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Creative Ideas for Coach Gifts

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What do you do to thank those wonderful coaches who give their time and inspire your children on a routine basis?  You have to think outside of the box and be creative to produce something unique that your coach will cherish.  For many years I have been the social director for daughter's travel soccer team and I spent  a great deal of time trying to decide what to do for the coaches.  We always did something special for the holidays, and the end of the season.  I have accumulated a number of creative ideas that I have shared below. 

Great Ideas for Coach's Gifts:

Basket Ideas

Create a sports basket:

Purchase a cooler and ask each player to donate one or two sports items costing approximately $10 - $15.  Include sports balls, sports drinks, power bars, tickets to sporting events, sports books, magazines or videos.  Have each player write a simple "thank you" message to the coach and attach it to one of their items.  Place all of the items into the cooler.  This will be a present that the coach will love and that will be used for many years

Money Box:

 Collect a designated amount of money from each player.  Purchase wrapping paper, a large bow and ribbon in your team colors.  Find a nice size cardboard box (like a handbag box).  Create paper uniform shirts, and balls/bats/gloves that are 4 to 5 inches in size. You can find this on internet images.  Personalize the shirts by gluing players names and team logos on to each.  Punch a hole in each paper item and attach a curly ribbon to it.  Attach one bill to each paper item.  Punch a hole through the top of the cardboard box and attach all ribbons to the lid.  Cover the box and lid separate with team colored wrapping paper.  Place the bow on the top.   The object is for the ribbon, money and paper items to hang when the coach lifts the lid off pof the present.  Click here for examples of items used for a soccer coach.

Italian Dinner Basket

Create a basket that will allow the coach to go home that night or the next night and have a complete dinner ready for them.  Include, sauce and pasta -- ask for a parent to volunteer to them make homemade spaghetti sauce with meatballs.  Add ingredients for salad (packaged lettuce, cucumbers, croutons, Italian salad dressing, olives).  Include a loaf of Italian bread and dessert.  Remember dessert should keep with the Italian theme.  You must include a bottle of wine to finish off the dinner nicely.

Car Wash Kit

Decorate a bucket using permanent markers or non-washable paint and let dry. Fill a bucket with car wax, car wash, wheel cleaner, ice scraper, air freshener, upholstery cleaner.

Mexican Fiesta 

Purchase a large, bright colored basket. Fill it with salsa, tortilla chips, CD of salsa music, margarita glasses, margarita mix and Tequila.

Thank you Bags: 

Create a thank you phrase such as "THANK YOU COACH SMITH" or "THANKS SO MUCH COACH"  or "THANKS FOR A GREAT YEAR COACH" that has the number of letters to match the number of kids in class.  Purchase colored bags to match the number of letters.  Place one (large) letter from the phrase on each bag. Give each child on the team one of the bags to take home and fill with items starting with the letter on the bag.  For instance a bag with a S could include a soccer ball, socks, screwdriver, scissors, shin guard etc... ( whatever the kids think of) etc. On the chosen day line the bags to spell out the phrase.

Create a night at the movies basket:

 Start with a plastic popcorn bowl and customize it using permanent markers or puffy paint.  Then fill the bowl with microwave popcorn, large candy bars, and a gift certificate to the local video rental store or movie theatre.

Ice Cream Lovers Basket.

 Basket. Ice cream scoop, nuts, hot fudge, caramel, M&M's, ice cream cones, maraschino cherries, gift card for local ice cream parlor.

Family Night: 

 Fill a basket with snacks, DVDs, board games, playing cards, movie tickets, and restaurant gift cards.

Tee Time

.Get a golf bag cooler and fill with water bottles, golf balls, tees, visor or cap, towel, club covers, golf shirt, golf book or magazines.

Football Frenzy.

Use a football helmet and fill with snacks, dips, team memorabilia, beer mugs, game tickets, sports calendar, sports books or magazines.


.Memory Ideas

Create a team poster -  All you need are some great photos on your digital camera.  Take it to your local Ritz Camera shop.  They have the ability for you to create your poster in a variety of formats and then they will print it for you while you shop.  You can purchase a frame right there and they will put it all together for you.  We did this and included a team photo and then a variety of candid shots.  It turned out great.

Create a memory book - This is a two part project.  First, have the players each create a page for the book.  Create a blank page for them to fill in and decorate.  At the top of the page give them a question to answer like: Coach X is the best because....  or My favorite thing that we did in Soccer this year was....   Have them answer the question and decorate their page.  Make sure they sign their name.  Second, ask parents to donate photos they took at games and team events.  Create some photo pages to add to the book.  Be sure to add a cover page with the team and the year.

Autographed Team Photo -  Take a nice outdoor picture of the team and have it enlarged.  Purchase a matted frame at your local craft shop.  Have the players autograph the matted portion and write a little note.  Frame the picture and you have a great present.

Dedication Tape - Pull out your camcorder and create a tape for the coach!!  Be sure to get everyone involved; in front of and behind the camera.   You will need to be creative with this one.

Take two players at a time have them state their name and age and then ask them questions as you film.  You may need to adjust your questions based on the age of your kids.  Examples:
Why is your coach special?
Where was your favorite tournament?
What is the funniest thing that your coach ever did?
What is something that your coach has taught you to do?
What advise would you give your coach?
Why does you coach do to make practice fun?

Does the team have a special cheer that they do before the game -- be sure to include it?  Also include a group picture.  If you start in advance you can include footage from events that occurred during the year.  Let the kids be creative.

When your filming project is complete you are guaranteed to leave him with a smile and the kids will have a blast making it.

.Easy Items to Purchase

Gift Certificates -  to local sporting stores, restaurants, movie theatres, or a local coffee shop are always appreciated.  It is always nicer if you can team up with other parents and purchase one large certificate or do a basket full of certificates that individual players purchase.

Personalized Clipboard -  This is a reasonably priced, useful present. You can purchase it on the internet and it can be personalized with the team/coach name.

Spirit Wear - Does your coach need shirts, sweat pants, a hoodie, waterproof jacket or a gym bag? Why not get him/her something in team colors with the team logo.

Tickets for a Sporting Event - Purchase enough tickets for the coach to go with a friend or take his family to a sporting event.  Another option is to get tickets for all of the team's coaches and they can go together to the event.