5 Ways to Honor Seniors on Senior Night (2024)

If you’re reading this, I don’t need to tell you that Senior Night is a big deal.

Traditionally the final home match of a volleyball season, Senior Night carries significance not only for your senior players, but for parents, the coaching staff, and for the rest of your program as well.

With volleyball being a fall sport in most areas in the US, this might also be on of the first times it really hits your players that they’re graduating and leaving high school life. Practically every senior night in my memory (either as a coach or as a player) involves tears.

Lots and lots of tears.

So what’s a coach to do to honor their seniors the right way? You want to make sure that they feel valued by the school and community, but let’s be real… we also have a budget to follow. Here are five ideas for you to consider if they are right for your program. Use them all, or combine them in a new way!

Senior Night Idea #1: Make Posters for Each Senior

Make this a team function after practice one day after you dismiss your seniors. Get out the poster board, consider doing printouts of your seniors and sticking their picture on the paper, and just go to town with paint or markers.

Go as crazy as you want at a store like Hobby Lobby or Joanne Fabrics and get glitter, feathers, pom-poms, you name it!

Get to the gym early on Senior Night and hang up posters in a prominent spot in your gym. You may get a preview of the waterworks about to ensue if you catch the moment the seniors spot your team’s artwork.

Tips: Markers usually do not work well or will run out quickly. Make sure to use specific “poster paper” markers. Markers are better last minute and do not require dry-time like paint does. Paint is probably preferred if you can keep your work area clean and have a place for the posters to dry.

Senior Night Idea #2: Give Each Senior 1-2 Minutes of Air Time

One of the biggest contributors to a weepy farewell is giving your seniors the chance to write a bio. Have a questionnaire for your players to fill out with basic questions (i.e., name, daughter of, where going to college (if decided and/or if playing), when she started playing volleyball, etc.) and then give them fun questions like, “What was your favorite volleyball memory while in high school?” “What advice do you have for the freshman?” “What do you love about this year’s team?”

Everyone will love their short time in the spotlight, and everyone gets to learn a little more about your seniors. Hearing your tough middle blocker tell her freshman sister that she’s going to do great things if she keeps up the hard work will be adorable and will be a fun memory for the family.

Tips: There’s a few ways you could do this. First, you could have your players type out their answers and send it to you (most likely their handwriting is awful, make them send it to you or type it up yourself afterwards!) and you’ll give it to your school’s announcer to read that night. Give it to them a day or two ahead of time so they have time to review and get the presentation right.

OR, if you have the right equipment, you could have your seniors read their own bios and record them doing so. This makes it even more personal, and nothing gets lost in the way it is read out loud.

Last tip, but definitely important: Check them first. High schoolers try to be sneaky and might share information which they THINK is coded and no one will understand, but really everyone will probably know what they’re trying to say and it’ll be embracing for everyone. If something seems like an inside joke, have it explained to you. You want to honor your seniors, not have them share information which might actually get them in trouble.

Senior Night Idea #3: Prepare a Slideshow

You can show this before the game if it’s short enough, or save it for after the game and have a small meeting/party once the match is over.

If you’ve been with a program for a while, you might be able to share pictures of your seniors as freshman or even middle school players!

Ask the parents to share baby pictures with you, or get pictures from when they first started playing volleyball.

You can either make the slideshow specifically about the seniors, about the team as a whole, or do a combination of both.

If you save this until the end, it’ll give your team time to reminisce about the season before it’s officially over. Unless of course, senior night IS your last match! You’ll still want to do an end of the season party later on, but you can give out information here and let your team know what to expect next.

Tips: If you’re going to do a party, make sure that you have some food/refreshments and a small speech prepared. Everyone will have an expectation that you’ll say something as the head coach, so be ready!

If you’re going to do a slideshow before the match, make sure it’s short. You could pair this with the bios and give your crowd some additional entertainment.

Senior Night Idea #4: Make T-Shirts

If you’re able to plan ahead, consider getting t-shirts made of your seniors! These will be a keepsake for your players for years to come. Get a group picture or have a student come up with a creative design that highlights all your seniors, and then get shirts made for the whole team! You can wear them as warm-ups on Senior Night, and you could also sell more to parents/fans.

Before the game starts, do a t-shirt toss and throw some out to the crowd too!

Tip: This will probably be a long process, so get this started asap if you’re interested! You could either go to a local shop or use online stores like customink.com.

Senior Night Idea #5: Give out Goody Bags

Give your seniors a bag of presents before the match! All this takes is a quick trip to the dollar store and you’re bound to find something that will make them laugh and that they’ll enjoy. When I was a senior, we received plastic crowns and feather boas from our coach, and we all have some funny pictures from posing with these on. A few of us also gave these to our moms and our moms were wearing them for a while too!

You could also throw in small meaningful things related to the season like a bag of twizzlers for the girl who was eating these before every practice, or a container of ketchup for your senior who used WAY too much every time you stopped for food on the way home.

