Soccer season is upon us! My boys have been playing soccer since they were preschoolers so I’ve decided to spend this week sharing a few tips I’ve learned to the hard way to hopefully help anyone just getting into the routine of kids playing sports. My tips are soccer specific but I’ve also applied these same tips to baseball and basketball seasons. Sometimes game day would arrive and we couldn’t find (fill in any of the items listed). Yes, I have pulled soccer clothing out of the laundry (and not the clean laundry basket either!) in desperation and had my poor boys wear it. We’ve been late to practices and games because our entire family is on a desperate search for a missing soccer shoe. SIGH. Not the stuff a soccer mom is proud to reveal but hey, it happens. Here are the secrets of “UNIFORM SUCCESS” that I have accumulated from years of being a mess about getting it together for our sport:
*DO NOT LET THEM WEAR THEIR SOCCER UNIFORMS TO PRACTICE:
Other clothing works fine for practice nights and you really should have an extra pair of soccer socks. I usually just let my boys wear their shin guards with some regular socks for practice nights.
*THROW THE SOCCER UNIFORMS IN THE LAUNDRY IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE GAMES:
You may still be pulling clothing out of a laundry basket on game day but this increases the odds the clothing will be coming out of the clean laundry basket! I don’t make my boys strip down right after the games (I don’t think they’d ever want to play again and would probably disown me as their mother if I did that!) but a good compromise is to make sure the uniforms are in your very next load of laundry. On a side note: If you are planning to eat out after a game, it helps to remember to throw an extra pair of shoes and socks in the car. It also helps to remember to take the shin guards, socks, and shoes out of the car when you arrive home.
*KEEP ALL THE SOCCER UNIFORMS IN ONE PLACE:
I have one dresser drawer in my youngest son’s room that holds all sports uniforms and socks. A couple of long-sleeved shirts, sweatshirts, and sweatpants for cooler game days are kept there as well. I know it seems logical to store each boys’ uniform in their own room but it actually works better if they are all in the same location. It also helps keep them from getting worn to school and lost in the laundry when game day arrives.
*KEEP ALL SHIN GUARDS AND SHOES IN ONE PLACE:
You probably want to store the shin guards and shoes somewhere a little air can circulate around them. I keep our shin guards and soccer shoes on this shelf in the hall closet.
*IF THIS IS THE SECOND (or TENTH) SEASON, TRY ON ALL THE GEAR PRIOR TO THE FIRST PRACTICE AND ESPECIALLY PRIOR TO THE FIRST GAME:
There is nothing worse to hear than a child wailing “These shoes hurt my feet!” when you need to leave for a practice (or a game!) in 5 minutes. It has happened here a few times and I am really bad about remembering to follow through on this tip but thankfully, my husband always seems to remember.
Next up in the series, I’ll share my practice night pointers that were learned by many trials and errors. Please let me know in the comments if you have any secrets to keeping uniforms for sports or other activities organized as well as if there is anything specific you’d like me to address in this series (note: I’m not an expert! I’m just an unorganized parent who has learned a few tips and tricks along the way to make it appear as though I might have it altogether.)