I have been focusing a lot on back to school, since it’s that time of year. But, I want to switch gears because it’s also back to sports season. We love Academy Sports + Outdoors because we can grab everything we need. From clothes (see here from a few years ago), shoes, sports and outdoors gear all at an affordable price. So I’m teaming up with them today to share my tips and tricks to making that time between school and getting to practice or games go a little smoother.
The days we have practice after school are always such a whirlwind. We go straight from school to practice, are there for several hours and don’t get home until about 8pm. If your kids are older and playing a school sport, then they have this kind of day everyday and these tips, tricks and sports bag essentials are great for them, too!
As a Mom, I always feel like I’m rushing around on practice days because I’m helping the girls get dressed, gathering up their school bags and lunches and trying to make it out the door on time. When both girls were in pre-school, it wasn’t as big of a deal because they didn’t have a set time they HAD to be there.
But now that Aria is in school, and has to be there by a certain time, things have gotten a little crazy. I have been playing around with different tactics to help those days go a little smoother…and I think I’v got it down Mama’s!! WooHoo!
Build Your Sports Bag
I think the most important thing to start with is building your sports bag, love this Adidas one. Whether your kids are in dance, basketball, swimming or any other sport…build a bag with everything they need in it. See the list of sports bag essentials below.
My girls are in dance and gymnastics right now, so we grabbed this cute bag and keep their dance shoes, an extra leotard and a few other things they need.
I’ve put together a checklist for you to print off and use to keep you on track. My tip is to print this out, put it in a magnetized frame and keep it on the fridge. Then you can run through it the night before you need it.
Your Sports Bag Essentials
- Practice outfit – Pack your shorts, pants, tees, tanks or leotards. Whatever your child needs to wear to practice, put it in their bag. Don’t forget to include their socks, too! You wouldn’t believe how many times I forgot the right socks when I played softball!
- Equipment – Check to ensure their bag has all of the things they need, like bats, balls, rackets, gloves, goggles, etc… Most of the time you don’t take these things out, but it’s good to double check. Occasionally, you pull things out at home to practice or play with and forget to put it back.
- Shoes – You can’t forget these! This is one of the most important things to ensure you have. Whether it’s cleats, dance shoes (we have these tap and jazz shoes) or a specific tennis shoe, be sure to have it.
- Hair ties, hat, Sunglasses – I can’t tell you how often we’ve pulled into gymnastics and I’m searching the car like crazy for a darn hair elastic or scrunchy. Likewise, if your child is involved in outdoor sports, you may want a hat, visor or sunglasses.
- Water bottle – Keep them hydrated. Whether it’s with water or a sports drink, there’s nothing worse than not having something to drink while you’re practicing, or even competing. And don’t forget something for you, too!
- Snacks – It’s a long time between school, getting through practice and being home for dinner. So be sure to pack some snacks for the kids…and something for you, too!!
- First Aid kit – As a nurse, I think being prepared for an accident is best. So, grab a first aid kit with band-aids, antiseptic, antibiotic ointment and Tylenol. This one from Academy is only $9. You can always add anything else you may want or need, but these essentials are so nice to have on hand!
- Hand towel – I always like to have this on hand. It’s perfect for the days your practice or workout is tough, or if you get caught in the rain.
- Hand Sanitizer – Let’s face it, playing sports is dirty and full of germs. They’re touching equipment, playing in the grass or dirt and even giving high-fives. So it’s great to have this on hand to use post-practice, or any time you need to grab a quick bite within your breaks.
- Stadium Chair – Ok, so this doesn’t actually fit in the bag, nor is it for the kids. But Mamas, save yourself! Sometimes you’re sitting on those bleachers for hours, so a little cushion makes a huge difference. So grab one and just keep it in your car.
Depending on your child’s sport, there may be a few other things you need, but these are typically the essentials. A few other things you may need might be sunscreen, bug spray, or even a trash bag to hold dirty items or save your car seats. As a softball player growing up, you wouldn’t believe the number of times we practiced in the rain or mud and my clothes and shoes were covered, too!
Prep The Night Before
Ok, so this may not be a new concept, but hey, it really does work. It ensures we don’t forget anything we need for practice. Be sure to print off that checklist and check it the night before you need your bag.
Just remember, it may take a few extra minutes to actually do, but it’s better than forgetting essential gear or running around like a crazy person right before you need to leave.
Restock Things Used
Don’t forget to restock anything you or your child used during practice. Especially items in your first aid kit and snack pack. I like to fill the snack bag up with what I need for the week. Then just refill it every Sunday before the week gets started.
These tips have saved me so much time and trouble throughout the week. We’re rushing for so many things throughout the day, so finding a routine that works to save a little time is a win in my book! Also, by shopping at Academy, you’ll save some time because it’s a one-stop shop. They literally have everything you need for your kids, or even for yourself.
I’d love to hear any tips you have for making the transition from school to practice/games a little smoother! Comment them below, or any other sports bag essentials you know of to add to the list.
Thanks for stopping by and wishing you a happy sports season!
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