Today I thought I should share with you 10 tips on how not to forget your kid’s soccer gear back at home. It’s every soccer parent’s worst nightmare when they realize they forgot to bring a towel or the shin guards to their kid’s training.
The feeling of helplessness and embarrassment can hit you really hard in the stomach.
Normally by then, your kid will be crying and other parents started to ask why. Some may even think that you are the worst parent they come across.
If that situation has not happened to you yet then congratulations you have mastered the craft of planning.
If you are already a victim then you need to pick yourself up and do something about it. There is no time to cry over spilled milk, as they usually say.
I am going to give you 10 tips on how to be smarter and never let your kid down, ever again.
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1. Create A Daily To To-Do List
“One of the secrets of getting more done is to make a TO-DO List every day, keep it visible, and use it as a guide to action as you go through the day”.
~ Jean de La Fontaine
A good start would be to create a checklist of what to do the next day. I recommend doing this before going to bed because by then I already have a fair idea of what to do the next day.
Write a list of every task you need to do starting from when you get up in the morning until when you go to bed.
If soccer training starts at 4 PM then your preparation might start at 12 PM. Maybe make a few sandwiches and orange juice and around 2 PM you will start packing your kid’s soccer gear.
Always tick every task you completed
You can create a simple to-do list on Microsoft Excel or any mobile app. Below is a quick T0-Do list I created in Excel:
2. Keep A Checklist Of Every Gear
With the To-Do list above you will be able to manage your tasks but when you pack your kid’s backpack you need a checklist. It is highlighted with orange on the list above.
This is the list of all the soccer gear your kid will need during his or her training.
Do not forget you will need things like an umbrella and deck chair for you to use on the sidelines if the training will be in the early afternoon.
Maybe include a cooler to keep the water, orange juice, and ice pack cold.
You can divide the list into 2 parts; one for your kid’s bag and the other for yourself.
Print this list and paste it somewhere you will not miss like on the fridge door or put a copy in your kid’s soccer backpack so you can pull it out and check when packing.
3. Store Spare Gear In Your Car
“They who always expect the worst are almost always pleasantly surprised.”
Another trick is to store a few spare items in your car. These items should never leave your car because they are for “emergency” use when you missed something on the checklist.
Believe me when I say stuff still gets missing after ticking the checklist!
How? You might ask.
Well, after you are done with your checklist your kid might come around and pull something out of the bag, leaving you totally clueless.
That is when your “emergency” stock in the car will come in handy to support you when you missed any critical gear, water bottle, or soccer shoes.
Every time you get something from the “emergency” stock you need to replace it or wash it and put it back in the car.
Always prepare for the worst.
4. Do Not Procrastinate ~ Do It Now
“You may delay, but time will not.”
The more you delay the task of collecting and packing your kid’s soccer gear, the more likely you will end up running around in the house in a panic.
A last-minute rush is a sure way of missing things when you depend on your memory alone.
Stick to the schedule of your To-Do tasks.
5. Store All Gear Together
Storing all the soccer gear together makes a lot of sense because it will be easier for you to find and you will complete your checklist in no time.
I would put the soccer shoes and the shinguards separately but at the same location.
When the time comes to pack the gear it is going to be like a breeze, of course with the checklist
6. Pack Up In Advance
Do not wait until you got reminded before you start packing up your kid’s soccer gear, be ahead of your schedule.
If you, by some chance have a spare 10 minutes then you should start packing when your head is still clear and not in a rush.
Pick up your checklist and methodically run through each item at your own pace. That way if you can not find an item you will have plenty of time to look around the house.
7. Mark Training Day On The Calendar
Some parents did not forget the soccer gear, they forgot all about their kid’s training days!
Imagine the disappointment on your kid’s face when you did not even prepare?
Apart from the calendar that we hang on the wall of our house we also calendar app on our mobile phones.
While the calendar on the wall does not send us alerts and reminders their counterparts on the phones do.
Mark the dates with a highlighter pen and place the calendar in a location that you will not miss. With mobile apps, you can insert more details and times to receive alerts.
8. Have Someone To Remind You
“The only thing faster than the speed of thought is the speed of forgetfulness. Good thing we have other people to help us remember.”
Having someone to remind you can work well provided that they are reliable and not as forgetful as yourself, just make sure you instruct them to remind you at a specific time.
For example, if you are going to leave the house for soccer training at 4 PM then ask them to call you at 2 PM so that you have enough time to prepare
Apart from your spouse, partner, or BFF, teaming up with another parent whose kid also played on the same team works very well because you can remind each other.
Trust me, I rely on my wife to remind me of some tasks and I was never disappointed (well, most of the time).
Give them the same copy of your checklist so that they run through the list while you cross-check. They can call you on Facebook, mobile, or text on the agreed time.
If they are family members, they will definitely feel that they are part of your logistics team which is an added bonus for teamwork.
9. Stop Multi-tasking
“Be strategic about productivity—do less exceptionally well, instead of doing more in an average way.”
You may have a bulletproof checklist but if you tried to tick off every item in one go then you are bound to fail.
Stick to the first item then when you tick it, go to the next item, and so forth.
If you spot an item down the list then pick it up otherwise stick to what you are looking for.
10. Final check
For a good measure, do a quick check before taking off.
If you follow these tips I can guarantee you that you will not miss anything back home.
Your kid will enjoy playing soccer, knowing you had his or her back and you will goodbye to those embarrassing moments on the sideline.