports and team mom tips! Here are a bunch more team mom tips and tricks for you.

Disclosure:  This post includes images with links to products on Amazon.com. GO MOM!® Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees.

Disclosure: This post may include images and/or links to products on Amazon.com. GO MOM!® Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees.

Posted in Recent posts, Sports


  • Stumps Party April 13, 2015, 3:22 pm

    Great tips! We have a great selection of party supplies that are sure to make Senior Night memorable, including a variety of items that you can personalize with your stars name and picture! Check them out here: http://www.stumpsparty.com/event-supplies/school-spirit-items/47339

  • martha May 4, 2015, 11:29 pm

    Being the step mom of a daughter who lives with us full time let me share the perspective of how stressful it is for a child who feels conflicted about what to do for senior night. The mom is recognized who has done little or nothing to help the athlete but yet is there to receive the flowers and the honor. The child feels guilty to not ask the non custodial parent. the other bio parent is extremely uncomfortable, and the step parent who has been there through it all has to sit painfully in the stands to watch the entire awkward moment. Let’s make senior night about the athlete not the families. Recognize the kids and at the end have all the important people in their lives stand up in the bleachers. No child wants to be different and have three parents out there, especially if all the other team mates have only two parents. This happens much more than people realize, please spare the senior the agony so that it can truly be a special night for them.

    • Charlie October 18, 2016, 11:46 pm

      My son called me about Senior Night (I am the non-custodial parent). He told me that he has already told his mother’s husband that he can walk on the field with us and wanted to know if I was ‘ok’ with that.

      I told him initially that I was. I thought about it and called him back and asked him if he wanted me to not be ‘ok’ with it, then I wouldn’t be, so that way if he didn’t really want him there then I would be the bad guy. That said, I wanted him to understand that it I felt that is was HIS night, not mine, and if he wanted me to be ‘ok’ with it, I would do that as well.

      I told him that, as his father, I only had two major concerns: that he was safe and that he was happy, but that if he wasn’t safe, I didn’t care if he was happy – his safety comes before his happiness.

      Speaking as the non-custodial parent, I most definitely not ‘ok’ with it. His mother has done everything she can to alienate the children from me, denied me information with respect to the safety and welfare of my children, loaded them up with extra-curriculars to make visitation nearly impossible, even encouraging my children to consider taking his last name.

      No, I’m not ‘ok’ with it. But for my child, I will tolerate his presence.

      He isn’t bad guy, but he will never be their father.

      • ruth April 20, 2017, 11:29 pm

        UM … you said mom loaded them up with extra curricular activities? Like “sports?” I’m sorry but kids, esp boys, don’t let Mommas tell them what sports to play after like 7th or 8th grade. They just say “no.” Your son wanted to play sports, and that’s what this is a celebration of – his dedication.
        Also … ahem … you claim her to be this evil person trying to keep you from seeing your kids. Why did you not ATTEND these supposed “forced” extra curricular activities, like … ahem … sports?
        I assume THIS is why he wants stepdad to walk with him. More than likely HE was sitting in the stands, driving him to/from “prison camp” (aka “football practice”) every other day. HE was the one forking over the dough for the $150 cleats, $400 bats, $500 out-of-state tourneys … while you were crying because the kids could not be delivered to your doorstop for visitation day.
        That “safety talk” – I didn’t get that. Was that you trying to be a “good parent?” Isn’t that like a “built-in/assumed thing?” Why is he NOT safe? I found that odd you said that, like you’re trying to get some last-minute “good parent” credit or something.
        If you put the time in – hours sitting on cold/hot/hard benches, driving for hours at ungodly hours and worse … know so little about their interests and activities that you’re STILL WHINING & accusing Mom into FORCING them into back-to-back basketweaving/horseback riding/baseball/Jujitsu lessons, JUST TO KEEP YOU FROM SEEING THEM … you’re delusional or on drugs. Who the f*** enjoys living as Driving Miss Daisy, a slave to our kids’ activities/social life, much less forking over the dough?’
        I know I sound insensitive, because I don’t feel sorry for you. I feel sorry for him that you even put him in this place. You should’ve manned up and said, “hey you’re my kid & I love you, but he did all the work so you could play the sport.”
        And honestly, if you REALLY think this way, maybe he’s safer without you there.
        Sorry, but crybaby parents who weren’t around to help out during HELL YEARS or worse, show support for their kids by showing up (whether you enjoy it or NOT … trust me, watching my son play baseball for 2 months was like watching paint dry …) don’t deserve to walk down the aisle. Nope.

