Each year, a new group of parents joins the SOMBA family, as their children get set to begin their baseball or softball journey, making new friends, and having fun along the way. And, just like players need a year or two of Tee Ball or Coach Pitch to learn the game, finding a way for parents to be introduced to volunteering is just as important. For those new SOMBA families, we encourage you to get involved in your local league as soon as possible because it is important to start learning how your league operates at the very beginning of your SOMBA involvement. Being updated and in-the-know are keys in developing a positive SOMBA experience for you and your child.
The best way to get involved is to volunteer. SOMBA relies on the hundreds of SOMBA volunteers to offer the opportunity for children and families to forge lifelong memories, and have positive experiences both on-and-off the field. Every local league needs committed volunteers. If your son or daughter began playing SOMBA last year, or your child is about to start next season, we encourage you to attend your league’s fall and winter Board of Directors meetings. Attending these Board meetings is the first, most important step in getting involved. At these meetings, you’ll learn what volunteer positions are needed in your league. Volunteers often help with concession stand duties, field maintenance, score keeping, fundraising, event/tournament planning, team management, and coaching.
At the Board meetings, ask questions and offer your opinions and thoughts. Getting to better understand SOMBA’s operations is a learning process, and the best way to gain the necessary knowledge is to communicate. As a new parent, you aren’t expected to know everything, but your engagement and interest will certainly be appreciated.
At a fall Board meeting, you may learn of open Board positions for the following season. Having not been heavily involved with a local league before is actually a positive, as you’ll be able to bring new, fresh ideas to the table. So, do not let the lack of years under your belt deter you from seeking a spot on the SOMBA board. There are all sorts of roles to fill where you could be a valuable asset to the league. Board positions consist of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Field Manager, Website/PR, Registrar, Division Directors and others.
Apprentice a Board Member
One of the reasons we encourage new parents to immediately get involved in their league is because often times, current board members have kids ready to graduate from the SOMBA program. When board members transition out, it’s helpful to have someone with experience ready to step in to make the change seamless. If you choose not to seek a board position for the upcoming season, consider apprenticing a current board member. Learn the ins-and-outs of his or her responsibilities, and volunteer your time to assist wherever needed. Before you know it, it may be your time to step up as a Board member, so learn now. It will make your future volunteering work that much easier.
Become a Coach
Coaching in SOMBA is extremely rewarding and is a great way to spend quality time with your child. Although playing experience helps, it is not required to be a coach at the younger levels of baseball (mosquito, tadpole, t-ball). A good way to get your feet wet in coaching is to first volunteer as an assistant coach as a kind of mentorship program with a current SOMBA head coach. This will give you the opportunity to learn what is required of the position from an experienced coach. Another important step in becoming a great baseball coach is to attend the NCCP/Baseball Canada coaching certification clinics. Here you will learn more advanced coaching strategies and techniques that will prepare you for your role as coach!
Help with Field Preparation
Field prep is a simple way to get involved volunteering for your child’s baseball team. All SOMBA fields are maintained by the City of Penticton with bi-weekly grass clipping and other general field maintenance, however, the field needs to quickly be prepped before practices and games to ensure a fair and safe playing surface. Before each practice the bases need to be installed and the infield needs to be dragged and lightly watered down. Before each game the chalk lines need to be drawn in addition to the above duties. Volunteering to prep the field before games/practices will allow the coach to spend his/her time supervising and teaching the children how to play the game of baseball rather than prepping the field.
Be a Team Manager
Let’s face it, Coaches have a lot on their plate with game and practice preparation/planning and execution. They often need someone to help them with communication and organization. This well organized person is someone who also considers themselves a good communicator. The Team Manager works closely with the coach to keep parents informed of any events, practices, or games. The Team Manager can also help organize other parent volunteers such as scorekeeper, field prep, concession, etc.
The success of the league often depends on the number of devoted volunteers it has. And everyone in the SOMBA family, no matter how many years they’ve been a part of the league, should find a way to volunteer, especially new parents. Find the role that interests you the most and that you can commit to, and raise your hand. While you’ll find your volunteer work extremely worthwhile and gratifying, it is your children who will benefit the most.
If you are interested in volunteering, teams are always in need of volunteers to help with coaching, team management, scorekeeping, pitch counting, and fields preparation. Please inquire with your coaching staff. If you would like to coach a team, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.