It's Not MY League, It's OUR League
It never fails that at least once during each soccer season I get approached by a parent, grandparent, guardian, etc. who wants to chat about the league; sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad. As we have our chat, they are amazed to find out that the board is all volunteers and that we are not paid to do what we do. Each of us has a "real" job outside of soccer that pays our bills. However, most of us wind up spending more time doing League work than we do at our "real" job. That's okay, though. We love soccer; we love the kids; and we love our soccer community. Most of you know who I am. I can be seen on the soccer fields almost every night of the week and on Saturdays. As President of the League, I feel it is my obligation to be there and be seen. As such, it means that I get to hear all of the kudos as well as take the criticism for things that may not be going right. That's okay, it's my "job" so to speak.
What most folks do not realize is that when they pay their fees for their children to play soccer they are not paying a service fee to a business. They are paying membership fees. Each and every one of us is a "member" of the Anderson Youth Soccer League. Is it a business? You bet it is. We have bills and expenses just like every other business, but the League itself is member run..... or it should be. As members of the League, each of us has an obligation to help when and where we can. What I hear constantly is that "I'm too busy." That's okay, we all are. But what most folks do not realize is that when things are not going as they feel they should be, it's not entirely my fault or the board's fault, they have to bear a portion of the blame as well. Remember, it's OUR League.
The other thing that most folks do not realize is that we are completely responsible for the facilities we use. The City is gracious enough to help us out by not charging us for use of the fields, watering and lights. In return, it is up to us to mow, fertilize, stripe the fields and get things ready for game day each week. The City does not do this for us. When players and their families show up on a Saturday to play their games, it is the volunteers that make all of that possible.
In my opinion, volunteering is disappearing in our society and volunteers are harder to come by. Some of that may be due to society itself and some of it may be due to the number of things people having going on in their lives these days. Either way, volunteerism is lessening and I feel that OUR League is suffering because of it. Volunteering for OUR League does not have to be a daunting task. You do not have to commit to hundreds of hours worth of work. If you can spare even just one hour, it helps immensely. Whether it is helping out in the snack bar, filling gopher holes, coaching a team, attaching nets, etc. Every little bit helps. "Many hands make light work." The more help we have, the fewer hours all of us have to spend getting things done.
If you would like more information about volunteering, please feel free to contact any board member. There is always something to be done.