Finding and Coordinating Carpools
Love it or hate it, carpools are a quintessential part of the American soccer experience. It can be a great way for you to save gas and money, and it will also save you a lot of time. If your children are involved in multiple sports and activities, finding the time to transport them to and from every place can be very difficult, especially if you’re working full-time. Carpools help every parent get their children to practices, games, and other activities and allow your children to be much more active and involved than they would be otherwise. The only question is—how to do you find and coordinate your carpools?
If you are interested in carpooling, you should immediately start working on coordination at the start of the season. This is when you’ll be meeting many of the other parents for the first time, and it’s a great opportunity to ask them about carpooling. You can always try to get involved in a carpool later on, but it can sometimes be more difficult if a carpool is already full or if your family lives out of the way. Here are few tips to help you start carpooling right away.
- Be Flexible
If you’re only willing to pick up children from one neighborhood or on one specific day, it can be difficult to find other parents that fit your specific criteria. Instead, you should be flexible, at least at first. Cast a wider net and consider carpooling with families that live a little farther away. Being flexible with carpooling arrangements and scheduling will make other parents want to carpool with you.
- Volunteer to Carpool First
Though carpooling is very common, there are some parents who are hesitant to do it or have done it very infrequently. A good way to get a carpool started is to volunteer to carpool first. The other parents will probably jump at the chance to let you transport their kids to the next practice or game.
- Make Safety a Priority
Different parents have different expectations for safety, and this can lead to problems down the road with carpooling. Instead, you should be very upfront about safety when you first organize your carpool. Assure other parents that you will always make sure that every child wears a seatbelt, and tell them that you expect the same from them as well. If a parent is unwilling to follow these types of rules, they may not be a good choice for carpooling.
- Select a Carpool Coordinator
Depending on the size of the team, it can be a really great idea to designate a carpool coordinator from among the players’ parents. This person will find out how many families are interested in carpooling and will also find out where everyone lives. They can then create the most efficient carpooling groups, so that families that live nearby each other can go together to games and practices. As silly as it sounds, tempers can sometimes flare as a result of carpooling. Having an official coordinator can prevent these types of things from happening by creating a system for carpool assignments and scheduling. This will reduce the amount of arguments or disagreements between parents.
However you find your carpool, it’s important that you are always respectful and responsible once you’ve joined. Otherwise, you may find that you are booted out of the carpool for reasons that were very preventable. Remember that you are transporting other people’s children, and their families may have different ways of doing things than your family. For example, avoid playing any type of music that someone might find offensive or inappropriate. As long as you are respectful and responsible, you’ll be able to continue carpooling for a long time.