Monday, August 27, 2012

Children's Soccer Tips

Soccer Season 2011-Don't mess with the Dangerous Daisies!
My daughter has been playing soccer in the fall for a few years now.  While she enjoys it, it can be a bit stressful for our family life as we try to organize ourselves around practices and games.  Here are a few of my tips for surviving the soccer season.
Get Organized!
We have a backpack that contains all my daughter's soccer stuff.  It's always packed with her ball, shoes, and shin guards.  It goes in the same place in the garage after every practice.  When I'm getting my daughter ready to go to a practice or game, I just pull out the bag, add some snacks and water and she's good to go.  No searching for shoes etc.

I also have a designated drawer in her dresser for her soccer uniform, socks, and practice wear.  She always knows where to find her clothes when she's getting ready for a game.
Fuel Your Athlete
This year, I've started to take my daughter's athletic nutrition seriously.  An hour before her game or practice, she gets a snack with a protein and some carbs.  Think an apple with natural peanut butter or cheese and crackers.  I also make sure she's hydrated BEFORE she starts running.  Right now, we're requiring that she drink a full glass of water an hour before practice.  I've also heard that using sports drinks beforehand will help them process their water intake better during the game.  I'm not too thrilled with all the sugar in most sport drinks, so I'm thinking of adding a glass of coconut water to her pre-game/practice snack.  It has the electrolytes her body needs to get properly hydrated.
Soccer Season 2010
After her practice, we have been giving my daughter a snack.  I mean immediately after.  I give her a little protein and some sugar for this snack.  Raisins and sunflower seeds work great.  So do berries and nuts. She eats her snack in the car on the way home.  Even though the drive home is only 10 minutes, I've noticed she's a much nicer little girl after practice if she eats right away and isn't as exhausted when she gets home.  This little snack also buys me some time to get dinner ready on a busy weeknight after practice.

How about you?  What do you do to survive your children's sports seasons?