A Soccer (or Any Sport) Mom's Survival Guide

By Jessica Strait

As I type this, I am sitting in the parking lot at the soccer field as both of my children practice. This is their second season to participate in soccer. During our first round of soccer season, life was crazy hectic. I was working as a substitute teacher, at a different school each day while also in graduate school and also working as a freelance writer and occasional blogger.

I was stressed.

Life was hectic.

There was chaos.

However, I learned a lot during that chaos on how to be a great sports mom. I picked up some tips for making sure I have everything I need at the ball field from veteran moms and from some mishaps we, literally had to wade through.

Have a Well-Stocked First Aid Kit

First aid kits are a must for every sports mom. A well-stocked one can keep the tears to a minimum and get your little athlete back in the game quickly. A list of the items I have in my kit are:

•Bandaids, multiple sizes
•wraps for sprains
•Antibiotic ointments
•ice packs - get the portable kind that stay cold for hours
•antiseptic wipes for cleaning cuts and scrapes
•first aid tape for when those fingers get jammed or you need to tape bandaids hat won’t stick
•rubber gloves for those times when it’s someone else you are tending to or your own hands are dirty

All of these are important to have in your car at all times but especially during games and practices. You might want to add the materials you need to make a splint as well. I also like to have antibacterial hand gel, sunscreen and bug spray in my car, too.

Be Prepared for All Types of Weather

Maybe this is just an Ohio thing but during the last season of soccer, I had to be prepared for rain, snow, chilly and hot weather! That doesn’t appear to be changing this season either. So in my car I have something for every type of weather. We have extra gloves, headbands to cover their ears, toboggans (incase they aren’t in the mood for headbands), long sleeve shirts, ponchos, a golf umbrella and light weight jackets. I also pack lots of plastic bags to put muddy clothes into after games and a spare change of clothes for each boy incase the field is muddy (it always seemed to be muddy last season).

Prepare Yourself, Too

My comfort while watching games and practices is a must as well. In my car, I have a basket of magazines that I can read while I sit during practices. I have a couple in there for my boys, too for those times when one might be bored while the other is practicing (usually the nearby playground and siblings of the other teammates is enough to entertain them, though). I also have foldable chairs, a couple of blankets, a golf umbrella and rain boots for me. There were many times when I had to trek through mud to get to my son’s field and after one time, I learned to always have my galoshes in the car.

I always leave the house with a cooler of snacks and water bottles, enough for all three of us and extra to share for the teammate who might forget his at home.

Getting your child involved in sports is a great way to boost their self-esteem and teach them great skills for adulthood. You can make sports a less stressful event for everyone by being prepared for anything that may occur on the field.
Jessica Streit is an educator, freelance writer and single mom of 2 boys. Her writing can be found on a variety of topics including personal finance, education and parenting. She blogs about overcoming debt and living a royal life on a budget at The Debt Princess.