Throughout ten months of the year most of my evenings and weekends are spent cheering on my kids at their various sports- from the baseball diamond to the football stands to the soccer fields to the basketball court, and even at karate, swimming and gymnastics. If there’s one thing I have learned as a sports mom it’s that I need to be prepared for anything. Spring sports are wrapping up for us but Fall sports season will be here before you know it so I wanted to share this list of sports essentials with you so that you have it as you shop for back to school items this summer. Thanks to BODYARMOR for sponsoring this post.
Below you will find the list of items that I feel are essential for sports parents to have. I normally keep most of these items in the back of my van during sports season because you never know what you will need. It’s also helpful to keep most of the items in there so you don’t forget anything important as you run out the door to practice or games. If you buy a small basket or bin to keep all this in it’s easy to find what you need when you need it and to take out if you have to.
Items needed for both indoor and outdoor sports:
Uniform & Gear – Check your child’s league to see what is recommended when it comes to clothing, shoes and gear. Different sports have different cleats, there are different size soccer balls for different ages, some baseball teams require a face mask and some do not, etc. Also, each sport differs in what is provided. Some may provide the whole uniform while others may provide the jersey but you have to buy the pants. It’s always best to check out your leagues website and talk to the coaches before you go shopping.
Snacks – Snacks for both the player and the family are something you are going to want to pack, especially if you have younger children that will be sitting with you. Most of the time the player will just eat something at the end of the practice or game but the family may get hungry while they are sitting there. I typically bring a variety of snacks, including pretzels and animal crackers, in small ziploc bags.
Extra Equipment – It’s always handy to have extra equipment on hand. One thing I’ve found we’ve had to replace mid-game or practice are mouthguards for football. Other things to keep an extra of include baseball mitts, goggles for swimming and shin guards for soccer.
Sports Drinks – Replenishing sports drinks for your player are essential, especially on warm days. I like to bring at least one bottled drink per hour my kids are playing sports and two drinks for every hour if they are playing outside in hot weather.
One sports drink we recently started having Jacob drink during games is BODYARMOR, a premium sports drink with more potassium packed electrolytes, coconut water and vitamins. It has natural flavors, natural sweeteners and no artificial colors, unlike traditional sports drinks. It’s a great choice for young athletes especially, who don’t need all the extra sodium in their diets or the artificial ingredients that come from drinking other sports drinks on the market. BODYARMOR can be found in a number or retailers including Jewel, Meijer and Target here in the Chicago area (find a coupon here) and comes in 8-great tasting flavors: fruit punch, orange mango, strawberry banana, tropical punch, lemon lime, mixed berry, grape and blackout berry. Jacob’s favorite flavor is blackout berry.
Items needed for only outdoor sports:
Sun Protection – If you will be outside in the sun for any amount of time don’t forget the sunscreen. You’ll want to put it on your player (and yourself) before the game or practice starts and then reapply it as needed. For parents, an umbrella or pop up tent you can sit under can also keep you out of the sun and cooler on hot days. We bought a small pop up tent from the store that our younger child could sit under during games to keep him in the shade.
Extra Layers – I’ve learned from experience that it’s always important to carry extra clothes in the car because the temperature can change quickly as the day goes on. Numerous times it’s been warm and sunny and everyone was wearing shorts and then by the end of the game everyone had coats on and were trying to stay warm. I like to have a long sleeve undershirt for the player along with sweatshirts and coats for everyone in the back of my van just in case we need them.
Blankets – Blankets are helpful to have to keep warm on colder days but also can be used as a ground cover which is especially helpful when the ground is wet or muddy. I’d suggest bringing two blankets and making sure one of them has one side that’s weatherproof so if you put it on the ground the moisture won’t soak through.
Cooler – On warm days you’ll want to store your player’s drinks (and your’s too!) in a cooler to keep the drinks cold.
Chair – Whether it’s a camping chair or a folding chair you’ll want to have a chair to sit in. Don’t count on there being bleachers everywhere you go because some fields might not have any and you don’t want to have to stand for hours.
I hope this list helps you prepare for and enjoy your child’s sports season! What would you add to my list?