Water bottle, soccer ball, cleats, shin guards, extra clothes, first aid kit, towel, sun-screen, post-game snack, plastic bags are some of the things that every first time soccer mom should carry to the field.
Soccer regularly ranks as one of the most popular youth sports in the United States. In fact, more than two million (2,303,000, to be exact) children played soccer in the year 2017.
If your child is getting ready to join this group, you might be feeling a little nervous as a first-time soccer parent. What should you bring to their first game? What kind of equipment do they need?
There’s no need to panic — remember, every soccer parent was once a first-timer. Listed below are the ten most important items you should have on hand during your child’s first soccer game. Keep the items on this checklist in mind and you’ll be totally prepared on game day.
10 Things First Time Soccer Mom Should Bring to The Field
1. Water Bottle
Perhaps the most important thing you can bring with you on game day is a water bottle. Soccer is essentially a game of non-stop running — your child is bound to get thirsty. This is especially true if their game is on a warm day.
Any kind of water bottle will do, but an insulated one is nice for keeping water cold when it’s hot outside. Stick to water for your child’s intra- and post-game beverage, too. Sports drinks are loaded with sugar and aren’t necessary for young kids.
2. Soccer Ball
It’s also a good idea to bring an extra soccer ball. You never know when someone might need one.
Make sure you have a soccer ball that’s the proper size for your child’s age. If they are under eight, they’ll need a size three ball. Players aged 8-12 should use a size 4 ball, and players 13 and up should use a size 5 ball.
Don’t forget your child’s soccer cleats, either. Cleats provide traction and will help keep them from slipping and falling, especially when the field is wet or muddy.
4. Shin Guards
Shin guards are necessary, too. As the name suggests, they’ll protect your child’s shins — this is definitely a must, especially since young players have a tendency to kick whether they can see the ball or not. Look for a pair of shin guards that cover as much of the leg and ankle as possible without hindering your child’s mobility.
For hot, sunny days, sunscreen will come in very handy. Apply it to your child’s skin before they get dressed for their game. You may also need to apply more halfway through the game, especially if they’ve been sweating a lot.
6. Extra Clothes
Depending on how much they sweat during their game, it can be good to have some extra clothes for your child to change into afterward. This will also protect the interior of your car from mud, sweat, and grass.
Consider keeping a long-sleeved shirt in your bag, too. That way, your child will have an extra layer they can put on in case it’s cold outside.
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7. First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is one of those items most people forget about until they actually need it. Be prepared for potential cuts and bruises and make sure your first aid kit is stocked with bandages, alcohol wipes, and hand sanitizer.
You may also want to keep an ankle and/or knee brace in there, too. These will be useful in the event that someone twists an ankle or hurts their knee and needs something to help lower swelling on their way to the doctor.
A towel can serve many purposes during your child’s first soccer game. You can use it mop up sweat or wipe away tears. It makes a great seat-protector to keep your car clean on your way home, and you can sit on it if you forget your lawn chair.
9. Post-Game Snack
As ironic as it may be, it’s quite common for kids to receive a sugar-filled treat after their game. If you don’t want your child dealing with a sugar crash an hour after their game, bring your own snacks for them to enjoy.
The best post-game snack is one that has a good mix of carbohydrates and protein. Kids protein bars, fruit, string cheese, or beef jerky are all good options.
If your child insists on getting one of the sugary team treats, too, don’t put up too much of a fight. But, at least have them eat the healthier option first so they get some nutrients in their system.
10. Plastic Bags
Plastic bags of all sizes can be very useful during soccer games. Use small plastic bags to store jewelry so it doesn’t get tangled up or lost.
You can also use larger plastic grocery bags to store wet or muddy clothes and equipment. That way, it won’t get anything else dirty on the way home, and you’ll be less likely to forget to wash it.
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