Your child may be excited about their first soccer practice, but do they have everything they need to take to the field? Start soccer season on the right foot by bringing the proper apparel, footwear, equipment, and other supplies to every practice and game.
When you join an i9 Sports®® youth soccer league, your child will receive an official i9 Sports® Soccer jersey. This is yours to keep, even when the season ends. Players should also wear black shorts or sweats that don’t have pockets or belt loops. Soccer socks are also a must to protect the player’s lower legs.
Pack an extra shirt, shorts, and pair of socks. These spare clothes may come in handy on rainy game days, giving your young athlete the option to change out of their wet clothes as soon as possible.
Outdoor soccer practices and games can be chilly, so it’s wise to have a long-sleeved shirt or rain jacket on hand. Cold-weather compression clothing is also important to allow your child to layer up when the temperature goes down.
The appropriate footwear for soccer players includes rubber cleats or sneakers. Cleats should only be worn on the soccer field. Sneakers or indoor soccer shoes should only be worn on indoor turf to prevent tracking in mud from outside. For these reasons, you should have your child wear a spare pair of shoes on the way to and from practice. Some children prefer having slide sandals that are easy to put on over their soccer socks and shin guards.
For safety, every soccer player must wear shin guards during play. In addition to the guards themselves, make sure you bring shin guard sleeves, tape, and straps. Keepers also need goalie gloves and a goalie jersey if they have their own.
While i9 Sports® soccer leagues provide a soccer ball at practices and games, your child might want their own to improve their skills at home. Using an official i9 Sports® soccer ball ensures consistency between at-home drills and weekly practice. Just make sure you get the right size ball for your child’s age group.
Carry all your child’s soccer clothes and equipment in a soccer bag, which could be a duffle bag, backpack, or something similar. Having a dedicated place to store soccer gear decreases the chance of forgetting something.
Useful items to keep in your child’s soccer bag include:
Fill a large, insulated water bottle with water and ice to keep it cold for an entire soccer game. If your child plays at a competitive level, it’s also wise to bring a sports drink with replenishing electrolytes.
One idea is to pack a water bottle, and include a couple of packs of the individual powered mix in the bag. That way, if your child is thirsty for more than water, they can easily pour the packet into their water bottle and have a sports drink on the fly.
You should make sure your child eats something light before soccer practice. Then, keep a protein bar or other healthy snack in your child’s soccer bag. Ideally, we recommend something that has a long expiration date so you don’t have to worry about it going bad too quickly.
Cuts, scratches, and scrapes are easy to bandage on the sidelines, provided you have the proper tools. Buying a small first aid kit at the drugstore is a good starting point, but you may want to add extra knee- and elbow-sized bandages. Consider a disinfecting spray, or disinfecting spray bandage for quick fixes.
A few grocery sacks may prove useful for carrying wet clothes and muddy cleats. They even make effective seat liners to help you avoid sitting on wet bleachers. A sandwich baggie can also hold your child’s jewelry during practice if they aren’t allowed to keep it on.
Outdoor games demand a good amount of sunscreen for players and spectators alike. Bug spray is also important if the game is held in the early morning or late evening. Keep both items in the soccer bag so you can reapply them as needed.
On hot, humid days, placing a cooling towel around your child’s neck can help prevent them from overheating. Simply wet the towel with cold water from a water bottle to activate its cooling effects.
If your child has allergies or asthma, be sure to have their epinephrine auto-injector or inhaler with you in case they have an attack.
There’s nothing worse than dry, chapped lips. Stop this from happening to your young athlete by bringing lip balm to every soccer practice, especially in cold weather. We recommend a lip balm with SPF because children are frequently playing in the sun.
Does your child have long hair? Tying it back in a ponytail is the easiest way to keep it from becoming a hazard during soccer games. Keep a pack of them in the soccer bag so if one breaks, you can grab an extra and get your child back in the game!
Bring at least two to every game. Towels come in handy for wiping off wet bleachers, dabbing the sweat from your child’s brow, and protecting car seats from a muddy uniform on the drive home.
You never know when you might need to buy an impromptu item. Cash is more reliable than a credit card, so keep at least $10 in your child’s soccer bag in case of emergencies. Especially if your child is traveling with another family to and from games or practice, an extra $10 can come in handy.
i9 Sports®® offers a one-day-a-week youth soccer league that helps your child master the soccer fundamentals, build on the skills they already know, and become a better athlete. Our programs stand out from other soccer leagues because we focus on safety, good sportsmanship, and convenience for busy families. Whether your child has been playing for years or is brand-new to the game, odds are you can find an i9 Sports® team in your area that meets your family’s needs.