Club Soccer Survival Guide for Parents
This fall has been absolutely crazy for us. My kids decide that they wanted to play A LOT of soccer and so my two oldest, both girls, added club soccer to their town travel team. My son in 2nd grade, dropped karate for extra soccer skills training as well. The result: 14 soccer events a week. Yep, 14! Not only is it a crazy amount of driving but:
- The days, times and fields are constantly shifting.
- The games can be really far away. Furthest so far: 2.5 hours one way. And no toilet or port-a-potty there either!
- The practices have switched towns Belmont to Newton to Cambridge.
- The practices can be quite late. The latest one ends at 9:15 pm and is one town over.
A Well Stocked Car is Everything
I’m noticing that as kids go through growth spurts, their bodies can ache with mysterious pains the doctor can’t seem to find a root cause for. Prevention is key. Thorough stretching before and after a game or practice is essential. My tween daughter’s team arrives a half hour before practice to warm up on their own, followed by a half hour of stretching led by their coach. It may seem like overkill but it really helps keep them healthy. Yoga is great too for a deep stretch.
If your child is prone to ankle or knee injuries, support braces and gel heels can really help.
Keeping Kids Organized
It’s hectic getting out the door with all the proper gear and supplies and kids should take some of the responsibility. We ask our kids to remove their cleats and shin guards and repack their soccer bags for their next practice.
They have a soccer bag for each since their uniforms are different. They are responsible for making and packing their own water bottle plus making sure they have the gear they require including practice uniforms and soccer socks. (Even though the soccer socks are long, they do the same disappearing act as normal socks so this has been a challenge for us!)
Healthy Food Choices to Keep Them Going
As a mom trying to keep up, the biggest challenge has been feeding my kids. They are STARVING all the time!
Our nutritionist has always stressed the importance of mini-meals as after school snacks. Not only are they filling but they are healthy food choices. Now that the after school snack is also an early dinner, it’s more important than ever to feed them a hot protein-rich meal.
Speed to table is essential too. My kids are ravenous after school and practically in physical pain, particularly if they didn’t like their lunch. Tyson’s Any’tizers work for us because my kids like them and it gives them energy without weighing them down like a carb-heavy meal. Other great, fast choices include: grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, oatmeal, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
The school year is hectic and Tyson® Any’tizers® snacks understands. They are creating a “School Year Survival Guide” tab on its Facebook page that will contain all sorts of helpful tips including managing your family’s schedule, to optimizing your kids’ study time, to Tyson® Any’tizers® snacks recipes that your tweens will enjoy (and that you’ll enjoy too!), to relaxation and rejuvenation tips for parents, and more.
How about you? How are you surviving back-to-school? Please share your tips for keeping it together!