Team mom carries food, drinks, communications and team

May 16, 2017 — by Chelsea Leung

To make sure every JV basketball team member got to be the DJ in car rides to sports games during the 2014-15 season, team mom Heather Metz bought an extra long AUX cable so the boys could play Katy Perry and sing at the top of their lungs.

“I love driving the team to games,” Mrs. Metz said. “The boys always put on really loud and probably questionable music to get their minds right for the game.”

As mom to senior Chris Metz and junior Alex Metz, Mrs. Metz is actively involved as a team mom for all the sports they play in. She managed the water polo team, which Chris played on this year, but has also managed the basketball, swimming and football teams at some point in her sons’ high school athletic careers.

As team mom, Mrs. Metz does most of the administrative behind-the-scenes work so that the coaches can focus on the athletes. Her work involves communicating with the athletes, coaches and parents through TeamSnap, a web tool that displays statistics and schedules. She also collects paperwork and payments, works with vendors to order special apparel and arranges hotels, food and transportation for travel tournaments.

Additionally, she works with other parent volunteers to complete all the necessary communication and coordinates all the volunteer efforts, which include finding help with carpooling, scorekeeping, planning Senior Night and other events.

“It takes a team to build a team,” Mrs. Metz said.

She has taken many volunteer roles since her sons were in preschool, such as class mom, PTA positions and field trip chaperone. When Chris and Alex started playing organized sports in AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization) and Little League baseball, she naturally felt the need to help out and has been a team mom for almost every team her sons have played in, as she “truly loves everything about being a team mom.”

Junior Harrison Fong, who plays football and basketball with Alex, appreciates everything Mrs. Metz has done for his teams.

“She’s always there to support, no matter what happens,” Fong said. “She always travels with us, she’s always making sure we have enough food and playing well, and always getting all the parents on board.”

Every job, however, has its downsides, and Mrs. Metz’s least favorite part is coordinating and collecting money for the end-of-season banquet because families often RSVP late. Since she must work with a caterer or restaurant that needs to know exactly how many people are coming, she said she is often “left scrambling” to complete reservations.

Still, she thinks these difficult tasks are balanced out by her opportunity to watch the athletes play, since she enjoys “watching the games and seeing how the teams develop over the season.” She sees her role as a wonderful way to watch her kids and their teammates grow up.

“Seeing the kids that were once picking dandelions on the field and throwing temper tantrums in the dugout grow and develop into genuinely talented athletes and amazing young adults has been a privilege,” Mrs. Metz said. “In a year my kids are both off to college, so I’m trying to enjoy every last minute I can.”