We all know how important your kids first football match is, no matter how serious or official it is, it’s still something that will be remembered and talked about for years to come. Especially if your child decides to continue their football career into their later life. We all know the feeling, the pre-game nerves, the excitement, the confusion of what it is they’re actually meant to do on the pitch.
Here at Baby Ballers, our ultimate goal is for your child to have fun whilst learning all about football whether that’s in training or during the games. If the focus of football is based on the fun at the beginning, children will likely fall in love with the game and will want to continue.
With that in mind, we want to take all of the stress out of the first game, for you and your child. And, remembering what to pack in that all so important bag can be half that. Read on to read all about what we recommend you bring, here at Baby Ballers.
Keep your kids well-nourished
The benefits of hydration and refuelling are always emphasised when adults work out, however, it should be for kids, too. If you want your kid to have fun and play to the best of their ability, they need to have a good snack before plus one ready for them afterwards. Make sure to get a good mix of protein, carbohydrates and fat before and some fruit for afterwards to give them a natural sugar hit after. Plus, plenty of water of course.
Uniform, uniform, uniform
This one might come as an obvious one but, it’s also one of the most easily forgotten. Especially if your kids are wearing different clothes there.
We suggest bringing: Football socks, shorts and a t-shirt, shin pads (when your kids are a bit older), football boots or trainers plus, gloves if it’s cold.
Warm clothes for afterwards
After your child has played their match they’re likely to be hot and warn out, however, due to their increased body temperature this can ofter quickly lead to them getting cold quickly once they have sat still for a while. If this is the case, make sure you bring something warm for them to either get changed into or to put on top of their kit.
Ensure they’ve got enough rest
Preparing your child for their first football match really starts a good 12-24 hours beforehand. As well as ensuring that they are hydrated and have eaten a good meal, also ensure that they are rested and ready to give the game all they’ve got! (Or at least enough, that they enjoy the game and don’t get grouchy).
It’s great to talk about your child’s goals before a game, but only if they don’t put pressure on your child. Asking your kid to score two goals in their first game is not a goal….rather, that’s putting pressure on the child. Instead set goals at the beginning of the season that is tied to skills and a mindset of improving their skills and confidence rather than scoring goals. Especially for the younger players, set goals such as trying a new move or taking on a defender in a one-on-one situation. These goals should be discussed before the game, maybe even the night before. Plus, don’t forget to ask the child what they want out of the game. If their answer is to have fun, then that should be their goal!
Read all about How to Improve Your Kid’s Core Football Skills here.
Things for you to remember:
Here at Baby Ballers we like to usually keep our games indoors if the weather doesn’t look great, especially with younger children, however, if your kid’s coach does opt to hold the match outside and the weather is less than ideal then remembering an umbrella, hot flask and wellies can make all of the difference!
Plus, don’t forget to bring your camera or a charged phone to capture the special moment!