Fall youth sports approaching fast, so plan for it now

jonbuzby@hotmail.comJuly 29, 2012 

Depending on how you look at things, summer is either half over or you have half of your summer vacation remaining. But no matter whether the glass of your favorite summertime beverage is half full or half empty, the countdown to the fall sports season has begun. Here are some important reminders.

On the field

First off, is your child registered? Many fall leagues have already opened registrations. Don't panic if you haven't registered him or her, just don't wait any longer to find out.

Start thinking about purchasing equipment and other needs. The longer you wait, the more likely the exact brand or size of equipment or shoe you need is going to be out of stock. I wouldn't purchase socks yet, since a coach might dictate what color should be worn, but soccer shin guards are going to be needed. Shin guards will be hidden under socks no matter the color of the jersey.

As far as safety equipment is concerned, be sure to check with your league before purchasing it. I learned that the hard way when I purchased a roller hockey helmet without a face cage, only to learn one was required by the league. And remember, when it comes to safety equipment, if you think it's worn out, it's probably time to buy something new. No price can be placed on your child's safety.

Coaches can start thinking about their first practice: when and where will it be, what will you hand out to parents, etc. Even if you don't know the team roster, the team rules can be established now.

Off the field

Are your kids' summer reading projects completed? I always used the date of the first practice -- or the week it most likely will occur -- as the due date for my son's book to be read and report written. The rule is simple: If it's not done, you aren't going. This strategy has yet to fail.

Look at your fall calendar. My guess is if your cousin is getting married, the date has already been set. If it is going to conflict with a Saturday soccer game, the decision can be made now whether or not your child will miss the game or attend it. Do this with any other commitments on the calendar.

It would be nice to think that summer -- and along with it the break from youth sports -- is going to last forever, but it's not. Any way you look at it, it's time to start thinking about the fall.

Reach Jon Buzby at jonbuzby@hotmail.com and follow him @JonBuzby on Twitter.

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