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Sports Moms: Staying Organized Is Key

9. Keep track of everything

  • Use identification tags. Put a name-tag or write your child's first name in permanent marker on everything (shoes, balls, bags, water bottles etc.) along with a phone number. Better yet, as soon as your child is old enough, have him write his name on his equipment and uniform (a child who writes his name or initials on his uniform and equipment is more likely to make sure they don't get lost). Her name should also be on her sports bag to make it easy to identify in a sea of bags. I recall the time one of my players had a severe asthmatic attack on the field and needed an inhaler. I turned to the row of 18 identical blue and white bags all in a row. It took five extra minutes for parents to rifle through all of the bags to find the one which contained his inhaler.
  • Keep everything in its place. Give your child a chance to shoulder some or all of the responsibility for making sure that her equipment and uniform are where they should be. Have your child keep all of his or her equipment together in the same place, preferably in a sports bag, which is easy to fill, store and grab. Of course, you, too, need to keep everything where you can find it when you need it (like car keys, directions, wallet/purse, cell phone, sunglasses, etc);

10. Get help with the laundry. Make it your child's job to put her dirty uniform in the laundry room or the hamper. You shouldn't have to go rummaging around in his room to find the uniform under a sea of dirty clothes (teenagers really hate you going into their room when they aren't there; come to think of it, they don't like you coming in even when they are there). To avoid the hassle of trying to get your child's uniform washed and dried in time for the next practice or game, it may be worth the extra money to buy an extra uniform. Remember that the laundry isn't done until the uniform, jockstrap/sports bra and socks are back in the drawer, closet or sports bag where your son or daughter can find them.

Game/Practice Days

11. Extra, extra, extra. Keep a large plastic box in the trunk of your car or mini-van containing the following:

  • Extra clothes. Always bring along extra clothing for your child to change into after playing in muddy or rainy conditions. (The last thing you need is a sick child who has to stay home from school). Be sure to replace any item you child uses so he always has a full set of dry, clean clothes in the car to change into.
  • Extra equipment (baseball, soccer ball, glove, tennis balls, etc.)
  • Extra socks
  • Mini first-aid kit
12. Sports Mom Essentials:
  • Portable lawn/beach chair: Look for one that is a combination chair/backpack with shoulder straps. They allow you to keep your hands free to carry other stuff to the field (like a cooler), and have pockets to store other essentials.
  • Cell phone. Be sure the battery is charged. A charger for the car is a good idea.
  • Umbrella
  • Rain gear
  • Laminated emergency first-aid cards
  • Essential information:
    • Game/practice schedule, directions
    • Cell phone numbers for the coach, other parents
    • Street map: Most leagues provide a map and directions for each venue but once you get to their town. Best to have a detailed map of the county.

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