This pandemic that we all have endured over the past year-plus has been difficult for nearly everyone. We had to adjust our lives in order to comply with local and national regulations related to curbing the spread of the virus. One of the things that changed was sports. Professional sports teams played altered seasons with no fans or limited fans. Children who participated in youth sports had their seasons canceled or delayed. Even intramural sports or pickup games did not occur too much. Fortunately, as we are making our way out of this tough era, sports are making their way back into our lives. Professional sports, like baseball and basketball, are being played in stadiums that allow some fans or all fans. Youth sports have picked back up as well as intramural organizations. Whether you are excited to watch your favorite professional team or child's sport or are ready to get back out and play, there are a few things that you should do so you are prepared for what is to come.
1. Check your equipment
With sports equipment left untouched for potentially a year, you might benefit from checking to see if everything fits and is in good shape before you are set to leave your house. If your children are playing baseball and have gone through a growth spurt, their trusty baseball gloves may no longer fit. They may need to be replaced with bigger ones to accommodate for their growth. Alternately, if they were stored away in a basement or closet, and you live in a humid area, there is a potential that some mold or mildew may have built up on them. They may be able to be cleaned but they may also need to be replaced. This is true not only for baseball gloves; cleats and shinguards for soccer, bathing suits and swim caps for swimming and all other equipment for other sports should also be checked and tried on prior to the sport's season starting. Nothing can bring on panic like having to make an extra trip to the store one hour before practice begins. Even if you are just someone who likes to watch sports, you may bring a baseball glove to a professional game if you are looking to take home a foul ball as a souvenir.
2. Make sure you are medically ready
Some sports teams require athletes to go to the doctor regularly in order to be eligible to play sports. This may be to ensure that your immunizations are up to date and that your major body parts, like your hearts and lungs, are functioning appropriately to endure exercise. It is common that children must see their doctor at least once a year in order to be able to play some sports. You could have postponed your children's doctor's appointments this past year with everything going on, so it is important to check to see if they do need to go to the doctor and make the appointment if necessary.
Even if you are just playing an intramural sport as an adult, it is not a bad idea to check in with your doctor as well. They can check your heart rate, blood pressure and general bloodwork to give you an idea of your overall health. This is especially important if you were sick over the past year, as any illnesses can have long-term effects on some people. It can give you peace of mind knowing that your body is ready and able to engage in some fun, laid-back sports.
3. Organize your plans
Your family's schedule may have been a little lighter over the past year, which meant it was easier to coordinate rides and activities. You may have also had fewer social events, like attending professional sports games, to think about as well. With sports at all levels having a comeback, it is a good idea to look at your schedule and organize your plans with a little more detail. You might have plans to attend an event on Friday, but then also realize one of your children has their baseball practice on Friday, too. You could also have two children with two different practices on the same night, or you want to play intramural volleyball at the same time as someone else's soccer game. Now is a good time to get your calendar out, get the whole family's sports schedules out, and make sure you are able to attend as many events as possible, coordinate rides for everyone, and even make it to the grocery store as well.