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The Kids Sports Pre-game Scramble

By True Places Magazine Staff Writers


Whether you’re a novice sports parent, or grizzled veteran, you’ve undoubtedly seen the same notification pop up on your phone early Saturday morning: players arrive 45 minutes before gametime.


You rush out the door, arms filled with socks and balls and bags and cleats and thermoses. You pull into the parking lot—maybe not exactly 45 minutes before gametime, but there are clearly other cars pulling in behind you. Open the door, let the kids run out, and pat yourself on the back—you did it!


But what now? Watching them stretch and warm up is maybe good for five minutes. What to do with the other half hour or more? Have no fear, we have some ideas that go beyond endlessly scrolling your social feed…


  • Pre-game activities: if the weather’s nice, and you’re feeling like getting the blood flowing, consider playing catch or frisbee with the other families. You may even notice a little light activity calms down some of those high-strung parents before kick-off, which benefits everyone.


  • Bring some shareable snacks: Set up your sidelines chair, lay out a blanket, and unbox a veritable cornucopia of munchkins, bagels, and maybe a little fruit to add a healthy touch. I’ve been at pregame before when parents do this, and it’s a huge hit. Most of us are in the same boat, scrambling to get there on time, which means we probably skipped breakfast entirely. This idea is also a great way to get to know the other families before we inevitably turn our chairs to face the playing field.


  • Take photos or videos: Almost every pregame, one parent makes a vow to take more pictures or videos. But when the games start, most get wrapped up in the action and forget. Taking some footage before the game is a good way to alleviate some of that guilt. And usually, you capture a good pic or video with the other players, and those parents are appreciative when you send them over.     

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  • Downtime for you: Long week, maybe filled with a lot of socializing too. Take some time for yourself. Get comfortable in a good sidelines chair, take a seat and listen to nature or people watch. Sometimes a little music can help, so don’t forget the portable speaker too. And if that doesn’t do it for you, and you’re itching to be more productive, consider planning out the next week by organizing your schedule and making a grocery list.


Hopefully one of these ideas helps for your next pregame. Let us know how it goes, and if you have any other ideas, we’d love to hear them for the downtime before our own games.


Good Luck!

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