Back-to-Sports Gear: Tips for a Successful Season

Back to School means back to sports for many of us. The two often go hand-in-hand, and many times, the sports season begins even before the school year does! While the coach usually provides a list of necessary gear, like helmets, rackets, cleats, etc., they don’t always mention the other important items you’ll want to have on hand for a successful season.

Back-to-Sports Gear: Tips for a Successful Season
DISCLOSURE: Special thanks to Thirty-One Gifts for sending products to help facilitate this discussion!

Here are a few products you and your sports star will be glad you have:

Water bottles. Being hydrated isn’t something that moms just nag about. Kids that play sports expend tons of energy. Each drop of sweat is fluid lost from their body. It’s important that they have a good water bottle to help keep them cool in warmer weather. Even in the coldest winter months they’re still running and sweating and need to keep the fluids coming.

Healthy snacks. Whether or not they play sports, it’s important for growing bodies to receive proper nutrition. Sports kids need even more to fuel their bodies. I like to send my kids with snacks like fruits, veggies, and protein-packed yogurt and cheese. To keep the snacks fresh, we use the Around-The-Clock Thermal. A lot of times, practices and games fall within meal times, and the thermal allows me to pack enough to keep all three of us fueled up. It holds up to 15 lbs. and is generously sized to fit water bottles, sandwiches, and snacks.

Back-to-Sports Gear: Tips for a Successful Season

Quality backpacks are also an important thing for sports kids to have. We like the Sling Back Pack. If you’ve got a kid that flings their bag of gear over their shoulder, a sling back pack is a good solution. It’s easy to carry, stylish, and holds everything they need. It’s the perfect pack for in school use, sports games, and for weekend trips as well.

Duffle bags. Our Thirty-One All-Packed duffle bag holds everything from tablets to laptops to knee pads, football helmets and snacks. One of my favorite features of this bag is the separate compartment for shoes, so that the rest of the gear doesn’t get dirty. The bag also does double duty if we travel, holding enough clothes for a few days away from home. This is an especially attractive and versatile bag that will really work for anyone.

Thirty-One also offers personalization options, allowing you to customize items with your name, your team’s name, etc. I can’t even begin to tell you how helpful it is to have your child’s name on their bag when there are 30 of them laying on the ground after a game! You can also personalize using icons like soccer balls and cheerleading megaphones. Sports mom lesson #1: Label everything!

Back-to-Sports Gear: Tips for a Successful Season

Another thing I’ve learned over the years is that wipes are necessary long after the child is out of diapers. Whether they’re 5 or 15, they still spill things and/or get them on their clothes. And your car’s seats too! Wipes make short work of little messes. Sports gear gets a little messier, as you can imagine, and for that we use antibacterial wipes. Cleaning the equipment after use helps keep kids healthy. Wiping things down immediately also makes for easier deep cleaning later. Mud comes off a football helmet with less effort before it gets dried on!

I also like to keep a plastic bag or laundry bag inside the kids’ bags. It makes it much easier for me to collect dirty uniforms after events. Most kids can’t seem to find the laundry basket if their life depends on it, so if I provide the laundry bag inside their bags, I have a much better chance of washing those socks before they can stand on their own. I just grab the bag and throw the stuff in the wash.

It should also be said that sports gear isn’t something you should skimp on when it comes to quality. If you purchase a lower quality item at your local discount store, you’ll likely end up doing that two or three times throughout the year. Usually this happens at 9pm when your child says something like “Hey mom, I forgot to tell you there’s a big hole in this thing needed for 6am practice tomorrow.” It just makes more sense financially and from a convenience standpoint to buy the higher quality items the first time.

Sports seasons can get crazy, but it is likely the most fun that you’ll have while your kids are in school. There’s nothing quite as exciting as sitting on the sidelines cheering them on as they play hard and work as a team toward a goal. Being a sports mom is one of the most rewarding experiences ever, and with a little pre-planning and the right gear, you’re in for an awesome season.

Are you a sports mom? Do you have tips to share?

 

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Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an author and sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky. When she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s writing about country living and artisan culture.

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