Fall is approaching quickly, and not only does that bring the return of school, but also all the sports that go along with it. I will admit, I am no expert on being a soccer mom yet. This is my family’s first big year with team sports, but even considering that, I have quickly picked up on some tips. So, if you are new to the game (pun intended), here is everything I have learned so far, in my few short weeks of being a soccer mom. Take a look at the fall sports survival guide below!
One thing that goes hand-in-hand with team sports is equipment.
Equipment for the kids, cleats, water bottles, uniforms, the list goes on. But in the midst of trying to remember all of their equipment, don’t forget the things you need as well. We showed up to our first game with very little (because I try to pack light), but I quickly realized we needed more and it would have been worth the effort to bring a few extra things. Bring foldable chairs for a place to sit, and a stroller or wagon for any littles cheering on their siblings. Getting to your child’s assigned field can be a long walk sometimes, so it is worth bringing the stroller or wagon. If you need any other essentials like drinks or snacks for your kids not playing in the game, don’t forget those, too. I thought my son would like watching his sister play soccer, but he gets bored easily, so it is good to have snacks or Matchbox cars to entertain him.
Next, keep in mind that soccer fields, football fields, etc. are exactly that, fields.
Fields on wide-open areas of grass with no shade. If you will be sitting on the sidelines, be prepared to sit in the open and in the sun, wind, or rain. Prepare for the weather, bring an umbrella for shade or rain, and remember sunscreen, too. The pop-up canopies are very popular for this reason as well, and even though they are one more thing to bring, it might be worth it if you are going to be in the elements for a while.
Another tip is to make sure you bring cash or know if you will need it or not.
Some fields charge to get in or for parking and only take cash. It may also come in handy if you need to use it at a concession stand, too.
My next tip is about bathrooms because I can’t put together a list like this without preparing you for potential potty problems!
It never fails that my son has to go potty as soon as we get to the field and I have to make a trek to the potty! So, have your kids go potty before they leave the house to (hopefully) save you a trip to the bathroom. The bathrooms can be far away from the fields, so be prepared to walk if you do have to use them. And don’t be surprised if the only potty available is a port-o-let, as that is fairly common at the fields as well.
Along those lines, if you have anyone who is handicapped or has a hard time getting around or walking, you may want to take that into consideration.
Everyone loves when grandparents come to cheer everyone on, but not all fields are easily accessible. We have some members of our family who might not be able to walk long distances or use certain bathrooms, so keep that in mind when inviting them to games. I would scout the field in advance to know how much walking there is or ask a friend who has been there before what it looks like so you can determine if it will be accessible for them.
Finally, write down any important dates you may need to know for the season.
Writing down game and practice times is obvious, but don’t forget about the day you signed up to bring snacks or make sure you know when picture day is so you can be ready for that, as well as any other important dates your team may have.
I am sure next year I will have even more to add to this survival guide as I get used to this soccer mom thing! I felt very unprepared the first couple of weeks, but we are getting the hang of it now. It doesn’t matter if you are a new soccer mom or a veteran, we will all come together on the sidelines to cheer on our kids, braving the elements and juggling schedules so our kids can have these experiences. Have a fun and safe season everyone!