If you played any sports when you were younger, you’re probably well aware of the impact that a great coach can have on your life. Whether they’re teaching your grade schooler how to properly kick a soccer ball, or instructing your college-bound high schooler in swimming, a great coach is a friend, a confidant, and a role model. A great coach can change your life – or the life of your child – for the better.
But coaches are often overlooked somewhat when it comes to end-of-season gifts. This is especially true of coaches who also work as teachers at public or private schools – because they do double duty as teachers, they’re often not shown the appreciation that they deserve.
Of course, there’s no true way to repay a great coach for the many hours that they have dedicated both to your children, and the children of others. Coaches work hard to create drills, schedule practices, teach strategy and good sportsmanship to children, and wrangle difficult kids.
And often, coaches have to sacrifice the vast majority of their weekends to swim or gymnastics meets, soccer games, or basketball games. They truly “work overtime” to give children the instructions that they need to succeed – whether in sports, or in life.
So don’t overlook the coaches that are important to you and your children. This season, make your appreciation known by giving them a fantastic gift.
What’s the best gift for a coach?
A gift card, of course!
While you have many options when it comes to end-of-season-gifts for a coach, a gift card is always going to be appreciated – and it’s one of the most flexible gifts you can give, so you don’t have to worry about giving a coach something that they already have.
However, there are some considerations to think about before you go handing over a gift card to a coach. You’ll want to make sure that your sports league allows coach gifts, take the time to pick the right amount, and then choose an appropriate gift card.
So in this guide, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of finding a great gift card for your child’s coach. Whether the season has already ended or just begun, this resource is sure to be helpful when it’s time to give a card to that special coach, and make your appreciation known.
Make Sure Your Sports League Allows You To Give Gifts To Coaches
Giving a coach, a gift card is a fantastic idea, of course – but before you try to give a card to your child’s coach, you should make sure that they’re allowed to accept it, and that everything is above board.
This is especially important in public schools. There are restrictions in some states regarding the amount of money or value of products that teachers can receive – and since most coaches in public schools are also teachers, these restrictions usually do apply to them.
These restrictions exist because these public school coaches and teachers are technically government employees. For example, in Massachusetts, teachers may only receive $50 in gifts that are related to their work performance, and they must disclose each gift given to them in writing, otherwise they will run afoul of state laws.
Alabama is another example of this – they limit gifts to $25 for government employees including teachers and public school coaches. Make sure you do some Googling, and that the gift you’re giving to your child’s coach is legal, and appropriate.
If you’re not sure, just ask the administrative staff at the school. They’re sure to be aware of any kinds of restrictions that may be present in their state, county, or district – and if they clear your gift, you’ll be good to go.
And while these restrictions don’t generally apply to private schools or third-party youth leagues, there are some exceptions. Some schools and sports leagues do have a “no-gift” rule in place, so gifts to coaches aren’t allowed at all.
These “no-gift” rules are put in place for a good reason – some youth leagues wish to discourage large gifts that may result in “special treatment” for the children of a particular family, or simply don’t want to place families under increased financial strain.
So before you pick out a coach gift for a third-party youth league or a private school coach, do a bit of digging, and make sure that the gift you intend to give is within all recommended guidelines.
Pick The Right Amount
It can be a bit difficult to choose the right amount of money to spend on a coach. However, as a rule, most coaches don’t expect to receive gifts from individual families at all, though “team gifts” – where each family chips in a bit of money for a gift – are fairly common.
Since most coaches don’t really expect an individual gift, a gift card of almost any value will be appreciated – whether it’s $5 to Starbucks, or $50 to Target.
However, you don’t really want to overspend on a coach – especially if your children are involved in multiple youth leagues. And if you do purchase a gift card for one coach, you should probably do so for every coach who is involved with your kids – you don’t want any coaches feeling left out.
Because of all these factors, we recommend $25 as the right amount to give to a coach. Obviously, the value of the gift you give is totally up to you. However, $25 is a good amount to choose – it doesn’t break the bank, but it still gives a coach some real money to spend on whatever they choose.
