Team Mama Idea: Throw a Team Tailgate!

Peanut butter and jelly. Chocolate chip cookies and milk. Banana splits and cherries. FOOTBALL AND FOOD! Some things just belong together!

Coach Hubby and I host team tailgates following the last practice before every home game. We like to do these to encourage team bonding, for both players and parents alike! It also rewards them for a job well done during the week. Not to mention it eliminates the always dreaded question, "what's for dinner?". Ugh. Seriously. Why must they want dinner every single day? *insert overly exaggerated eye roll*

Here are my tips for throwing an awesome tailgate:

  • Plan ahead. This is probably my biggest tip. Don't wait until the day before. That's a sure way to end up running around like a chicken with your head cut off! About a week before, begin to plan out the menu for the tailgate, the location, check the weather, etc.

  • Have a well rounded (kid friendly!) meal. I always begin planning the menu with the "main course" in mind. Some of my favorites are (crockpot) hot dogs, chili, tacos, pizza, and pulled bbq sandwiches. To accompany the main dish, I make sure we have fruit, chips, dessert, and drinks.

  • Ask for volunteers. This is a must! You don't want all of the work (and cost!) to fall on you. I will usually bring the main dish and depend on volunteers to bring the rest. The absolute easiest way I've found to be sure that your volunteers don't all bring the same thing is by using SignUp Genius. Don't forget to add condiments, plates, and napkins to your list of needed items! Your volunteers will be sent a reminder email a couple of days before.

  • Allow others to help you. I contemplated grouping this tip with the previous one, but decided that it belongs on it's own. The type of help I'm referring to here is physical help; set up, pick up (i.e. pizzas), food serving, clean up. There is no I in team. It takes a village!

  • Get everyone involved. I am always sure that we have enough food for the players, coaches, little siblings, AND their parents. You don't want everyone else sitting around watching them eat.

  • Remember the little things. Trash bag(s), plastic gloves for serving, hand sanitizer, folding table, serving spoons. You know, the things that are easily forgotten.

  • Have fun! Kick back, relax, and enjoy the moment. Listen to the team tell funny stories, watch the little siblings chase one another around the field, share a mama drink with one of your football besties.

    This is football. Football is family!

    I hope you find these tips helpful and even use some of them when throwing your next tailgate. GO TEAM!