Before your next youth soccer tournament, check out our list of pro-tips designed to take the stress out of the season. Put our experience to work, so you can sit back and enjoy the games.
Soccer tournaments are less hectic and more fun if you're prepared. To help get ready for this soccer season, here's our list of tournament essentials for both you and your player along with a few pro-tips that will save you time and trouble.
Player Packing Essentials
Uniforms – Bring both home and visitor uniforms, including jerseys, shorts, socks
Sunscreen & insect repellant
Player Packing Tips
Pack both sets of uniforms in your child's backpack (see below for a related tip) so it's no big deal if the team has to change colors at the last minute. You don't want to be the parent who has to race back to the car, the hotel, or all the way home to get the other jersey.
Put each uniform set (jersey, shorts & socks) into an extra-large Ziplock bag before putting them into your child's soccer backpack. That way they're easy to retrieve and will stay clean when your player tosses their cleats - and whatever else - into their backpack.
Bring extra socks. We recommend three pair of socks in each color so your child can start each game with a clean, dry pair. Rain, dewy grass, and sweat can make socks wet (and gross) very quickly, which is bad for your child's feet. Extra socks are easy insurance since they're cheap and don't take much space.
Bring an extra pair of shin guards. That way, if your child's shin guards get damaged or lost, you're covered. They'll also come in handy if a teammate forgets to bring theirs and needs to borrow a pair.
Parent Packing Essentials
Umbrella – for protection against rain or sun
Insect repellant & sunscreen
First aid kit with band-aids, antibiotic cream, ibuprofen, instant icepack, and athletic tape to wrap bad ankles.
Toilet paper, wet wipes & hand sanitizer
When it's hot
Cooler with wet wash cloths for players
Parent Packing Tips
Be ready to dry out soccer cleats quickly. If your child is playing in the rain or on dewy grass, their shoes will get wet fast. Some products on the market do a good job, such as Shoe Dog. An alternative is to stuff the shoes with newspaper. Depending on how wet they are, you may want to swap out the newspaper a few times. A few shakes of baking soda will also help with odor.
Keep your car clean by bringing dry towels for the ride after the game. If it's been rainy and your player is muddy, garbage bags will also come in handy. They provide a protective layer to prevent your car seats from getting wet and dirty. Plus, when your child changes, you can toss the muddy uniforms inside them for the trip home or to the laundry.
If it's a two-day tournament out of town, the team may need to wash uniforms. If players are staying at the same hotel, it's more efficient to wash them all together. Here are tips for sorting out uniforms afterwards.
Bring a permanent marker - if you wash a load for the team you will need to put each player's number on their socks & shorts.
Instead of a permanent marker you can use mesh laundry bags (one per player). The players can put their items in a bag, wash everything at once and not have to worry about which socks belong to which player.
Check the forecast and dress for it. If you're going to be at the field all day, be ready for the weather and temperature to change. Cool mornings can turn into hot afternoons and a sunny sky can suddenly be filled with rain clouds.
Be prepared for unexpected free time. Game delays due to weather are much less frustrating if you have an activity you enjoy to fill the time. Have a book or family game on hand to make the time pass quickly.
Be a Role Model
Every game is an opportunity to reinforce lessons about good sportsmanship. Win or lose, keep it positive and be respectful of the opposing team, referees, and other parents. Games are more fun to watch when you have a good attitude.
Be sure to stop by one of our soccer specialty stores to make sure your player has what they need for the fall soccer season. We have stores located in Schaumburg, Glen Ellyn and Naperville. European Sports has been family owned and operated since 1997 and our customers are part of the family!