Soccer is a great sport. It is fast paced, with lead changes occurring nearly every five seconds as someone new wins the next 50-50 ball. It is a game of skill, strategy, and stamina. It is an all-out battle for the ball, within legal limits of course, and it is played in every weather condition except lightning.
Which is great if you happen to live in Hawaii or southern California.
It’s not so great if you happen to live in Seattle, one of the rainiest places in the United States.
I spent the weekend on the soccer fields watching my sons play in pouring rain and wind so brutal it inverted my umbrella five times, knocked down several branches off our trees, and had me resetting all the clocks in the house when we finally returned home.
But there was no lightning, so the games carried on.
The players were frozen, soaked through to the bone. UnderArmour, hats, and mittens did nothing to keep out the cold or the wet, but at least they could run around to try and stay warm. We had no such luxury. We stood there on the sidelines, valiantly cheering on our team as the cold wind froze our hands to the handles of our umbrellas. When I caught myself doing squats on the sidelines to stay warm (and embarrassing my children to no end), I realized it was way past time to pull out my real soccer-watching gear.
Here are my tips for staying warm—but not necessarily stylish—during the wet fall and winter sports season:
- Layer: wear an UnderArmour or a turtle neck beneath a long sleeved shirt or sweatshirt.
- Layer some more: long johns under a pair of pants are great for those really cold days.
- Consider a hat: a baseball cap, a ski cap, or the hood of your jacket can do wonders to keep the heat in.
- If your hat doesn’t cover your ears, you will need ear muffs.
- A warm, waterproof, knee-length raincoat is a must.
- So are waterproof, knee-high rain boots and thick socks, especially when you have to traverse grass fields.
- Wear a nice cozy scarf around your neck to keep those icy winds from slipping beneath your raincoat.
- Mittens are a necessity: nice, cozy, super warm mittens that give you enough flexibility to grip your umbrella and a hand warmer.
- For those extra cold days, I stick a toe warmer into each rain boot too.
- Bring some sort of handheld electronic device that can direct you to the nearest Starbucks for the hot beverage of your (and you children’s) choice after the game.
- Keep a towel in the car to dry off wet, muddy bodies before they trash your car.
- If it’s a long drive home, pack a change of clothes for your athlete and their siblings who thought it was fun to dash about in the rain without their raincoats—for about 15 minutes—after which they complained about being cold for the next 45 minutes.
If you have any tips for staying warm and dry during the fall and winter outdoor sports season, please share! After this weekend, I might need to step up my game a bit.