Let the games begin! If you’re a parent of one or more children, you know that there’s a certain amount of pain and angst that goes with the enjoyment of having your child participate in the spring sports season. Yes, we’re talking about baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, and a host of other outdoor sports. Whether it’s playing for school or maybe as part of a club or city/town recreational team, there’s a whole lot of juggling to be done, even before you play game one. So, your friends at Ocean State Job Lot are here to help you survive the madness.
Setting the Schedule
Setting a schedule will come in handy especially if there’s more than one child and more than one sport involved. You’ll want to be able to make sure that everyone knows the schedule. What day practice and games are on, the practice and game times, what field the game is being played on are among the details that need to be listed. Another good one to add is how the children are getting to the game, who’s responsible for bringing to the game, and if you’re picking up teammates along the way. Might we suggest a wall calendar? Your local Ocean State Job Lot has a full variety of calendar ranging from your generic 12-month calendar to a monthly desk calendar that can also be hung up where everyone has access. Think about a whiteboard, too. That could make it easier for changes that we all know will be coming. Lots and lots of dry-erase markers so you can color-code for each child and/or sport. Adding a few stickers could make it more visual and fun! The goal should be to make sure everyone knows where to look for the schedule and that they check it on a daily basis in case things vary, as they ultimately do. Having a planner also gives you the opportunity to put schedules in for the whole season in one sitting. If you want to do it electronically, you could always sync up the calendars on your Apple or Android phone so that everyone that needs access has it.
Packing up for Success
Another sure fire way you can survive the onslaught of managing the spring sports season is by making sure you have all the essentials. This will come in handy, especially when there are long days of multiple games or practices to get through. Of course, there’s all the equipment needed to play the sport of the day, that’s fundamental. It’s all the OTHER “stuff” that we tend to forget. Let’s start with water bottles. They are a MUST for players, family, and fans. Have an extra bottle filled just in case because we all know that there will be someone who needs it. Make the investment in chairs that are both sturdy and comfortable. With all the traveling back and forth, you’ll appreciate it when there’s down time. Add in a few blankets too. They’ll come in handy especially if siblings are on hand to watch and need a place to grab a quick snack or lunch on the go.
Don’t forget to account for wet and unsettled weather. Stocking the car with an umbrella or two, or maybe a poncho or pullover could be the difference in whether you’re totally soaked or better off drier through a few rainstorms, expected or not, during the season. It also doesn’t hurt to keep spare hats and gloves for those chilly spring mornings. Lastly, having a first aid kit that’s up-to-date could be a lifesaver. Don’t rely on coaches or leagues being prepared with all the necessary products. Keep a kit with you complete with bandages, ace bandages, aspirin, disinfecting wipes, and even an ice pack that can crack open to use. Bug spray and sunscreen will also come in handy along the way.
When it comes to packing snacks, you’ll want to follow a few easy suggestions:
- Be healthy if you can.
- Have plenty to share.
- Bring a back-up option, if possible, just in case.
We all know that being healthy is best but not always feasible, especially when it comes to the high-rising cost of food these days. Stock up for the season at Ocean State Job Lot with its variety of snacks including trail mix, nuts, and other assorted snacks. Nutty Naturals are a big favorite ranging from apricots to cranberries to a rain forest trail mix. Haribo berries, cherries, and gold-bears gummi candies are a hit with the kids and so are salty snacks like Pirate’s Booty Aged White Cheddar Snack Puffs or Chi-Chi’s Original Tortilla Chips. Just in case one snack isn’t enough or maybe there’s someone else around that wants to try your treat, it’s always good to have a few extras on hand (i.e. number of players & coaches +4 = optimum snack numbers). Finally, if pickiness is a quality that abounds with your youngster, like so many of us, have a couple of options. It will help you avoid that infamous eye-roll or looks of disdain coming your way. Of course, you could always have the kids come shopping for snacks with you before the game, giving them some investment into what you’re picking. If it’s your game to bring the treats, make sure you check ahead with the coach and parents for any allergy restrictions.
In the end, the more you can do to ensure the children have what they need will help keep your stress level from going through the roof while making sure you can enjoy the games all season long.