“Mama, I am hungry…., it’s so hot, I am bored, is the game over yet?” If I had a dime for every time I heard those words last year, I could run away to a private island and have a nice quiet vacation by myself – far away from whining.
Our first season as a travel soccer family is drawing to a close. As a matter of fact, our son is going through try-outs for the next season. As I sit back and reflect on life as a soccer parent, I have to admit that although it’s busy, tiring and sometimes hard to juggle everything – this has really brought us together as a family.
When we pack our bags in the morning and head to the soccer fields, it is crucial that we pack JUST the right things for everyone to have a great time. After the 47th time hearing, little sibling voices ask “is it over yet” you come to realize that maybe, just maybe your bag is lacking crucial must-have items.
- Chairs! Invest in a few comfortable folding chairs with shoulder straps so you can easily carry them from the car to the field. You will also need these for the many practices throughout the week, so don’t go too cheap on these.
- Shade! Especially in the Summer it is necessary to BYOS (bring your own shade) or you will surely melt by half-time. A beach cabana is easy to set up and break-down and provides great shade for a large family like ours.
- Waterproof blanket! Early morning games will be played on dew-covered fields, which is why the waterproof feature is important.
- Band-aids! Not for the player as much as for the sibling who WILL fall, trip over a stick… SOMETHING band-aid worthy will happen, trust me.
- Sunscreen! Our favorite is the Australian brand Blue Lizard. We use it for all of our family members – with great success.
- Wipes! Nothing is ever deemed clean unless it has been scrubbed with a baby wipe, it’s a scientifically proven fact.
- Snacks! Your family could have eaten a Thanksgiving Day meal minutes before arriving at the field, and the kids will STILL ask you for snacks! It happens, every time.
- Busy bags for the little kids: small soccer toys, cars, PlayDoh, LEGO Minifigures, LEGO bricks, crayons and paper. I have several of these bags packed in the car, in my purse and anywhere else I may need to entertain the kids.
- Soccer ball! You know that as soon as the game starts, the siblings will be begging for their own ball, so come prepared!
- Sports drinks! These are not just for the player. Sitting in the hot sun for a few hours is sure to dehydrate anyone, which is why we bring sports drinks for everyone in our party. We recently discovered BodyArmor Super Drink. It is a light-flavored sports drink, sure to hydrate even the loudest cheering parent.