When you have kids who are involved in sports, you are involved in sports yourself. In fact, parents often end up a lot more involved than their kids are. After all, you have to keep their schedules organized, drive them to and from practices and games, buy their equipment and uniforms, etc. Many parents even end up helping out with the teams by coaching, car-pooling, and other tasks. When your kids are involved in more than one sport, it can get even more hectic. So, in order to save your sanity, here are 10 tips to help sports moms keep it all together.
1. Get Kids to Lug their Own Gear
As your kids get older, they can do more and more, including being responsible for packing and lugging their own gear. Make sure they have a good bag to haul it all in, and teach them how to make a checklist to make sure that they arrive and leave with everything.
2. Avoid Drama
Unfortunately, politics and drama often enter the world of kids’ sports. Rise above this and avoid it all together. Just smile and nod politely. The more you deflect the drama, the less you are going to have to deal with it. Be a good sport, and the kids will learn good sportsmanship through your example.
3. Complete all Health Forms
Be sure to complete health forms in plenty of time. You may need to visit your child’s doctor, so make sure that you book the appointment well in advance. Otherwise, you may not be able to get in before the health forms must be turned in.
4. Get Kids to Manage their Schedules
Again, as kids get older, they can do more, including keeping track of their own schedules. Soon, they will be reminding you about games and practices, and not the other way around.
5. Pack what You Need
Make sure you have everything you need for practices and games, including water for yourself, snacks for everyone, a folding chair, a blanket, a first-aid kit, sunblock, bug spray, an umbrella, and anything else you may need (keep some books handy too for long days).
6. Take Advantage of Technology
Technology plays a huge role in sports. Take the compression shirt for instance. These are going to help keep the body more stationary, and help it to be more aerodynamic.
7. Keep other Kids Occupied
If you have to bring smaller kids along with you to practices and games, make sure you have ways to keep them occupied. Bring along books, hand-held electronic games, crayons, coloring books, etc.
8. Buy a Little Collapsible Wagon
It is a good idea to keep a collapsible wagon in your vehicle at all times. You can use it to carry bags, chairs, umbrellas, coolers, and even smaller kids back and forth from the field and the car.
9. Make Ice Packs
Ice packs can get expensive, and you are going to need lots of them. You can save money and easily make your own. Simply put three parts water and one part rubbing alcohol in a zip-lock baggie, and place it in the freezer. It won’t freeze hard, so it can be molded to body parts for full coverage of the injured area when needed.
10. Keep a Go Bag Packed
You are likely going to be taking many overnight trips for tournaments. Instead of packing everything at the last minute, keep a go bag ready at all times that has items you will need for any trip, including toiletries and a spare set of clothing for each person.