We've Got Spirit

Spirit Boxes created for the Bonn Capitals during their playoff run in 2015

We're not the only ones hitting the road this week. In addition to the local clubs headed for fun tournaments across the continent both national team baseball and softball players will be leaving home to join their countrymen in the battle for European bragging rights in cups and championships. Want to send your club’s national team members off with a good vibe? How about making them a spirit box?

Spirit boxes are a long-standing tradition in athletics. They're easy to make because there are no rules. Today we're giving you the basic guidelines for making your own box to give to your favorite player as they head out for a long stretch of away games. The purpose of the box is to help them feel like they brought a little bit of their hometown fanbase with them, at least in spirit. It is also filled with entertaining ideas to help pass the long hours of travel.

There are no strict guidelines to making the boxes but there are lots of elements that are standard to the process. To begin, find an empty shoe box or a box similar in size. Next cover it up and decorate the box in a way the player knows it belongs to them. You can use team colors or simply wrap them in brown paper or even foil. Whatever cover you chose make sure it is one that is easy to decorate because now you need to start personalizing the box. The player's nickname, number are a great start. If you have some old programs from the club, consider cutting out the logo, photos and other content to add to the box for decoration.

The inside of the box should be filled with a few different items. We recommend knowing the player, or learning a bit about their personal likes. Snack foods, anything from granola bars to candy, can be added as well as some fun things to do on long road trips like travel games or a deck of cards. If you know the player enjoys reading comic books or a certain magazine, toss one of those in there. They'll get thirsty so a sports drink is a great addition as well. The more you know about your player, the easier it is to fill.

If you are a fan that just wants to show your support consider a nice homemade gift such as a personal note saying how much you enjoy watching them play along with a batch of homemade cookies they can share with the team.

Once your box is complete find a way to get it to your team member secretly. We recommend enlisting the help of your clubhouse managers because they have the keys to the kingdom and can help you get the boxes directly into your player's locker. They are also generally the ones tasked with loading the team bus so if your whole team is headed out making an advance arrangement is great. The boxes are meant to be enjoyed during travel so make sure they get them directly before or as they are boarding the bus.

If you're whole team is leaving and you'd like to host a decorating event, we've included a guide to help you break down potential purchasing and preparation tasks. It's also a great read for first-timers if you're stuck for ideas to get the job done.

Whatever you make, make it with whimsy. The more fun you're having the better the box will be. Snap a photo and send them to us! We'd love to take some of that spirit on the road with us as well. We'll share them socially and add them to the road trip photo album on Pinterest.

#softball #baseball