If you are a big Olympic Games fan like I am, Fanatics.com has your Christmas gift list covered already! Not only can you get the collector pins (I just LOVE the Nesting Dolls pin), but they already have quite a selection of the Team USA fan gear and they are adding sport specific items regularly, too. Most of the items are available in youth and ladies sizes so you can find the perfect gift for the sports girl on your list! Some of my favorites are:
Fanatics.com is offering FREE Shipping on orders of $50 or more through the end of December, too!
UPDATED with a WINNER! Congratulations Madison, check your inbox.
I don’t know about you, but I am doing the last minute scramble to get the kids everything they need to go back to school before September 3. My shopping list includes 3 backpacks, 3 pair of running shoes, shorts and t-shirts for PE class, Soffe shorts and compression shorts for my cheerleader, sports bras and hoodies! YIKES!! It’s a good thing we have a Dick’s Sporting Goods store close by. I know I can get everything on my list in the brands and color combinations my kids love but at prices that my budget can handle.
With three kids who all have different backpack needs, Dick’s Sporting Goods Backpack Selector is a wonderful tool to help us make sure each of the kids gets the backpack that will best suit their needs and their space issues, too. My two high school aged kids have sports right after school so they need a backpack with compartments so they can take uniforms or practice gear in addition to their books, where as my youngest daughter is going into middle school and the lockers are very narrow. The Backpack Selector is definitely going to come in handy!
And of course, two of my three kids have outgrown their tennis shoes from last year – the holes in the toe of the shoe is a big tip off. Dick’s has a huge selection of athletic shoes in every price range! My son will need a performance running shoe and since his foot is done growing, I don’t mind paying the price for quality. My 11 year old is still growing like a weed and I doubt that the shoes I buy her today will still fit by Christmas, so I am happy that Dick’s Sporting Goods has basic shoes on clearance, too!
While I could go on and on about my back to school shopping needs, let’s get to the good stuff! I have teamed up with Dick’s Sporting Goods to help YOU outfit your athletes for a stylish, comfortable and performance worthy return to school. We are giving ONE lucky reader a $25 gift card to Dick’s Sporting Goods.
What we are giving away:
- One $25 gift certificate for an online purchase at Dick’s Sporting Goods (Note: Exclusions apply. $25 off, no minimum. Code must be entered in the cart. Valid through 9/30/2013. Code can only be used once. If the full $25 is not used during that purchase the remainder of the balance is lost. )
How To Enter
- Simply leave your response to the following questions in the comments on THIS site: What fall sport(s) essentials are on your back to school shopping list?
- Get bonus entries by letting your friends know about our giveaway. Get one extra entry for each of the following:
- Come back and leave a second comment telling us where you shared it.
- Leave your comment(s) no later than midnight August 30, 2013.
- You must use your first name and email address in the comment form below. If you don’t we can’t contact in the event that you win.
- We will be using AndTheWinnerIs to select one (1) winner at random.
Disclosure: I received a prize of equal value to facilitate my post, however, all opinions are my own.
Note: I originally published this a few years ago but find it very helpful to revisit at this time of the year!
Our kids go back to school soon but many of our mid-west friends have kids who go back to school this week. For us the first week of school is also the first week of practice on the fall schedule for the gymnasts I coach and my own kids go back to swim team practices this week, as well. As a coach and a parent, I know the next 3 weeks are going to be HARD! That’s because it is going to take about 3 weeks for the kids to adjust to being back in school all day and then going straight to practice a few times a week. But it’s going to be okay. Experience tells me that these first few weeks will be tough, but the kids will adapt.
As a parent, you can help make this transition time easier by:
- Make sure your athlete is going to bed at a reasonable time. Summer sleep schedules were lax at best around my house so it is time to recalibrate the kids’ sleep schedules. I aim to have my 10 year old in bed between 9 and 9:30 on school nights. She can sleep in until 7 so that gives her plenty of time to rest. My 14 and 16 year old have to get up earlier but don’t seem to need quite as much sleep so they go to bed no later than 10 – closer to 9:30 on night’s where the homework load is light.
- Make sure your athlete is adequately fueled. Long school days mean less opportunity for snacking but it also means that they will be hungrier when you see them after school. Start with a balanced breakfast – no a frozen waffle on its own does not count. Encourage your athlete to help pack their lunch or at least give you input so the chance of them eating it all is better. If you are going straight from school to practice, make sure you provide a healthy mini-meal to refuel their systems (check our list of Healthy Snacks and Mini Meal Ideas). After workout try a tall glass of chocolate milk and a banana or bagel for immediate muscle recovery!
- Communicate with teachers! If your child is still in elementary school, definitely let their teacher know what days they have sports practice. Many teachers will be willing to give homework at the beginning of the week so that you can focus on homework on off days, or at least conquer the more time intensive pieces on non-sports days. For middle school and high school students, it is a great time to learn time management skills. My kids have learned how to take advantage of in-school study halls and extra class time to get a jump on homework so they don’t have as much to deal with after school.
- Allow for downtime. Be sure not to completely over schedule your child these first few weeks. Add activities incrementally and allow for some relaxation time. Time to read, play, enjoy family time and just chill is just as essential for kids as the sports they do!
As a coach, you can help by:
- Being aware of the transition that your athletes are dealing with. Just acknowledging the new schedule and challenges will go a long way to helping the children relax.
- Taking a few minutes to communicate with your athletes. When we start practice we have the girls all line up first so we can give them any pre-practice information, greet them and we usually go down the line and ask them each how their day was or some silly question. It helps the girls change gears and it helps facilitate the coach/athlete bond.
- Stressing the importance of school. Remind your athletes that school comes first. If they need an extra 15 minutes at the beginning of practice to finish up homework, give it to them. As the year goes on they will find their stride and will learn to manage the homework/practice balance better. Allow athletes to leave practice early on night’s where they need to study for a big test or have a larger than normal homework load.
- Adjusting practice intensity. Know your athletes and know the signs of fatigue. The first few weeks of school you may need to adjust the intensity, number repetitions and lower your expectations a bit.
Years of experience from the coaching side and now from the parenting side have taught me that kids are resilient, they adapt and even the busiest schedule can be a positive thing – IF – parents and coaches are working together with the athletes as a TEAM.
Do you have tips for making the transition from the lazy days of summer back to the structure of balancing school and sports? If so – share them in the comments below! We can all benefit from working to support our athletes.