By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Spring is here! While warmer weather and budding greenery might be your thoughts of spring, mine immediately goes to baseball season. The intensity of the spring sports season has no rival. Just like your athlete, taking time to prepare and train for the upcoming season sets you up for success rather than becoming stressed out and frazzled, missing out on the fun. Don’t worry, I got you, girl! I’m about to let you in on my strategy that sets up my season, and athletes, for success, allowing me to enjoy the moments. Here are 7 tested and true time saving tips to rescue your season...and, more importantly, your sanity!
1. Sync your Calendar
Take a moment to compile dates on emails from coaches and team scheduling apps. Put all dates in 1 central location for easy reference. Personally, I prefer to have a paper calendar as well as a phone calendar with all the deets.
Pro Parent Tip: Assign each person in your family a different color for quick reference.
2. Sunday Set-Up
Sunday evening is my day to prepare for the week ahead, not only for sports but life in general. Taking a few moments of intentional planning and organizing will set your week up to be successful and less stressful. Here are some things to prep for: double check practice & game schedules, note any work or other evening commitments, arrange kid rides as needed, meal plan, and grocery list. Enter your plan into your phone or calendar.
Pro Parent Tips: Use reminders in your phone so you don't forget! Consider using an app that syncs with your spouse/significant other or children's phones to keep everyone on track.
3. Plan Meals Ahead
Spring sports have a tendency to hit during meal time, and concession stand dinner options get old fast. Pick and prepare quick, easy meals that are low on mess for on-the-go eating. Crock pots, air fryers, and Instapots are lifesavers in fast meal prep.
Pro Parent Tips: Double the recipe and freeze half for a future night. Using a thermos is a game changer for keeping food warm on the go!
4. Stock the Snacks
Having healthy snacks available is key for healthy choices and fueling your athlete. Here's some snack-spiration: apples, oranges, pouch applesauce, yogurt and yogurt smoothies, individual hummus with veggies, string cheese, protein bites, crackers, pretzels, almonds, individual almond butter, bananas.
Pro Parent Tip: Portion snacks ahead of time for easy grab & go!
5. Pack the Trunk Once
Spring weather is unpredictable. Pack your trunk or cargo area once for the whole season. Here's your checklist: chairs, blankets, umbrella, sunscreen, bug spray, bandaids, bottled water, extra snacks, sweatshirts, rain gear, hats (stocking & sun).
Pro Parent Tip: A foldable wagon or cart is a worthwhile investment for hauling gear!
6. Delegate Responsibilities
There is no section in the sports parent handbook that says mom needs to do everything. Athletic participation is an excellent time to teach responsibility. Make your athlete responsible for preparing their sports bag and making sure all pieces of their uniform are accounted for. Spouses/significant others can also be delegated responsibilities to ease up on what is on your plate.
Pro Parent Tip: Make a reference checklist for your athlete to use to check their bag!
No matter how well you plan and prepare, something will happen to derail your plan like a rainout that is rescheduled during a prior commitment. Missing a game or two is not the end of the world for you OR your kids. Give yourself grace and move on.
Focusing on these points has been a game changer for not only my family but also my sanity and stress level having two athletes in sports all year round. We all know, a stress-free, sane mom is a happy mom. A little focus and preparation in these areas will pay off. Now, let’s play ball and, as always, Shine On!
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.