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"Thank You" Gifts for Coaches
by: Pat Anderson

It goes without saying that a coach should be thanked at the end of the season. Thanking someone is important; it’s a base of our social upbringing and it shows reverence to the person we honor. The phrase is muttered everyday, from saying "thanks" to the toll booth worker to mothers around the nation saying to their child, "Now what do you say?" upon any receipt of kindness from anyone.

Yet, when it comes to the unique relationship between coach and athlete, many adults have no idea the way to go about thanking the coach properly.

First, know that the coach probably doesn’t expect much. They probably just envision that the last day that the team comes together that they will be the one thanking the team and telling the team how proud they are of them. The coach, up until the last moment, if they are a good coach, will be focused on bringing a sense of personal and group esteem and fulfillment to each participant. The coach may even be thanking the parents.

There are many personalized gifts that are very appropriate, one of such is the plaque. One can, at almost any mall or online, find a suitable, economical plaque that can be personalized with the team name, the year, the coaches name and an "in honor of" or "recognized for" exceptional coaching and so forth.

Do not discount that a card, signed by all participants would also be a great gesture. If the coach is local, and folks are aware of a hobby or interest, or preference, it is possible that a gift certificate to a local eatery, store or entertainment outlet would be welcomed.

One or two people should in the beginning of the season appoint themselves to take responsibility and meet with parents via personal meeting or telephone. At this point, an agreement of how much per person, participating families are willing to spend is gathered. From this, it is also a good idea to collect ideas on gifts for the end of season, or at least begin to think of generic ideas.

Another meeting, telephone call or email can be followed up in a couple of weeks and then again, at the end of season.

It should also be discussed on how to present the gift or gifts. One parent could open their home as an evening to celebrate the end of season, or perhaps more informally, at the end of the last team meeting, the gifts are presented at that time by players to the coach.

To summarize, thanking the coach is important and teaches the players respect and acknowledgement.

Way to support this learning would be to:

1. Gather a group to institute the end of season "thank you"

2. Decide upon a proposed amount per person for giving

3. Allow everyone to submit ideas for gift giving and narrow down the most popular or logical responses

4. Perhaps a group gift inclusive or as a stand alone, such as a plaque where the coach can display and remember the year as one of productivity and accomplishment

5. Personally signed card from all team players and/or parents for a remembrance and to give intimacy to the gift giving.

6. If money is an issue and a gift is not possible, a poster or card that is well thought out and personal is also acceptable.

In closing, the thank you need not be costly or impressive; however it should be heart felt and show respect, admiration and understanding for the time and effort, teaching and support that the coach has given during the season.

About The Author

Pat Anderson has been a basketball player and coach for over a decade. His popular blog is full of great coaching tips and basketball drills:

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