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20 Time and Money Saving Tips For Sports Parents

Staying organized key to successful sports season

Game/Practice Days

11. Extra, extra, extra. Keep a large plastic box in the trunk of your car or mini-van containing the following:

  • Extra clothes. Always bring along extra clothing for your child to change into after playing in muddy or rainy conditions. (The last thing you need is a sick child who has to stay home from school). Be sure to replace any item you child uses so he always has a full set of dry, clean clothes in the car to change into.
  • Extra equipment (baseball, soccer ball, glove, tennis balls, etc.)
  • Extra socks
  • Mini first-aid kit
12. Sports Mom Essentials:
  • Portable lawn/beach chair: Look for one that is a combination chair/backpack with shoulder straps. They allow you to keep your hands free to carry other stuff to the field (like a cooler), and have pockets to store other essentials.
  • Cell phone. Be sure the battery is charged. A charger for the car is a good idea.
  • Umbrella
  • Rain gear
  • Laminated emergency first-aid cards
  • Essential information:
    • Game/practice schedule, directions
    • Cell phone numbers for the coach, other parents
    • Smartphone map app: If you have a smartphone, you can use an app (we like Google Maps) to get directions to the field. If not, make sure you have good directions for each venue and a detailed map of the area where you live.

13. Keep coolers in the car. Keep two coolers in car: one big, one small. The large one (with wheels) can double as an extra seat; keep ice packs in ziplock bags or buy a supply of chemical ice packs.

14. Do an equipment "sweep" after games. Do a sweep of the area around the bench or dugout for your son's or daughter's equipment before leaving a practice or game.

15. Join a carpool. Other parents are running in the same direction as you, so offer to pick up their kid for practice if they'll bring yours home afterwards. 

16. Call for backup. When you can't get to a game, ask family andfriends to fill in for you.

17. Multi-task. It is amazing how much time you will end up spending at your child's games and practices (between 6 and 16 hours perweek, according to one study), especially away games and tournaments, doing not much but sitting or standing around, usually talking with other parents who also have nothing to do. Fill the time by getting other things done.

Keep a list of small tasks you can accomplish during the downtime, such as:

  • paying bills
  • Father at game with laptop and dogcleaning your car
  • taking a walk,
  • even doing work (consider taking a portable office with you, including a small file box, perhaps even your laptop or tablet with Wi-Fi).
On cool days, our family dog, Caleb, who was an amazing soccer goalie, always came along to take a walk or play with the other team mascots.


18. Pre-cooked meals. On busy days, put supper in a crock pot inthe morning before work; or keep quick meals in the freezer; don't feel guilty if supper is frozen pizza or scrambled eggs; kids love occasional sub-standard meals.  For more easy-to-make dinners, click here

Road trips

19. Packing. Don't wait until the last minute to pack to go awayfor an overnight trip to a tournament. Work from a packing list. Thisway you avoid over-packing because you don't know what to take or forgetting something important and have to waste time and money replacing it in an unfamiliar town.

20. Chaperones. Make sure that your child's team follows the "two adult rule" on road trips.

Have a tip to share? We would love to know: delench@momsteam.com 

Adapted from the book, Home Team Advantage: The Critical Role of Mothers in Youth Sports, by MomsTeam.com Founder and Publisher, Brooke de Lench. 

Created August 12, 2010; revised August 22, 2011, updated March 28, 2015