Surviving the Soccer Sidelines

It’s soccer season here in the Northeast!  I come from a family of soccer players–all my sisters and I played soccer in the youth leagues, middle school and highschool–so I just love that Buddy is a soccer player.

IMG_9623He’s still in the recreation leagues for another year, and most of the parents hang out during their practices and of course go to the games.  So we spend a LOT of time at the soccer fields.

Which have no bleachers.

Or amenities.

Or bathroom other then a port-a-john.

So you could say that I’ve picked up a few lessons in the last few years on Surviving the Soccer Sidelines–and Walmart asked me to share them with you!

Surviving the Soccer Sidelines

When soccer season starts I pack a soccer sideline survival bag, which goes to live in the trunk of the car until soccer season is over.  That way I NEVER forget it!

What’s inside the bag?  Well it’s a very simple kit.

I start by tossing a foldable camp chair in the back.  Over the years we’ve bought quite a few at Walmart–but my husband particularly liked the Ozark Trail Elite chair–or as he likes to call it “The Big Butt Chair”.  Yup, that’s right, it’s a bit wider and more comfortable then the standard camp chair.

Next I pick up some bug spray.  Of course there are all sorts of natural ones available today–but the mosquites up there are VICIOUS, and the fields are surrounded on 3 sides by woods (we have a deer tick concern and have had a few cases of Lyme disease locally)–so I use a strong DEET based spray.

This year I picked up a really nice outdoor blanket at Walmart.  It’s a plush fabric on one side, but water proof on the other.  The idea is that it can be set on damp grass and not soak through.  I like it because waterproof also means wind proof–and while the temperatures are pretty decent up there right now, by the end of the season most of us are wearing winter coats and gloves, and wrapped up in blankets on the sidelines.  Yup–that’s sports in the Northeast!

Finally I like to keep a water bottle and some snacks in the bag.  Soccer practice is at 5:30.  If I want to feed him dinner I’ve got to give it to him early enough so he can digest a bit before running around on the field–but that pushes it back to so early that he sometimes isn’t hungry yet.  By keeping a healthy snack (with protein!) like the Great Value Protein Bars in the bag, I can give him a quick something on the way up to the field or during a water break to tide him over until we get back home for a more balanced meal.

Soccer Sideline

To help stay organized I also make Buddy keep a bag in his room and that’s where his cleats, shinpads, a clean pair of soccer socks, his empty water bottle and a sweatshirt get pack AFTER we get back home from soccer practice–all ready for the next time!  That really helps with the last minute, I can’t find my shinpads panic.

Finally, for myself I make sure to toss on a baseball hat before we head for the field (to shade my eyes) and to bring something to do.

knitting at the soccer field

So what sports do your kids do, and what items would you not be caught without on the sidelines?

****This is a sponsored post****
Disclosure: As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received  compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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