Thursday, November 12, 2020

Organizing Sports Uniforms

 Reagan added another element to our lives this year. After a couple of years of in-town, very basic soccer, she decided she wanted to try out for the premier team that our town offers. Reagan has loved soccer from the start, but she'd lost an entire season due to COVID-19, and we weren't sure if going from nothing to hardcore would be too much. 

It turned out to be great. She tried out over the summer and immediately loved the new practice routines and serious coaches. She found herself on a great team of girls she likes, and it really came at the perfect time when she felt she'd lost a lot of her friends due to fallout from the pandemic and how it impacted her activities. Playing on this team was a great choice.

But the new league is much more regimented. We had to buy a complete uniform kit, which not only included a uniform for games, but a full uniform for practice. Everything from their warm up gear to their socks to their bag is dictated by the club. They can be benched for showing up in the wrong uniform, wrong socks, wrong warm up. As the girls stay in the league, they get used to it, but for a first year mom who is NOT a sports mom, it was overwhelming.

Fortunately, I am SUPER MOM when it comes to organizing for dance, so I set out to see if those skills would transfer. Labels, special bags, and routine had served us well for dance competitions, and I was certain they could be adapted for soccer.

The potential flaw is that Reagan is not the most organized when it comes to her laundry, and I worried that we would spend multiple days a week fighting over where the practice uniform was, or why a shirt didn't make it into the laundry, or which socks go with which uniform, or any other issues. After the first week, we figured out a plan.

1. I started with lingerie bags. I have a practice uniform bag, a home uniform bag, and an away uniform bag. The bag has the correct shirt, shorts, and socks, along with the corresponding headband that a mom made the girls. I also added a bag for practice warm ups and game warm ups. Each bag has a tag that says what is inside.

2. Those bags do NOT go in her dresser drawers with her other clothes. We bought a separate canvas basket just for soccer gear. Anything related to soccer attire goes in that bin, and nothing else. We store the bin in her closet.

3. As soon as she gets home from soccer, she changes and puts her full uniform into the washing machine. It doesn't sit in her backpack, and it doesn't go in her hamper. Everything goes right into the washing machine so it's done with the next load and will be guaranteed to be ready. Once it comes out, it's put right back into the correct bag.

This plan made everyone's life easier. Everything was always washed and ready to go, and Reagan knew exactly where everything was. On the days I couldn't take her, Adam could easily step in and grab the right bag without worrying. 

I still don't consider myself a soccer mom - yet - but I'm glad to know my dance mom skills are transferrable!

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