7 Tips for Volunteers
When you know a lot about hockey, it’s easy to commit to doing too much for a team. When you know nothing about hockey, it’s easy to shy away. But you’ll have more fun, get to know more people and understand what’s going on if you volunteer for at least one activity, whether it’s managing a team or planning a pizza party. As with everything else, it’s important to do what you say you’ll do—and do your best at that. To be a good volunteer:
- Schedule it: Take your volunteer commitments as seriously as your commitments—put them in your calendar and on your to-do list.
- Go with your strengths: If you’re not outgoing, don’t volunteer to greet out-of-towners at the tournament desk. But if you’re hyper-organized, you might put together the volunteer schedule.
- Learn to do it: If you volunteer for something, learn to do it right. The last thing you want to do is let someone out of the penalty box early.
- Get help: If your time commitments change or you find you’re just not good at something, ask for help rather than struggling or doing a poor job. If you end up being out of town all the time for work, don’t promise to bring the water bottles. If you don’t have time to set up activities during a tournament, ask someone else to do it rather than skipping it.
- Don’t overcommit: Ask someone whose done the job before for a realistic estimate of how long it takes. (Just be sure that person isn’t downplaying the time because they want to pass off the job to someone else!)
- Share the wealth: Let others share in the responsibilities and learn. That way someone else can run the clock when your college buddy comes to watch a game. (Of course, when your in-laws come, they might really need you at the clock…)
- Keep a positive attitude: If you volunteer for something, just do it without complaining. If you think of a better way to do it, discuss it with the association, coach or manager later.
Helping with the team in any capacity—from being on the ice to organizing a team potluck—will make the experience more fun and more rewarding for you, your player and your whole family.
Editor’s Note: Thank you to Kelly Kordes Anton with the Grow the Game Initiative for this story.
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