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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Amazon.com 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 these banners on Amazon early enough for production and delivery so you don’t cut it too close to this very special night.
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…
And 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. If you feel like you simply aren’t ready for this process, that you honestly don’t know how you can possibly let them go, I can totally relate. Be sure to check out our Graduation Pinterest Board for all my favorite Senior year finds.
Because I can’t control any of that, I almost always turn to things that I can and in this case, I can’t imagine navigating these seasons without my planner in hand. If you are looking for the prefect printable planner that you can customize to your organized heart’s delight, be sure to check out our 2015-2016 GO MOM!® DIY Planner. And 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!
Thanks so much for stopping by to talk sports and team mom tips ~ see you next time!
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 by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.