Your youngsters are ready to take the field, but do they have everything they need to start soccer season on the right foot?
Make sure they have the right apparel, footwear and gear for every practice and game. From rainy days and halftimes to scraped knees and bee stings, a well-stocked soccer bag should have essentials for any situation.
Of course, you’ll need to get them the basics: soccer shirt, soccer shorts, soccer socks. While regular T-shirts are just fine, consider picking up some with moisture-wicking material. Your child can really work up a sweat during soccer practice and matches, and these quick-drying shirts can add a serious level of comfort.
Carry at least one extra shirt, pair of shorts and socks in a plastic zip bag. These can come in handy on especially damp days at practice or rainy outdoor games and tournaments. Wearing wet clothing for too long should be avoided since it can cause chafing and blisters. Depending on how often your child plays, it could also be useful to have an extra pair of shoes on hand.
Outdoor soccer games can get chilly, especially when it’s raining. It’s always nice to have a long-sleeve shirt on hand, just in case. When temperatures drop, have them layer up with compression shirts and shorts.
A pair of slides or flip flops to wear to and from games is a good idea. One big reason: Cleats will last longer if they’re only worn on the soccer field. Concrete and other hard surfaces can cause wear and tear. Plus, if your child’s cleats are muddy, removing them helps prevent tracking the mess elsewhere. Also, indoor soccer shoes should be worn on indoor turf only, so they stay free of outside debris.
INSIDE THE SOCCER BAG
When it comes to choosing a water bottle, choose one that’s insulated to keep your aspiring superstar’s water cool throughout an entire game. And while first-aid kits are an essential, they usually don’t come with many knee/elbow-sized bandages, which can really come in handy. So pack them additionally.
If your child wears jewelry, have them take it off before practice and games. Bring a smaller bag or pouch to put earrings or other jewelry in so that it’s all in one place.
Toss a few popsicle sticks and trash bags in the soccer bag for muddy games. Popsicle sticks make picking mud and grass out of shoes easier after games. Cleats full of mud could hinder performance, so cleaning cleats during games can be helpful, too. Trash bags are a necessity for hauling muddy or wet clothes and equipment. They can also serve as impromptu seat liners to keep your car clean when heading home.
If you’re planning for any overnight away games, tournaments or camps, take a look at the Soccer Camp Gear Checklist.
Check those youth soccer essentials off your list and get your youngster ready for a fun and fully prepared soccer season.
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