Is this the first time signing up your child for soccer? I am excited that my son will be back to playing a sport he loves, but I dread adding one more thing to our schedule. I have a love/hate relationship with soccer season. It seems like the days get busier and we are always at the soccer fields but I love seeing my kids active and happy.
We are at the fields when it is cold at the beginning of the spring season. We’re there when it starts to get hot and humid. We are there in the mud—and the rain!
I’m an old pro now! However, it wasn’t always like this. In the beginning, I had my hands full just getting two toddlers to the soccer field in one piece. They are teens now and soccer is just a part of our lives. It’s always soccer season now that my son is in high school. We used to have a winter break. But high school soccer here in FL is a winter sport, which fits nicely between the fall and spring club seasons.
Here are a few things I wish I knew to bring when I first started lugging the kids to the fields a few years ago.
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A Folding Chair
I don’t like it when the ants go marching up my pants to bite my butt; or when the damp grass leaves me with an unflattering wet spot on my rear end. I highly recommend a folding chair or a blanket to sit on.
Let me tell you, these sideline soccer chairs can get fancy. I’ve seen all sorts of folding chairs on the sidelines. You’ll find rocking lounge chairs, rain-fighting umbrella hideout chairs, and even some folding two-seater contraptions.
I prefer the good old basic folding director chair with a cup holder. Our chairs get beaten up when we lug them to practices, the beach, or anywhere a chair is handing so we get simple (cheap) chairs that are replaced as needed. I do want a fancy rocking chair for those few moments when I am not on my feet cheering on the team.
Pro tip: Be as loud and exuberant as you want while they are little! Once they hit their teens, they are going to roll their eyes and tell you not to distract them on the field.
I like to bring a blanketwith us. It can be wrapped around my shoulders if it is chilly outside. Usually, I spread it out on the ground so my daughter can play while we are watching Pork Chop practice or play.
Toys — for the little siblings
My daughter gets bored during the practices. When she has friends her age among the soccer players’ siblings then she plays and has fun. However, when she doesn’t, she gets whiny and cranky which distracts me from enjoying the game. Bringing toys helps to keep her occupied so I don’t miss an assist or goal!
Bug Spray and Sunscreen
We live in Florida, home of monster mosquitos and voracious gnats. The fields are a minefield of fire ant piles. I prefer to use Skin so Soft on my kids and they make little convenient insect repellent wipes! It is also called the sunshine state so grab the sunscreen.
Soccer practices are timed to completely throw off our dinner schedule. I don’t like to feed my son dinner before practice because he is prone to cramps. I usually have him eat a hearty snack after school. By the time practice is over, his peanut butter and banana sandwich snack has long since been burned away. I bring snacks to tide him over until dinner and to keep my daughter from complaining about being hungry.
It is especially important to have fluids on hand to keep the kids hydrated. I bring several bottles of water. When the weather is especially warm, I pack electrolyte drinks. I don’t allow them to drink sports drinks too often because of the sugar content and all the other preservatives and dyes in them.
I drink coconut water, myself, when I need to rehydrate but my children think it tastes “yuck.”
Thank you to Body Armor for sponsoring this post. Though I have been compensated for this review, all thoughts and opinions are our own.
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I can’t wait to make some rehydration popsicles with it. It comes in several flavors. I have seen it on the shelves of my favorite store, Target.
If you want to try it yourself, click here for a coupon for $1.00 off the purchase of two bottles. You can try two different flavors!
Being prepared when you go to a soccer game can make the whole experience more enjoyable for the whole family. Instead of dealing with the discomfort of standing or sitting on the grass, bug bites, and a whiny non-playing sibling, a little thinking ahead can free you up to actually watch the field!
What do you bring to the soccer fields?
I updated this post and added a few essentials to the list. Check it out here!
To get an idea of the types of moms you’ll meet on the sidelines read this. The 11 Parents You’ll Meet in Competitive Youth Soccer.