10 Tips To Keeping Your Sanity Every Sports Season
By Joanna Kesner
Life is busy. At this point in my mid-thirties, with four kids ages 6 months to 13 years, I have just accepted that life for the foreseeable future will be super busy. And a crazy sports season can make you wonder why you agreed to all of this between games, practices, school activities, homework, and everything else. But rest assured. There are ways to keep your sanity and enjoy the season.
1. Schedule. When we finally get the schedule at the beginning of every season, my husband and I sit down and plan out our lives for the next three months. Just kidding. Kind of. One reads the schedule while the other adds it to our shared family calendar. (Bonus tip: Our son is old enough to have a phone, so we added him to the calendar, so we have one more person keeping track of all of these dates!)
2. Meal plan. On nights you know you have a longer practice or a game, plan your easiest meals. Once a week, we have “Dinner on your own.” If you are older than 7, you get to make whatever you want… within reason. And everyone’s happy, maybe me most of all because I don’t have to cook anything.
3. Budget. If your athlete is on a traveling team, chances are a lot of hotel stays are in your future. And that can add up. Plan and budget for that ahead of time, which is one less stress you have to worry about. (This soccer season, we are out of town 3 out of 4 weekends!)
4. Rest when you can. I have instilled in my kids to prioritize rest, especially with how crazy our schedules can get. We know when our bodies need a break. Whether that means going to bed a little earlier or saying no to a social event, finding ways to relax is a must
5. Eat well and hydrate. And that’s for everyone - even you! The more hectic the season, the harder it can be. I am in a MUCH better mood while I am taxiing kids from place to place when I am taking care of myself.
6. Carpool. Find teammates who live near you, and start a carpool! This has saved us so much time, and we’ve been able to help other families too.
7. Buy in bulk. Think for a minute about what you can buy a few pairs of that your kid may lose and not tell you until you’re walking out the door to the game. Or, in our case, what your kid forgot to wash. The other week when we were 6 hours away from home, I noticed my son putting on filthy soccer socks. Thankfully, I had bought him a few extra socks, and off we went.
8. Make friends. Games and practices are much more fun when you can enjoy them with friends, especially when spending hours on the field.
9. Weekly review. Before the week starts, do a review of everything you have on your schedule for that week, so there are no surprises.
10. Come prepared. When we know we are going to be gone from the house for a while at tournaments, we make sure we have enough of everything we can think of: water, snacks, wipes, deodorant (!!), a first aid kit, weather-related items (umbrellas, rain jackets, blankets, etc.) and toys and activities to entertain the little ones. Don’t forget the folding chairs! This keeps everyone happy and keeps us from spending more money on
The key is knowing it will be a lot, and giving yourself grace when you forget to bring the snacks or you are late to pick up. You’re doing your best and that’s all you can do!
Hope you enjoy these helpful tips for sports season!