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Surviving Outdoor Tournaments

Jun 12, 2008
You know the old adage that your parents just keep getting smarter as you become a parent yourself? Well it's true in my case. Last weekend was tied up for me with my daughter's softball tournament. I didn't mind the time commitment but the heat and the dirt started to make things really uncomfortable. And it was while I was squirming I remembered how often my parents graciously attended my own sports events.

At the beginning of a tournament, there is a carnival-like atmosphere. There are lots of people full of excitement, bright colored uniforms, and food stands on every corner. Sometimes there are even trinket stands selling toys and sunglasses. So begins the first tip to surviving an outdoor tournament. Bring your cash, and lots of it. You will probably pay an entrance fee and then spend the remaining of your week's entertainment budget on soda and hot dogs.

If you want to save some of that cash, bring a cooler. That's my second tip. Always bring a full cooler and a koozie or two. Fresh fruit, cheese sticks and nuts make great snacks for athletes and their fans. Even if you think your team will not survive to the finals, take along enough drinks and snacks to last the entire day. If your team is eliminated early in the day, you still have enough supplies to have a little party. It's OK to celebrate finishing in fifth place.

For my third tip, be prepared for weather of all kinds. Even if the weather man predicts a sunny day, be ready for rain. Take that rain coat and umbrella. And if they say it's going to be cloudy and rainy, take the sunscreen. Heat can be a big problem, so if you have a little battery powered fan, take it along. And be sure to put some wet rags in the cooler to help your ball player cool off in between games. Keep re-applying that sunscreen rain or shine!

Of course the next tip (we are up to tip 4 - if you've lost track) is the downtime and boredom issues. The first pertains to the time between games that always seems to last longer than it should. The second has to do with keeping my younger kids amused all day long. The remedies are both modern and traditional. We bring along handheld games, MP3 players, magazines, and good old fashioned cards.

And for my final and most important tip, make plans to pamper yourself when the day is done. Pull out your best bubble bath, your comfy robe and soak the dirt and sweat away. Your sore bleacher behind will thank you for it!
About the Author
Be prepared for outdoor events with the best accessories. A good tote bag or cooler is priceless. If your next outdoor event is a wedding, visit EyeCandyGift.com - gifts for bridesmaids , groomsmen and wedding favors.
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