Take some time yourself to come up with these funny gifts, or assign your team to coming up with them. Again… always check that an inside joke is actually funny. You don’t want a senior with hurt feelings on Senior Night.

Tip: Get bags in the right size and label each one! You don’t want a huge bag that’s only half full, and you don’t want Amanda taking Jessica’s bag home at the end of the night!

Bonus Tip: Don’t Forget Cards!

When the slideshow is over, feather boas are put away, and the posters have come down, the best way to give your senior something they can hold onto is to give them a small card with messages from the team.

Make sure the cards are appropriate (I feel like I’m over emphasizing this, but after coaching high school a number of years I know what these girls are capable of lol) and that everyone writes a little message. This will make it 10x more valuable and appreciated by your player.

A nice note from the coach is also something they’ll enjoy for years to come.

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

As an experienced volleyball coach and enthusiast, I can assure you that Senior Night is indeed a significant event in the world of volleyball. It holds great importance not only for the senior players but also for their parents, the coaching staff, and the entire program. Having been involved in numerous senior nights as both a coach and a player, I can attest to the fact that tears are a common occurrence during these emotional celebrations.

To honor your seniors in the best possible way while also staying within your budget, here are five ideas for you to consider:

  1. Make Posters for Each Senior: After practice, gather your team together and have them create posters for each senior. Utilize poster board and printouts of your seniors' pictures to personalize their posters. Encourage your team to get creative with paint, markers, glitter, feathers, and pom-poms. Hang up the posters in a prominent spot in your gym before Senior Night, and witness the seniors' emotional reactions when they see your team's artwork.

Tips: Use specific "poster paper" markers instead of regular markers, as they work better and last longer. If possible, opt for paint, but ensure you have a clean work area and a place for the posters to dry.

  1. Give Each Senior 1-2 Minutes of Air Time: Grant your seniors the opportunity to share their stories and insights by providing them with 1-2 minutes of air time. Create a questionnaire that includes basic questions such as their name, parentage, college plans (if decided), and when they started playing volleyball. Additionally, ask them fun questions like their favorite volleyball memory in high school, advice for freshmen, and what they love about this year's team. This will allow everyone to learn more about your seniors and create heartwarming moments, such as a senior offering advice to their freshman sibling.

Tips: Have your players type out their answers and send them to you, ensuring legibility. Provide the typed responses to your school's announcer ahead of time for a smooth presentation. Alternatively, if you have the necessary equipment, let your seniors record their own bios for a more personal touch.

  1. Prepare a Slideshow: Create a slideshow that can be shown before or after the game, depending on its length. If you have access to photos from previous years, include pictures of your seniors as freshmen or even as middle school players. Request baby pictures from the parents or gather images from when the seniors first started playing volleyball. Tailor the slideshow to focus on the seniors, the team as a whole, or both. If shown after the game, it will give your team an opportunity to reflect on the season before it officially ends.

Tips: If you choose to have a post-game celebration, be prepared with some food, refreshments, and a small speech as the head coach. Keep the slideshow concise if it is presented before the game. Consider pairing the slideshow with the seniors' bios to provide additional entertainment for the crowd.

  1. Make T-Shirts: Plan ahead and consider getting t-shirts made for your seniors. These shirts will serve as keepsakes for years to come. Include a group picture or a creative design that highlights all your seniors, and have shirts made for the entire team. Wear them as warm-ups on Senior Night and offer them for sale to parents and fans. Before the game starts, do a t-shirt toss and throw some shirts into the crowd.

Tip: Start the t-shirt-making process as soon as possible to allow ample time. You can visit a local shop or use online stores like customink.com for convenience.

  1. Give out Goody Bags: Prior to the match, give each senior a goody bag filled with presents. Take a quick trip to the dollar store and find items that will make them laugh and enjoy the moment. For example, plastic crowns and feather boas can create fun photo opportunities. Include small meaningful items related to the season, such as a bag of Twizzlers for the player who always ate them before practice or a container of ketchup for the senior who used it excessively during post-game meals.

Tip: Choose appropriately-sized bags and label each one to avoid confusion. Ensure that the items inside are suitable for everyone, avoiding any potential hurt feelings or inside jokes that may not be understood by all.

Bonus Tip: Don't forget to give your seniors small cards with messages from the team. These cards will serve as lasting mementos and hold sentimental value for your players. Encourage each team member to write a heartfelt message, and consider including a personal note from the coach.

By incorporating these ideas into your Senior Night celebrations, you can make your seniors feel valued by the school and community while staying within your budget. These gestures will create meaningful memories for your seniors and leave a lasting impression on their high school volleyball experience.

5 Ways to Honor Seniors on Senior Night (2024)

FAQs

How do you make senior night special? ›

You can decorate the gym, have a cake for the teams, or even get the cheerleaders involved. It's up to you! We had a small senior display done by each senior or their parents that showcased pictures, schoolwork, awards, etc. Some years we had special buttons made for the parents to wear.