    • Colorado mom October 21, 2016, 2:00 pm

      love how you think! Tonight is senior night at my sons football game. It has took my entire family to raise & get him where he is not just me. If he had his choice he would take his grandma, aunts, uncles on field as well but it just for parents. Wish I had read this weeks ago to suggest it

    • Dawn Shipley May 4, 2017, 12:58 pm

      I hate that you were made to feel like that. My bonus daughter means the world to me and I to her and I do as much as the mom, we are both going to walk her out, that is what they should have done for you. You should all be recognized.

    • Angel October 3, 2017, 4:28 pm

      I don’t know how you guys raise your children but my kids were not raised to care about being different. They have a step-mom and a step-dad and I am sure we will ALL be on that field, including his girlfriend and possibly nephew. Last week at Homecoming people were escorted by who the were loved by, and one girl asked me to walk with her because her mom had to work. Maybe our community is different but we don’t make issues over that small stuff.

      • Charlie Cox October 3, 2017, 6:24 pm

        Obviously, everyone’s situation is different.

        For me, it has been a constant battle to secure my rights as my child’s father at every step along the way.

        To be included, to be informed, to be a part of the decision making process, to be what I (as my child’s father) have a right to be…the primary male influence on my children as they grow and develop.

        I’m not the one who cheated and chose to blow up their family just because she didn’t know where happiness comes from.

        She chose poorly and continued to do so at every turn since all this went down. My children deserve to know that I am their one and only father. He has no place in their lives and doesn’t deserve one just because she chooses to bang him for now.

        Yes, it’s absolutely about the well being of my kids, and keeping them as far away from bad influences like this are paramount.

        Just my opinion.

  • Divamom November 3, 2015, 5:54 am

    Thanks, Martha! I agree with you. I am currently dealing with a similar situation. I’m so in my feelings right now, and more than likely wont even go to my son’s senior night since his deadbeat dad has decided to show up. My child’s biological father has done absolutely nothing for my son in his entire 18 years of life. He doesn’t support him financially, academically, emotionally … Nothing! In fact, the only time he shows up is for the athletic awards programs and photographic moments. I guess it’s just in case my son goes pro?!? Anyhow, He now has the nerve to say he is going to catch a flight to show up for senior night. Why? Why spend $600 on a plane ticket when you claim you are too broke to even give my son a dime to help cover ACT and SAT costs, lunch, senior trip, etc? He doesn’t even help with uniforms, tuition, or even school supplies?!?! His step-dad and I do it all! Actually, I did it all by myself, happily sacrificing and working multiple jobs (with my parent’s support) for 16 of those years! I’m sorry, but I can’t stand on that field next to that deadbeat! My husband and I, and even my parents, should have the pleasure of celebrating this accomplishment with our son. We have shown ourselves to be his family, his support system. We shouldn’t have to share it with a person who only shows up for the limelight and press opportunities

    • Lynette January 14, 2016, 2:32 am

      I meant my post to be a response to you divamom.

    • Angel October 3, 2017, 4:30 pm

      But it isn’t up to you, it is about your child. My ex does the absolute minimum possible and only shows up for Friday night lights because my son is a star athlete. But I will never expect my son to exclude his father or make a choice like that.

  • Lynette January 14, 2016, 2:29 am

    Divamom, How can you say you agree with Martha and then make it all about you and your feelings? It’s about your son not you! That’s what Martha’s point was. In this day and age there are so many people in the same situation that will see & know (including myself) without any explanation or fit from you. It’s just one more selfless thing we do for our kids. Be the bigger person. Throwing a hissy fit will only portray you in a negative light and put your son in the middle. Some day you will see that all you did did not go unnoticed by your son. It took my stepdaughter 15 years to acknowledge the part that I played in her life….not only did she thank me, she even apologized!

    • Sportsmom October 17, 2016, 11:44 am

      I agree Lynette.. it’s about the kid not the deadbeat.. don’t disappoint your kid because of your bitter feelings toward his father.. years from now when your son has a child of his own and it comes time for his or her senior night maybe the only thing your son will remember about his senior night was how crappy it was because his mom wasn’t there..

  • ruth April 20, 2017, 11:04 pm

    Wow, there are some real crapola bio parents out there. And I do feel sorry for those who had to go at it alone, with no/little support throughout the years from bio parents, while I new spouse stepped up to the plate (pun intended) to participate at the very end – no money, no 430am alarms only to drive an hour then sit in the hot sun for another 4-6 hours & repeat it all over again the next day. (YES, I admit I was one of “those parents” who secretly rooted for the other team to win, put an end to the damn tournament so I could get some F****** sleep! LOL). Nowadays there’s SO MUCH time, effort & MONEY just to get kids on the HS varsity team. It’s RIDUNKULOUS if you ask me, but that’s another story).