And because the gift is relatively low in value, they won’t feel uncomfortable about taking it – whereas a $100 gift card may make them feel like they have to give your child special treatment, which can be a bit awkward.
If you do want to give a higher-value card to a coach, a team gift is a great idea. This is the most common way that coaches get rewarded by the families of their sports teams. Each person chips in a small amount of money for a gift that’s given to the coach by the entire team – usually a high-value gift card.
Because the gift is from the whole team, the coach won’t feel awkward about the high value of the card, making this a great option if you want to truly make your child’s coach feel rewarded.
Make It Special
If you’re giving a coach a gift card, chances are that they’ve done something special for your child. So don’t just give them your gift card – make it truly special! Here are a couple ideas you can use if you need ideas on how to spruce up your gift, and make sure that your child’s coach will remember it for years to come.
- Write a “thank you” card – The most important gifts come from the heart. Buy a nice “thank you” card from the store, take a few moments to write a couple sentences about the coach’s influence on your child, and make them feel appreciated. If your child is old enough to read and write, you can also have them write a few words – the coach is sure to appreciate this gesture.
- Customize the gift card – If you’re ordering a VISA or MasterCard prepaid gift card as a coach gift, you can often customize the look of the gift card. Consider using the team or school logo as the art on the gift card, and address it to the coach by name. This will make the gift card truly special.
- Give the card with a framed photo of the team – This is a great idea if you’re giving a team gift. Whenever the coach looks back at the photo of their team, they’re sure to remember the great times they had, and the gift that they received to honor them for their great coaching performance.
- Put together a “thank you” video – Now that we all carry smartphones, this is easier than ever to do! Just record each child on the team saying something nice about their coach – a couple sentences about the season, what their coach meant to them – whatever it may be. Put these videos together in a compilation, and give it to the coach with your gift card, or present the video at the end-of-season team banquet. It’s sure to bring a tear to their eye.
There are plenty of other ways that you can make a gift card special for your coach – these are just a couple of the best, most time-tested ideas. So come up with something great to give your child’s coach alongside a gift card – they’re sure to appreciate it!
Choose A Great Gift Card
If you know your child’s coach well, you probably have a good idea of what they like to do in their spare time, and what their hobbies are. If not, you can probably do a bit of investigating on Facebook and Instagram – do they like to fish? Are they out hunting? Do they like fancy restaurants?
That information can be really helpful when choosing a great gift card for a coach. However, if you still don’t know what gift card to get, here are some gift card ideas that are usually a solid choice for coaches.
- Sporting goods stores – Coaches are coaches for a reason – they like sports! A gift card to a sporting goods store like Dick’s Sporting Goods or Play-It-Again-Sports is a great idea, as it can allow a coach to replace some aging equipment that they’ve been using. This is an especially good gift for a male coach.
- Outdoor stores – While we don’t want to generalize, many coaches are quite outdoorsy, especially male coaches. So consider a gift card to an outdoor shop like REI or Bass Pro Shops – these are usually much appreciated.
- Office supply stores – Stores like Staples are great for coach gift cards. Coaches have a lot of administrative tasks, and can always use supplies like whiteboards, dry-erase markers, clipboards, and other basic office supplies. This is especially true if your coach does “double duty” as a teacher – teachers are always in need of school supplies!
- Restaurants – Because coaches often spend long nights and weekends coaching your kids, they may not get to treat themselves very much. A gift card to a great local restaurant is a fantastic idea – it gives them a chance to have a nice night out and enjoy themselves.
- Coffee shops – Have you ever seen a coach arrive at a morning basketball game or a swim meet without a giant mug of coffee in hand? Probably not! That’s why a gift card to Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Tim Hortons, or another local favorite coffee shop is a fantastic choice for a coach!
- Prepaid VISA gift card – Usually, you can’t give coaches cash as a gift – but if you want to give them the flexibility of cash, a prepaid VISA gift card is a great choice. These cards can be used just like any other credit or debit card, providing your child’s coach with unlimited spending options.
There are plenty of other great gift cards to give coaches, but these 6 options are certainly fantastic choices. So choose from one of these awesome gift cards, and make your child’s coach feel appreciated at the end of the season!
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