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When I started dating Ryan I couldn’t wait to learn to play recreational softball. I grew up doing sports that required body control (gymnastics, running, cheerleading) but nothing with a ball. Hoo boy! I am STILL learning the proper motor skills for that one. Parents- be sure to practice throwing, catching, and striking with your kids when they are young! I actually have a post on the fundamental movement skills you can check out for more  info.

Anyway, I am a huge advocate of adult recreational sports, especially for women! Way more men participate in recreational sports and the ladies tend to opt out. I get it, you have a family and household to manage. But taking time for yourself to get out there is great stress relief, a chance to socialize, and good exercise. Basically it’s three healthy essentials all at once!

Don’t let your fear of looking foolish stop you! Trust me, I’ve been playing softball for seven years now and I am still a clumsy fool out there!

No matter what sport you’ve signed up for, there are a few essential items you’ll want to bring along. Check out this handy list for tips on packing for your first day on the field.

  • Water Bottle. Hydration is no joke, especially when it gets hot out there. Here in Southern Alberta it gets dry and hot in July and August and most of the softball facilities I’ve been to don’t have water fountains.  Insulated stainless-steel water bottles are best to keep your water cold for hours under the sun. And remember, sharing drinks with teammates is a surefire way to catch a season-ending illness (or worse), so make sure to bring your own.


  • Safety Equipment. I have had my share of falls during softball. It’s embarrassing how many times I’ve tripped running for first. Ha ha!  Protective equipment like helmets, elbow and knee pads, eye protection and mouth guards can help to reduce your chances of getting hurt or the severity of your injury. Find out what gear your sport requires and pick it up before your first game.

This is not a softball injury but it happened at a softball tournament. CLICK HERE to read the whole embarrassing story! Ha ha!

  • First-Aid Kit. The type of first aid you’ll need varies by sport, but there are a few general supplies that will come in handy no matter what. Make sure you have instant chemical cold packs, bandages, cleansing wipes and distilled water for cleaning wounds. I’ve noticed a lot more aches and pains in the last couple years, so pack a pain medication like ALEVE to give you 12 hours of relief to keep you in the game.


  • Sunscreen. I can’t say it enough! Always wear sunscreen! Who wants to be wrinkled and covered in liver spots before their time? Not me! Apply your sunscreen before you get dressed for the game and keep it on the sidelines to reapply after 80 minutes of swimming or sweating, and reapply immediately after toweling-off.

I like to use a spray on sunscreen so I can put it on quickly like Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Continuous Spray; apply just 15 minutes before sun exposure. It goes on fast, has a light and breathable feel, and stays on strong when you sweat. Keep in mind that sprays should be rubbed into the skin just like lotion to avoid missed areas. For a small and portable option, pick up the new Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Stick. It provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and won’t run into your eyes when you sweat. 

  • Spare Clothes. I live 30 minutes away from Lethbridge in a small town and I do not like sitting in stinky damp clothes.Keeping an extra pair of clothes on hand keeps you dry and comfortable on the way home, not to mention protecting the interior of your car. As an added bonus, you’ll be ready for any unexpected outings with the team.

Have you joined any sports leagues this summer?

What are the most important things in your bag?

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