What’s In My Bag: Soccer Practice Edition

soccer programs for kids

Fall soccer season has just kicked off, which means your child may soon be spending their afternoons in training sessions and their weekends competing in youth soccer tournaments. While the skills they’ve acquired are a very important part of their “toolbox,” so to speak, they will need additional help to stay energized and protected during practices and games. After all, soccer games involve running, walking, jumping, and sprinting, often for a full 90 minutes. To make sure they’re successful in their soccer programs, they’ll need to bring along the right equipment in their soccer bag. Here are just a few things their bag should always include this fall.

  • Cleats
    Soccer cleats are must-have for playing out on the field. They’ll keep your young player safe and running quickly, due to the additional traction they provide. Sometimes, an extra pair (or a pair of extra laces) might be necessary, but one well-made pair is essential to start. If your child has been participating in soccer programs for years, make sure your child’s cleats still fit! A good fit is key for preventing injury.
  • Layers
    Fall weather can be unpredictable. When players are on an outdoor field, they’re vulnerable to the elements. Chillier weather calls for protective layers like field player gloves and soccer beanies. This will keep their hands and head warm during games. If they’re too cold to play, they won’t get much of a chance to improve on their skills!
  • Guards and Wraps
    No one expects to get hurt during the course of soccer training programs or games, but the fact is that these injuries can happen to just about anyone. Guards (used on knees, shins, and/or ankles) and wraps (for feet and cleats) can help prevent these injuries. Failure to take preventative measures can result in long-lasting injuries. It’s much better to wear them now than pay for it with an injury that could take them out for the entire season.
  • Nutritious Snacks
    Players need to keep their energy up through long practices and games, and food is the best way to do it. Healthy bars (read the labels and avoid any with too much sugar!), dried fruit, raw almonds, and bananas are portable snacks that will help replenish their energy quickly. Keep chips and candy out of the soccer bag, for sure.
  • Water Bottle(s)
    Hydration is an absolute must for athletes. If you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated! Make sure to pack along plenty of water (either with a large reusable bottle or a few smaller, recyclable ones) and encourage your player to take frequent H2O breaks. Check with your child’s soccer coaches to make sure they keep this encouragement going, too.

Without a doubt, soccer programs will enrich your young player’s life in countless ways. But before they head off to practice or to a tournament, make sure they’ve got everything they need in their bag. That way, they’ll be prepared for anything and can focus on playing the game.