Saturday, March 3, 2018

How to be a prepared sports mom

I can hardly believe that we're already into the start of spring sports season! This, coming after a weird week, with snow, hail and rain.  Alas... spring sports are upon us. I've always felt like there should be a book for high school sports moms.  There should be a section for each sport, telling us what we need to know about rules and what's involved in training, etc, how to cheer and not look like an idiot, great ways to snap action shots of our kids, ways to be prepared, meals to make ahead during the on-season that give kids great carbs and nutrition, and ways to manage the variety of household schedules so everyone is on the same page since dinners together aren't something that come easily, tips for dealing with other parents and non-awkward small talk ideas... just ALL of it.  
Though a survival mom book like that may not exist to my knowledge, (If it does, hit me with it ASAP please)  and I can't help much with the non-awkward small talk part since I am THE MOST AWKWARD small-talker, I thought it might be fun to share how I stay organized and prepared during the sports season when it comes to packing an emergency bag. (I may write a follow up post and include a few more things... I think I have a great casserole recipe to share that takes moments to toss together, ahead of time too!)

I still remember the first all day track meet I ever went to, way back when Joe was in middle school.  I was so unprepared.  A couple of moms breezed into the bleachers in front of me wearing comfortable, yet polished layers, carrying bags filled with goodies, snacks and supplies, and stadium chairs that folded down neatly. (It was a little bit like being a hot mess in an airport, but then seeing the swan-like grace of a few flight attendants walk past you with their sleek luggage and clothing. Tell me you've had that moment, right?) 

I sat there shivering, my back aching, wishing I had a snack, a water and a better seat...  and I decided then and there, I was going to be much more prepared the next time I had to do this. Being prepared is really important for events that are located out of town as well.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is primarily a gathering of items I have personally needed and wished I'd had, or items that I used while we were in season.
Mom bag; 
I keep a canvas bag with my name on it, in our school colors, packed and ready at all times during the sport season.  It's always near the door and easy for me to grab. I got mine from LL Bean and they have a variety of sizes and options.  I keep a rolled up blanket, an emergency mini kit, a snack bag, gloves and baby wipes. (I also keep pompoms in there, because I'm that mom...)

Emergency kit- mini:
I have created mini kits for nearly everything in my life. You should know this about me by now.  In my big bag, I toss this tiny kit and use it nearly every single time we're out. (Clear bag set from Amazon, here) Being a prepared mom often comes down to creating kits like this ahead of time. I keep the following items pretty well stocked- I often add a few other items as needed but this is the general kit;

*Benadryl (I use the little sample containers that you can get from Sephora.  They are perfect for small amounts of medicine, but you could get small travel containers on Amazon.)
*Hand sanitizer
*Hand lotion
*Hair ties and bobby pins
*Nail File
*Extra socks

*Snack bag: I fill a ziplock with the following.  (If it's an all day meet, I tend to pack a picnic basket with a few ice packs- those can always come in handy by the way!)
*Justin's almond butter packets
*Granola bars (My son loves the RX natural bars from Trader Joe's. I haven't stocked up yet.)
*I'll often toss whatever fresh fruit I have on hand in at the last minute, such as grapes or bananas
*Sandwiches- Pb&J
*Waters or propel
*Thermos (for hot drinks)

On me... or in my car: 
*Sunglasses (Seriously keep a pair in the sport bag if you are forgetful because you'll always wish you had them!) (I love these pink Aviators.)
*A really great baseball hat.  Never underestimate the power of a cute hat on a bad hair day, or windy weather, or if you lost your sunglasses.
*Large beach towel for the car ride with wet or muddy people
*An extra trash bag or two (Perfect for muddy clothes or shoes, and so versatile.  You can line a seat or floorboards with them, carry gear in them, and even bag up trash from the bleachers for the team.
*Warm footwear- duck boots such as these, are my favorite! (Can't recommend these enough. I was so tired of my toes freezing.) I got mine on Amazon.  Best money every spent as a sports mom!
*Packable down coat (preferably long in length) This is a favorite of mine, and you can get them in all kinds of styles and varieties.  I like that mine packs into it's own pocket for space saving. I couldn't find my coat link, as it's been discontinued but this one is very similar.
*Clear Bubble umbrella (I love this one- it really works well in the wind and driving rain, which we have a lot of in the spring.  Since it's clear, I can see the event and stay under cover.)
*Stadium seats- we've got two collapsible ones like these, from Amazon, but I love this quick-fold down style best so that one's mine! 

Additional items you may want to keep on hand at home for post-sport recovery;
*Muscle rollers, like this one
*Deep Blue lotion, by DoTerra. (My boys all swear by it.)

After that first meet, I got my act together and I've been as prepared as possible ever since.  (I did learn the hard way, that always keeping baby wipes on hand, is just plain smart.)  Like all things in life, it's a lot smoother sailing, when you've prepared in advance and though we all can't think of everything all the time, being organized really does help.  I hope this post encourages you as you prepare for events  in your own life.  If you tend to be a well prepared person, we'd all love to hear any additional tips that have helped you get through those busy days, nights and weekends.  Please feel free to share with us, in comments! 


  1. I saw the RX bars at Costco in bham today! Maybe they will be the flavors he likes!

  2. I'm buying the umbrella! I had one as a girl😉 Also, you must buy lava buns! Microwaveable seat cushion.

  3. So helpful--I learned how unprepared I am with water polo. Track season is upon us at 2 different schools. I will be ready now--thanks for the links!!

  4. This post is G O L D. I've been a sports mama for years and years, and have never thought of organizing like this (and I"m pretty organized by nature). Thank you for this post! You just changed my sports days for the last years of my least kiddos at home. Super grateful.

  5. Great list!! Sure miss those days with my kids, but hey I get to go watch the great nieces and nephews now!! Haha, if the weather is bad I skip it though! ;) :D

  6. I LOVE all of these organizing posts from you. They make me feel calmer the way you present them. Aaahhh can't explain it, but thank you for sharing.

  7. Love all of your organization posts, Sasha! Thanks so much for taking time to always inspire me!

  8. While this book doesn't quite cover ALL the topics you listed, Game On:The Christian Parents' Sports Survival Guide by Jill Kemerer might be a good book to check out. You can buy it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. :)

  9. As both a sports mom and wife of a coach I would add a few other "essentials" to the list...I always carry a pencil case that has a fingernail clipper, tweezers, toothpicks, sunscreen, insect repellent, antacids, dental floss and phone charger and battery block. (I have used all of these things multiple times throughout our "career" and once people know you have them, others will use them as well.) I also found an all weather picnic blanket (plastic-ish on one said and material on the other) is a good choice for sitting on wet/damp grass when watching field events where bleachers are not available. In my car I have a pen and small tablet/pad, and I tuck away a small amount of "emergency cash" (this comes in handy as I rarely carry cash and seems like kids will ask for cash for the "fun stop" on the way home.) In the trunk of my car I always have a plastic tote with many of the things you mentioned along with an old throw/quilt, several towels, a book, hand and feet warmers, extra socks, sweatshirt or wind breaker,and and a stain pen (in case of blood on a uniform). Happy "spring" sports season! Enjoy every minute!

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