The winter youth sports season is underway, or will be soon, and while practices and games are bound to interfere with holiday decorating and shopping, it's still important to remember your coaches during this season of giving.
My guess is your last practice before the holiday season is coming up soon, so now is the time to decide what, if anything, your child will present to his or her coach after that last practice heading into the holiday season.
That being said, as a coach I can tell you that extravagant gifts are not expected or necessary. Or any gift for that matter.
One of my favorite gifts from players is always a nice card with a thoughtful message. A package of 10 can be purchased for less than $5 and provides not only a thoughtful wish for the head coach, but the often-overlooked assistants and team parent. Like Santa's elves, all are important in the smooth and successful operation of any youth sports team.
However, if the spirit of the season moves you to purchase something besides a card, here are some gift ideas, all under $10:
A gift card to the local sporting goods store is always appreciated. While $10 might not seem like much, I can always find some inexpensive knick-knack I wouldn't buy with my own money but would love to have in my collection of frivolous items.
Along the same gift card idea, one to the local convenience store or donut shop for that Saturday morning pre-game cup of coffee always goes over well.
There are hundreds of different coaching ornaments, some generic and others sport specific. My tree is littered with them and all bring back fond memories of specific players or teams.
A T-shirt or cap with the team or league logo is also a nice idea. It not only gives the coach something additional to wear to practices and games, but also supports the league financially when you purchase it.
Several parents could each pitch in money and buy the coach a nice gift card to a favorite restaurant. That way the coach can also treat his/her spouse as well. Just like Mrs. Claus, no coach can do the job right without the support of a significant other.
It's often hard to draw the line when deciding who your kids should buy gifts for during the holiday. Between teachers, Sunday school instructors and youth activity leaders, the costs can rise quickly.
Remember, it's not the price of the gift but the thought that counts the most.
Jon Buzby's columns appear in newspapers and magazines around the country as well as numerous websites. Send comments to JonBuzby@hotmail.com and follow him @YouthSportsBuzz on Twitter.