Managing Soccer Player Handouts for Your Soccer Team

In the old days, we used to bring handouts to practices regularly, but three of four kids would always forget to pick up copies, and it would be different kids each time. Then we got the idea of using print merge with a roster as the data file, this turned out to be much too tedious. Step three, write a player name on each handout so you can know who missed their copy. This works, but it's a lot of extra work.

Several years ago we found an easier way. I bought a cheap plastic portable file box that holds up to 20 hanging file folders, letter size. We put a tab with a player name on each, add an extra folder for guest players, the ACT, or whoever. When something comes off the laser printer, we just snap a handout into each hanging folder. Kids pick up from the "gray box" after each training session or match. If they forget, you know who did not pick up (and therefore who missed the schedule change), and the player loses nothing, the handouts are still ready for the next training day. Better still, you don't have to put a name on each paper.

Most players and parents have Internet access and can pick up all the team's training and travel schedules and plans by checking the team's web site if you have one.

However, it's hard to ensure that all your players and parents will take time to check the web site when needed, and often you won't have time to update your team's web site every day. In addition, many things that you will have to give out to your players will not arrive in soft copy, so you will still need to copy those documents and distribute them to the team through your portable file box with its hanging folders. There's always something that requires physical delivery (soccer video tape, team photo, book, hair things left at practice).

Keeping up the team's portable file box is a great job to assign to your team manager. Your team manager will need to update the folders anyway to provide players and parents information about hotels and travel plans, player passes, fees owed to the club or team, team photos, and so on.

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