My son loves to play soccer. He says it’s mostly the running, so he’s in a running club as well. It’s great exercise for him as well as fun. His team is about where I like it for his age – they win fairly often, but lose enough to learn that lesson too. He has a coach who isn’t excessively strict – I’ve seen some coaches freak out when their team isn’t winning, screaming at the kids and generally setting a bad example, so this is highly welcome. At the same time, the coach is strict enough to push for good effort.
The trouble with soccer is some of the stuff involved. Many things we’ve been able to use from season to season – cleats, shin guards, the soccer ball, but other things generate waste every week, especially the after game treats the parents take turns providing.
Now, there’s only so much you can do about waste when you’re not always the one providing treats. The typical treat bag includes a juice box, some treats, and often enough some small, plastic toy. They get really wasteful, and often are unhealthy, as cookies are a far more common snack than the fruit usually provided when I played soccer as a kid.
About the only thing you can do about it is make sure that what you provide is a little healthier. We always put in sliced oranges for treats, and most of the kids really like them. No little toys either – not like they last anyhow. We still give juice boxes, as a nice drink is important after the game, and the kids have usually finished the drinks they brought with them by the end of the game.
If you like, you can talk with the other moms about alternatives for snacks to improve matters for your team. You may encounter a lot of resistance – the kids do love the treats they get now, after all. It’s still worth a try.
You can be picky about what your child brings for his or her drink during the game. It’s not the healthiest, perhaps, but my son still likes his Gatorade for during the game, so we buy the powdered mix. Cheaper than buying the bottled stuff, and easy to put into a reusable bottle.
Don’t forget sunscreen. Get a good brand, and make sure your young soccer player uses it, as well as any of the rest of the family coming to the game.