What do you give seniors on a senior night? ›

Top 10 Senior Night Gift Ideas
  • Game Day Indulgence Platter. ...
  • Game Day Delight – Basketball Edible® Donut. ...
  • Senior Baseball Gift. ...
  • C is for Cheerleader Personalized Frame. ...
  • Nice Dream Baseball 3D Illusion Lamp. ...
  • Personalized Photo Collage Wooden Letters. ...
  • Senior 2023 Sash. ...
  • Graduation Gifts for Him.
Apr 27, 2023

What to say to your seniors on senior night? ›

Dear Senior, Tonight is a very special night. It's the night we celebrate all your accomplishments and all that you've achieved during your time at our school. It's been an honor to watch you grow over the years, and I know that you have so much more greatness ahead of you.

What are parents supposed to do on senior night? ›

The senior's parents usually bring flowers and a card to the senior and a keepsake. The flowers are usually given to the senior before the game. Some schools offer a time before or after the game to display senior tables filled with memories of each athlete.

How can I impress my seniors? ›

How to Impress Senior Managers
  1. Collaborate across functions. Part of seeing the bigger picture is recognizing how your job function connects to others. ...
  2. Be smart about money. ...
  3. Ask intelligent questions. ...
  4. Propose solutions. ...
  5. Share interesting information. ...
  6. Be succinct. ...
  7. Disagree respectfully. ...
  8. Make effective presentations.

Do you give flowers on senior night? ›

This celebration can be as simple, or elaborate, as the team wants. Usually, a junior teammate(s) and parent(s) take the lead to plan a special way to honor their Senior teammates. One way to honor the athlete's parents or guardians, is to present them with a simple bouquet of flowers during the ceremony.

What do seniors need the most? ›

Eight Needs of the Elderly
  • Family Support.
  • Home Safety.
  • Medical Needs.
  • Cognitive Health.
  • Mobility.
  • Personal Hygiene.
  • Meal Preparation.
  • Social Interaction.

What do moms wear on senior night? ›

NON-JERSEY OUTFIT IDEAS FOR MOM ON SENIOR NIGHT

Show your spirit with by incorporating school colors into your outfit. You can also add a cute jacket or cardigan on top. If it's chilly outside, this is a great way to stay warm while still showing your team spirit.

What is a senior gift? ›

A senior class gift is a donation made by graduating seniors to their alma mater as a way of giving back and supporting future students. This contribution, no matter how big or small, can make a significant difference in the lives of those who follow in your footsteps. Giving. What is Your Senior Class Gift?

How do you honor seniors? ›

Choose How You'll Celebrate
  1. Prepare their favorite meal or take them to their favorite restaurant; if they still enjoy cooking, collaborate with them on one of their favorite dishes.
  2. Organize a party for your senior and invite their friends and loved ones to share old times through stories, photos and mementos.

What is a good quote for seniors? ›

The great thing about getting older is that you get a chance to tell the people in your life who matter what they mean to you.” – Mike Love. “Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you've got to start young.” – Theodore Roosevelt. “Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.” – Mark ...

What do people do for senior night? ›

It celebrates the culmination of years of hard work and commitment, and recognizes each senior's contribution to the team and program, celebrates their athletic achievements, and acknowledges the support of their family and friends. Senior Night is usually held at the final home game, meet or match of the season.

What to give your son on senior night? ›

Top 12 Last-Minute Senior Night Gifts for High School Athletes
  • Digital GiftYa Card. Digital gift cards can be used immediately, and you'll never have to worry about losing them. ...
  • Personalized T-Shirt. ...
  • Custom Gift Basket. ...
  • College Gear. ...
  • Customized Photo Album. ...
  • Inspirational Book. ...
  • AirPods. ...
  • Baked Goods and Desserts.

Is senior sleepover a real thing? ›

For the first time in over 10 years, senior students embarked the year with an orientation, which was a sleepover on campus filled with camaraderie, laughter, and activities. From bonding as a class to establishing leadership of the student body, the sleepover kicked the year off the right way.

What to wear for senior night? ›

Show your spirit with by incorporating school colors into your outfit. You can also add a cute jacket or cardigan on top. If it's chilly outside, this is a great way to stay warm while still showing your team spirit. And if you get too warm, you can always take off the jacket!

How do I attract my senior crush? ›

Be confident and laidback.
  1. Be aware of your body language. Everyone picks up on body cues subconsciously so communicate confidence with good posture, direct eye contact, and an easygoing smile.
  2. If you are feeling uncomfortable or insecure, fake it til you make it. Laugh and smile a lot and try to keep things in stride.

What is a senior night ceremony? ›

It is a chance for teammates, coaches, and the entire community to come together and show their support, creating an atmosphere filled with pride and appreciation. Senior nights leave a lasting impact, reminding athletes of the incredible journey they have been on and the legacy they leave behind.

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