It falls under the caretaker umbrella to encourage children to join clubs and teams and participate in extracurricular activities. Some of these activities take place within the school, and some are found through community outreach sectors like church and local Recreation Departments. No matter how you participate, though, there are some costs associated with joining a sports team or club, and you should want to ensure that your money is going to good use. Outlined below are some common mistakes made when buying equipment for extracurriculars and how to avoid them.
Kids grow quickly. In a short amount of time, they hit growth spurts and turn from toddler to adolescent. Because of the speed in growth, a lot of parents and guardians like to make their money go farther by buying clothes and shoes that are a little too big with the thought that the kid will grow into it. This is a mistake with sports gear in particular. Ease of movement on a field or court is important, and properly fitting clothes have an impact on mobility. If the clothes are too big, then they could get in the way of running or catching. Buy clothes that fit properly now, and, if your child grows quickly, purchase new proper-fitting clothes after outgrowing others.
Another common mistake is with the shoes needed for specific sports and activities. Like clothes, it is important to buy the proper shoe for your child’s current size. Just like buying too small of a shoe can cause issues with the foot, buying a shoe that is too big and can be grown into can cause blisters and muscle and tendon pain. Purchasing equipment in the right size matters for optimum performance and care.
An additional consideration when it comes to footwear and sports is to look for the right kind in relation to what sport is being played. Cleats, for instance, are specific to which sport you’re playing. A football cleat is going to be different than a soccer cleat, and your child will need the right one for the sport they have chosen. And, if your child has chosen a sport that requires a lot of running, make sure to find sneakers that serve as athletic shoes first and are made for running and jumping. Choosing a shoe for its style before its function can potentially cause injuries because you are using a fashion shoe to serve the purpose of a sports shoe.
One overarching thing to keep in mind when purchasing sports gear for your little one is the price. Remember before making a purchase that these clothes are going to be outgrown, they are going to go through a lot of wear and tear, and they are going to get very sweaty and dirty. Treat sports gear purchases as you would play clothes purchases and don’t pay too much for the purpose these clothes will actually be serving.
The last thing to remember is to keep these clothes clean. It is easy to get busy and allow your kids to re-wear their practice outfit a second or third time, but the sweat and dirt on those outfits have the potential to grow bacteria that can cause skin rashes, irritation, and acne. And, did we mention the odor that comes from adolescents nearing or at the age of puberty? For your sense of smell and their skin health, try to make sure a clean outfit is in their gym bag at all times and keep that laundry going.
Encouraging kids to take part in extracurricular activities that teach them teamwork, gets them to be active, and shows them how to have fun is part of development, and supplying them with the proper gear to be effective in their sport is essential. Make sure things fit properly, make sure to buy the right shoes for the right sport, don’t overpay for what you are getting, and keep everything clean.