Over the past few years, I’ve discovered that there are a few things that make my life as a soccer mom easier and more enjoyable…
1- Smart Phone- These days my iPhone is my #1 essential soccer mom tool. From last minute practice changes to getting directions, from finding a place for a team dinner to taking photos and video, I use my iPhone a million times a day. Make sure you have all the team numbers and info programmed in…you never know when you’ll need to call/text/email someone.
2- GPS System- This is a necessity for finding random schools and far flung fields where your child will be playing. I have one in my car, but you can purchase a separate system or use your smart phone (see above).
3- Good Friends and Carpool Buddies– Although I like to attend all practices (crazy I know!) I have great friends who I know can help me out if I need a ride for one of my girls. I also treasure our time chatting at practice and games…and a million other times a day. The relationships you make with your soccer friends are so important because you’ll be spending a lot of time together.
4- Cold weather gear– Go ahead and laugh if you’re from places where it’s really cold, but even in sunny So Cal you need to be prepared for the weather. I always carry a jacket for myself in the car for practices that turn chilly and I invested in a long down jacket from Land's End Canvas for those cold Lancaster games. I also have Ugg boots (ok, they’re knock offs) and rain boots for those muddy days. It is California, so I always bring a pair of flip flops (Havianas of course!) in case it gets warm!
5- Warm weather gear– This might sound more appropriate for Southern California! Even though we live near the beach, when we travel it can get really hot. To prepare for hot weather I load up on the sunscreen and bring a hat. We also have an EZ Up and a large sport umbrella to provide shade. Don’t forget the drinks…I always pack Diet Coke and water.
6- A Good Chair– There are plenty of choices for chairs out there, but I look for portable, light and affordable. We have a few fancy chairs with canopies and coolers, but I usually leave those in the garage and grab our $5 special that is light and replaceable if I leave it somewhere. (Not that that’s ever happened…ok maybe once or twice…or three times) Even if you never actually sit in the chair (I usually end up roaming the sidelines chatting with friends) it’s a good place to hold your stuff.
7- A Rolling Cooler- For travel and tournaments, a rolling cooler can be your best friend. Packing drinks and snacks can save you a lot of money as well as being healthy for your soccer player. The ability to avoid the snack bar or truck altogether saves you money and discussions about what your kids can/can’t eat! You can also pile stuff on top of it for easy carrying.
8- Hotel Rewards Programs– This one is new for me and I can’t believe I waited so long. Our team is going to always try and stay at Marriott Hotels and all have Marriott rewards. This can really help with the escalating costs of traveling.
Anyone have anything to add to the list? Soccer Girl Essentials? That's a whole different list…stay tuned.