Ah… Basketball Season!
The hoops, the squeaking sneakers, the head-turning left to right and back again. The shots, the steals, the fouls. This fast-paced sport is a fun sport to watch, especially if you have daughter or son on the court to cheer for.
Like all sports though, the frantic preparation before heading out the door for practices or game time several times a week, can suck all the life and joy out of it, especially if you and your player are not organized. Since I have a daughter that’s been playing for years, we’ll talk prep from a girl’s point of view.
Try these tips for creating routines that can ease the stress of getting out of the door and help your player look forward to her favorite sport without tears of frustration!
Prep the Basketball Bag
Whether your player prefers a duffle, a backpack or a cinch sack, have her determine which is her basketball bag for the season. Stick to that ONE bag and then teach her how to keep all her essentials packed at all times. Some of the gear you might see in a basketball bag include:
- Water bottle
- Basketball protective eyewear aka sports goggles
- Mouthguard if she wears braces
- Stabilizing braces for wrists, ankles, knees etc.
- Mini First Aid Kit
- Asthma/Medicine Kit
- Basketball (properly inflated)
- Emergency Cash for food
This is not an exhaustive list, but are some items that your player may need for each practice or game. Best to have her keep them in the bag ready to grab and go instead of strewn all over the house! Or is that only my child?
Prep the Basketball Uniform
Basketball is a simple sport when it comes to uniforms and gear. Thankfully, all you need to have ready for game time is the Uniform (top and shorts), basketball socks, and sneakers.
Why is it then that when it is game time, we are searching for the top in one hamper and the shorts in another, and who knows where the socks are? UGH!
So if you can get your child to prepare her uniform the night before, you will have time to wash and dry her uniform if necessary and she will know where everything is.
These Nike Men’s Dri-FIT Elite Basketball socks work well, are well cushioned and provide arch support too. They come in many colors so you should be able to find a pair to coordinate with your team’s colors. Don’t worry that they say men’s, just order the size you need for your player’s shoe size, and you are good to go.
Uniform: Make sure that her complete uniform is located, clean (enough) and ready to go. The last thing you want to do 5 min before you need to get in the car for game time is hamper-dive for her basketball shorts you know you washed after the last game, which she decided to use as a pajama mid-week! Nope, hasn’t happened here!
Favorite Sports Bra: Again, knowing where it is, that it is clean and ready to go for Game Day makes preparations much smoother.
Warm Up Jersey or Sweatshirt: these are favorites for many players and having it located and ready to go the night before helps you all get out the door quickly.
Prep the Basketball Player
Prep Waterbottle: The best hydration by far is H2O. An hour before game time, get that water bottle ready, with ice and cold water. This 32-oz Takeya water bottle keeps ice and water cold for HOURS and HOURS! Its wide neck makes filling with ice and water easy and its smaller spout makes drinking easy. Plus, so far ours has proven to be nearly indestructible. They come in smaller sizes and also in a 40-oz size, which is what we have and is great for multiple games in one day.
Deodorant: Make life easier and sweeter smelling by giving your player her own Dove Dry Spray Deodorant to keep in her bag.
Prep Snacks: Sustenance for fuel is crucial to supplying energy for the sprinting that occurs on game days. Have a plan to: Feed the BEAST!
Lunch or Lunch Money: If this is a tournament or a doubleheader with space in between games for lunch, what is your plan? Thinking about this the night before will prevent stress on Game Day.
Medicine: Do you have a player with asthma, like mine? Make sure she has her inhaler and preps her lungs prior to game time.
Prep the Family
Have Cash for the entrance fee. If this is a tournament or an away game, be prepared with cash for the “welcome table”.
Have Snack money in cash on hand too. Remembering to have a small amount of cash is helpful for this particular card-carrying member of society! LOL! You too? Besides your other kids may start begging you for something from the snack bar as payment for tagging along to Sis’s game.
Have a support system for your back aka a supportive bleacher chair. This one looks like it will do the job nicely.
The baby’s diaper bag ready to go with a blanket, food, drink, snacks, wipes, diapers, a change of clothes, and a favorite toy to distract them. Although I have found the action of the game can be entertaining enough.
Lastly, Don’t forget your own beverage of choice, we must fuel up Mom for all this running around!
Take these tips and you can have an easy time getting out the door, especially for those early morning games. These tips also help make heading out the door for weeknight practices much smoother on everyone.
Keeping stress at bay. That, my friends, is our goal.
Want this list in a printable form to help coach your kid into Organized Superstar Status? Download the free checklist below, and put it into a plastic page protector or laminate it so your player can use it over and over to make sure she is organized and ready for Game Time!
And don’t forget to share these tips with the family of teammates. Yours cannot be the only household going through the stress of Game Day! It’s a simple fix for families, so please share!
Have a great game!!!
Chandra is the chocolate-chip loving mother of 2 teenage girls who started over again with a baby boy in her 40’s! She is the author of The Mom’s Playbook to Conquering Softball Season. She gives other moms the tools they need to prepare their daughters for real life. Her content is centered on helping girls grow up to be well-rounded, equipped, expressive, confident, intelligent, capable, kind and independent.