The 7 Best Ways to Get Your Kid Ready for Fall Sports

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The fall season is an exciting time. Leaves are starting to change color, farmers markets are in full swing and your child’s favorite sports are coming back. However, they may need a refresh before they get back in the game or join a team for the first time. Here are seven of the best ways to get your kid ready for fall sports.

1. Get a Sports Physical

Most youth sports leagues require every player to get a preseason physical. Even if your child’s league doesn’t need one, you should still get an update on their health before they step onto the field. Physicals check for undiagnosed injuries, heart conditions, breathing problems and other ailments that might impact your kid’s performance.

Children can still play if they have manageable conditions like moderate asthma, but the physician has the final say. They might determine the health problems are too severe and warn against participation in sports. That’s why it’s crucial to get your kid’s physical done early. The sooner, the better.

2. Teach the Rules of the Game

Once the physician clears your child to play, start teaching them the rules of the sport they want to play. These are the most common fall youth sports:

  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Golf
  • Field Hockey
  • Cross Country
  • Girls’ Tennis
  • Girls’ Volleyball

If this year is your kid’s first experience with organized sports, soccer is the best option. It’s the world’s most popular sport by a mile and the rules are easy to follow. There is also minimal required equipment, so it’s affordable for most families. Let your child have some input, but you should make the final decision as the adult.

Teaching your kid the rules before they step onto the field will help them feel more confident in an unfamiliar setting. The lesson doesn’t have to be complicated — go over the game’s basic concepts and show them videos of professionals to pique their interest. The first day of practice will go much better if the sport already interests your child.

3. Buy the Required Equipment

Every sport has some protective gear they require for optimal safety. Kids love getting new stuff, so take your child shopping with you and get the equipment together. This activity is another easy way to get them excited about the season. No matter which sport they’re playing, make sure you cover these essentials:

  • Mouthpiece
  • Cleats or running shoes
  • Athletic shirts, shorts and socks
  • Compression underwear and a cup for the boys

Don’t feel pressured to overspend on the best available equipment — your kid won’t know the difference. Start them off with simple, affordable gear until they’re ready to make a long-term commitment to the sport.

4. Start Practicing in the Backyard

After you review the rules and buy the equipment, get your child outside and start practicing. They should be eager to play after learning more about the game. If you’re physically able, practice alongside them and lead by example. Demonstrate the fundamentals and make sure they’re having fun.

Your kid should also practice putting on their equipment by themselves. This task can be difficult at first for sports like football and field hockey. Learning their way around the gear will help them feel more independent throughout the season.

5. Develop Smart Injury Prevention Habits

Practicing before the season starts is a great way to develop excellent injury prevention habits. To learn how to avoid sprains, strains and other common sports injuries, you first need to know how these injuries occur and how to treat them.

Have your child start a basic daily stretching routine to improve their coordination. Kids are more flexible than adults, but they’re also clumsy. They must develop a feel for their various muscle groups and understand how to control their bodies.

A preseason conditioning program will also prepare your child for practices and games. Get them used to running full speed and being out of breath. The first training day is always a rude awakening for kids unfamiliar with these sensations.

6. Provide a Healthy Diet

Athletes need more calories and nutrients than their less active counterparts. This fact applies to every age group and experience level, including children. Get your kid on a healthy diet in preparation for the season so their bodies will be ready for the new challenge. The diet should include these natural protein, carbohydrate and fat sources:

  • Protein: beef, chicken, fish, eggs, milk
  • Carbs: bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, oatmeal, fruits, vegetables
  • Fats: dairy products, beans, nuts, avocado

Once the season begins, start feeding your child slightly more calories to keep their energy levels high. Send them to school with a big refillable water bottle to ensure they stay hydrated.

7. Encourage other Families to Join

Youth sports are more enjoyable for everyone when kids get to play with their friends. Encourage the parents of your child’s friends to join the team and get as many community members involved as you can. American kids are more sedentary than ever, so parents must remember their responsibility to encourage healthy, active lifestyles.

Make This Fall Memorable

Preseason is an exciting time at any athletic level, especially for young children. Their favorite sport could be one of the most important things in their lives, so you should treat it like a big deal, too. Follow the above steps to make this fall memorable for your kid and everyone involved.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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