Score big

Winning gifts to say ‘thanks’ to a coach

If you have sporty kids, you know this time of year is spent shuffling money around Venmo. Whether contributing to the lacrosse kitty or taking the lead on collecting cash for the soccer fund, we all like to do our part to say thanks to the coaches for a great season. And since many coaches are parent volunteers, it’s nice to recognize their generous efforts.

It takes patience and good humor to teach kids sports skills.

It seems the most common token of appreciation in my town is a gift card. Top choices are sports stores such as Dick’s or Modell’s, or a local bar/restaurant. Gift cards are easy to pick up and widely welcomed. Coaches are sure to like some new athletic gear, or after a long day of coaching, a nice cold beer and/or effortless meal can do wonders.

If you don’t like the impersonality of a gift card, purchase a relevant sports ball and have the team sign it. While some balls are more expensive than others, this can either accompany or replace the gift card. It’s also a nice little thank you for coaches of younger kids or assistant coaches. If you have time to order something online and want a more polished present, check out these personalized balls and pucks that you can label with your coach’s name, team name and year.

If you were a coach, what would you appreciate as a thank you gift? Feel free to comment below.

This week’s picks

Have some fun: Memorialize your coach with his or her very own bobblehead. Upload a photo to the site, then select a variety of options to make it realistic. Free approvals during the various production stages are included, to ensure your doll looks spot on. $69.90 and up

Turn your coach into a bobblehead.

Ace it: Lady tennis coaches will love this clever lariat necklace. The 18-inch sterling silver chain is capped off with a silver-plated tennis ball charm that hangs through a racquet charm on the other end. It can be personalized with your coach’s initials and/or birthstone. $16 and up

This tennis necklace is an eye-catcher.

End in a tie? This baseball stadium tie is ideal for dads who come right from the office to practice. The navy silk neckwear features sketches of classic ballparks from a bygone era, including stadiums such as Ebbets Field and Comiskey Park. Sketches vary. $49

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