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What should my child wear to their first sports practice?
Planning out what they wear can help them feel more at ease when joining their new team and can actually help boost their performance and confidence. When trying out for a team, first impressions can make quite a difference so any little edge your child can gain will pay off in the long run.
Obviously If you want to maximize your child’s range of motion and freedom of movement, choose shirts and shorts that are not too snug around the arms and legs. That said, make sure your child’s clothes are not too loose, as this can become a distraction as well if they constantly have to adjust or fix slipping shirts shoes or socks.
Colder weather means adding layers to your child’s clothes, but only up to a certain point. The added layers need to be able to be removed easily and quickly in between water breaks. Remember, your child’s body will start to heat up as they go through practice, so make sure to not add too many layers.
Steer clear of constrictive clothes such as jackets, coats, and bulky hoodies which may weigh them down. After practice however, hoodies and jackets should be put on to prevent your child from getting sick in colder weather when they're covered in sweat.
Underwear plays a large part in your child’s practice outfit. Constantly having to adjust out of place sports bras or having to pull out the dreaded “wedgie” in the middle of practice is something you child simply doesn’t want to do.
Depending on your child’s age, you’ll want to have them wear a sports bra that is somewhat tight fitting to help with added support. You’ll also want to make sure their shorts can be tightened enough that they stay on your child’s waist. There’s nothing worse than the feeling of your shorts starting to slip down while you’re running suicides or sprints.
Shoes & Footwear
Proper footwear is one of the most important considerations you'll need to make when planning your girls basketball practice outfit. Shoes that don't have proper support or grip can lead to poor performance or injury.
Sport Specific Shoes
Not all athletic shoes are suitable for sports. Most shoes labeled as athletic or casual do not have the grip needed for fast cuts and agile moves. Make sure to look at the sole of the shoe. If it looks smooth and flat, chances are it will not do well and your child’s foot.
Most players prefer playing in high top sneakers because of the added support, although a lot of players feel uncomfortable and choose low tops instead. Try on a few pairs of each to see which your child prefers best.
Socks are another important part of an athletes wardrobe that is often overlooked. Socks that are too thin or made of thin material will rub at your child’s foot and become uncomfortable quickly. Socks that are too thick however will cause their feet to sweat, which feels like running out a sandy beach. We’d suggest athletic socks as they are made for vigorous activity.
If your child wears glasses, we’d strongly suggest wearing a strap that can be tightened against your child’s head. This helps prevent their glasses from slipping down their nose. It’s difficult to catch a basketball when you’re pushing up your glasses every few seconds.
If a strap isn’t working and your child really enjoys the sport, purchasing prescription sports glasses will be a great investment. They not only provide great protection for your child’s eyes, they also allow for a wide field of view. Contacts is the preferred eyewear for athletes, but that won’t come until they are teenagers.
A mouthpiece is a great protective piece of gear that should never go overlooked, but for their first few practices they are probably not necessary.
First Practice Tips
When arriving at practice, start stretching. It helps your body loosen up and warms up cold muscles. This is the number one prevention tool for strained muscles. Also, if their new coach sees your child take the initiative to stretch before practice starts, it will leave a good impression.
That leads us to another tip. Show up to practice early! This is the #1 biggest pet peeve of any coach, and showing up late to their first practice won't give off the best impression.
Another tip to share with your child is to not try and be perfect right away. It’s called practice for a reason, and a good coach will look to make your child better by pushing her to do things they are not comfortable doing to work on the muscle memory. By setting the expectation that they are not going to be perfect right away can help easily frustrated kids, as it does take time to learn proper skills.