    HOWEVER, saddest of all, all the kids looking up in the stands all those years, wishing and wondering how awesome it’d be if deadbeat Mom/Dad showed up to watch them, how proud they’d be. All those years missing one parent, who obviously doesn’t care about them as much as the other parents (barring drug addiction, or special circumstances, this is what it is, no other way of seeing it.)

    HOWEVER … before getting all heated and making it all about you, consider this. Deadbeat is finally showing up, and your kid gets to FINALLY show him/her how well they grew up, how much they’ve accomplished. I mean, despite your ex’s level of shitheadedness, this might be a BIG THING for your kid. If he/she didn’t tell DB NOT to come, assume it’s more to him/her than he/she’s letting up.

    I get the wierdness, I get the strong feeling of this is WRONG & SUCKS … let it go. Just let it go TOTALLY. You & your spouse/partner were the lucky ones. DB missed it all, will never get it back. The team, parents & coaches all know who did the heavy lifting, it’s not like he’s getting a medal or cash award or anything. It’s just a few minutes on a field posing for cameras, so everyone has a picture of the “Lamest Deadbeat parent on the team” for the album.

    I mean what an tremendous lesson for a kid, you not saying a mean/spiteful thing, just walking out there as a proud parent who raised a kid without bio who turned out so awesome. And can detach from past feelings and ego for long enough to have a real smile for the pictures. Hell, if you thanked DB for coming bc it made your kid really happy, that would be mindblowing (that’s some Jedi advanced skills shit, tho).

    But I bet you could practice & if you put yourself in your kid’s shoes, (advanced – DB’s bum ass shoes) perhaps you could find it in your heart to feel compassionate from the years of separation. While DBs are a hard bunch to pity, their asshole-like behavior, narcissistic, selfesh etc. behavior came from pain. All of it comes from there. They didn’t just fall off an asshole tree, or emerge from pond scum … they had parents who were probably losers too, hence their ability to bail on, refuse to support & cut ties with their beautiful child.

    I honestly believe any woman who does this is an alien or Satan in a meatsuit. How this is humanly possible – well, it’s not! I bet they’re one of those Reptilian baby eaters. Maybe that’s why they left, so they didn’t have to eat their baby? Hmmmmm … Then that would be very sad indeed.

    Ok now I’m just spouting crazy talk to amuse myself and avoid work. Hopefully between the cuckoo-clock comments, my point was made.

    PLEASE PARENTS – DON’T BE A DICK over bragging rights, pictures, better seats, blah blah blah Is this how you want your kid to remember you? Be a fly on the wall. A smiling one. Until your kid’s off partying w/friends, THEN … stretch your hand out & say “OK where’s the check, asshole?” If there is none, then kick him/her in the groin or shin VERY HARD & leave quickly before anyone sees you do it. Now Momma/Dadda feels better too … LOL

  • ruth April 20, 2017, 11:39 pm

    One last thing – give kids some credit. A few of the players on my daughter’s team tonight had 3 or 4 parents go up with them. She made sure they were all announced. I thought that was VERY cool, and showed confidence, leadership & not being defined by “follow the leader” BS. In fact, if you’re struggling with it, so are others. Ask your kids if any other teammates have divorced parents/shared custody situations (I guarantee 100% they do, and 70% there’s at least 1 other player who loves bio/step & would love to “break the rules” too).
    Safety in numbers!
    Come on parents, you’re not walking them down a wedding aisle, chill & think outside the box here. It’s a freaking blip on the radar. Everyone knows what’s what. You’re just walking a few hundred years & taking a few pics w/bio, then pics with step. Who the f*** cares? Making a big deal is TERRIBLE to do to your kid. It’s like saying “whoever you pick you love more.” That REALLY sucks putting your kid in that position. Chill out & take pics from the stands.
    Sometimes I wonder how these kids even got to Sr. year with such meathead parents. Seriously.

  • Charlie April 20, 2017, 11:53 pm

    A. I am as involved with my son’s life as I can possibly be and am not exaggerating when I say ‘loaded up with extra-curriculars’ to make visitation inconvenient and frequently not possible. I have looked to the courts for relief from from her creating these situations to impede visitation and further the parental alienation, but all the court in Georgia cares about is the support is paid in the right amount and on time…Nothing else. They refuse to enforce any other part of the order.

    B. The step father is NOT his father. He’s just the guy sleeping with his mother.

    C. Is she really cared for her children she would not have chosen to destroy their family.

    D. The inference that I am a deadbeat is as offensively as it is completely incorrect.

    R. I should have know better than to expect t any kind of fair treatment from such a coven of bitter divorcees.

Leave a Comment