Parenting from the bleachers: What every football parent should have in their glove compartment

By Janis Meredith | Posted 10/23/2017

In partnership with the maker of TYLENOL® and MOTRIN®.

Youth football calls for a lot of equipment, and the athlete needs to keep track of it.

As a parent, you too have tools that you need to keep handy, either in your glove compartment, purse, or bag, or in your mind. Here’s a few I’ve used through 22 years of sports parenting:

1. Have all health information handy and identify beforehand. This includes which doctor/hospital/clinic is compatible with your group health insurance so there will be no hesitation about where to go.

RELATED CONTENT: Jeff Saturday: Parents need to work with high school coaches to recognize concussions.

2. Establish your go-to person, a parent/friend who will take other siblings home if you have to accompany your child to get treated for injury.

3. Keep “extras” on hand. Even though you hope your child remembers everything he needs for the game, there will be times when he misplaces something or simply forgets. I’m not a fan of bailing kids out, but it would be a shame if lost socks, a mouthpiece or a lost cup kept your child from playing. Keep a few of these extras in a box or bag in the car.

4. Take an active role in recognizing concussion signs and don’t be afraid to communicate with coaches.

5. Bring last-minute snacks. Obviously, this is not something to keep in the car, but it is an item you should grab as you walk out the door. Should you get that “Mom, I’m hungry” look before or after the game, you can always whip out a granola bar or bag of popcorn or peanuts.

6. Get a first-aid kit. Your child’s team should have their own, but it’s always best to have one anyway. You never know when you will need it.

7. Make sure you have a bleacher chair. Of course, you can’t fit it in your glove compartment, but it’s a must for any serious spectator, along with a blanket to keep you warm or serve as a cushion for someone else.

8. Don’t forget bug spray and sunscreen. This is essential particularly for early-season games.

9. Keep a team roster. This is mainly so you can know who you are cheering for. Get the list and keep it on your phone.

Preparation is important for athletes and for parents. Keep in mind that as a sports parent, your job is to expect the best, plan for the worst and prepare to be surprised!

Janis B. Meredith is a sports parenting blogger, podcaster, and life coach. She provides resources to help parents give their children a positive and growing youth sports experience. Her book 11 Habits for Happy & Positive Sports Parents is available on Amazon.