Don’t be fooled by the white stuff still on the ground, March is here, and it’s time to get your gear ready for spring sports. Sure, you should go out and purchase some new cleats, maybe a new lacrosse stick, soccer ball, or softball glove. Yes, the best sports gear can give your young star an advantage, but that’s not the gear I’m talking about. I am talking about the essential, must-have gear of the mature sports fan.
If you plan on spending many weekends at the field watching your kids, family members, or friends enjoying recreational sports, you might as well be comfortable. So I drew on my experience as a sports fan, a dad who is a sports fan, the husband of a sports fan. What have I learned over the years about what to take to the fields?
Here’s a list of essential items that will make time watching games more memorable:
1. A comfortable seat! Move away from the bleachers and find a lightweight, portable chair. Chairs today come with side tables, cup holders, and even sun shades. You can also buy a portable foldout six-man bench seat. Be the envy of your team with the best seat on the sideline.
2. A portable cooler. As the weather heats up, staying hydrated is key to fan performance. Many of today’s coolers come with rollers for easy field access. But you can really be the fan with the most by getting a high-tech cooler. You can get a cooler with speakers, a built-in blender or even a USB charger. Of course, this is a must for the most serious fan.
3. A field tote. You can clean out last year’s bag or find a new one that will carry all of your must-have viewing aids like sun screen, gum, bug spray, candy, and sunflower seeds. (Hey, I’m a seed guy!)
4. A hat and sunglasses. You may have hair on your head, but those UV rays can still get to your scalp. Plus, a brim can help shield sunlight and the overhead lights that can at times obstruct your vision at night. And speaking of vision, be good to your eyes! Sunglasses will cut down on glare and provide protection from dangerous ultraviolet light.
5. An umbrella. Yes, the kids – at times – will be playing in the rain. While it will be fun for them, you do not have to get soaking wet. Find a nice big umbrella and have it handy in your car just in case it rains. They also work great to help provide shade in the heat of summer.
6. A blanket. This is a must have item for early spring games. It’s going to be cold out there, so make sure you keep warm while your little superstar is staying fit, running around and hopefully having fun.
In the next couple of weeks, RECKreational Sports will focus in on the athlete, but as a father of two young, active athletes, I wanted to make sure the recreational sports fans of Hampton Roads were ready for the fun season ahead!