If you’re a busy baseball or softball parent, practices and games probably take up a lot of your time between driving and waiting. Obviously, when you’re at the games you want to watch your player do his or her thing, but there’s so much time at pre-game warm ups, coach speeches, and in between tournament games, that you could get some things done. And, not everyone likes to sit and watch the whole practice so there’s another opportunity to be productive.
Here are some things you can do to make the most of your time during practice and even games.
The number one thing I like to do during practice is to go for an exercise walk. Practice is usually one and a half to two hours long, so that’s a great opportunity to get in some good cardio or even do some stretching. You can even bring some ankle weights or hand weights to make the most of your workout. Bring a yoga mat, find some grass, and do some stretches. You’ll feel better and burn some calories while you’re at it. If you’re into running, you could even bring your running shoes and get a few laps around the baseball complex. You could even get out on the field and shag balls. A lot of coaches appreciate help from parents and this is some great exercise.
Read a Book or Magazine
Baseball practice can be a great opportunity to read something. When you’re at home, you’re probably too busy doing parenting things, cooking dinner, and then catching up on your TV shows & movies. Reading is great brain exercise, so grab a good book and some magazines and read away.
Not all parents like to drop off and leave their kids at practice, but if your child is at a baseball field and you feel they’re safe with the team and coaches, why not take an hour and go run some errands that you never have time to run? I live in a community where everything is close, so I can easily run to the bank, post office, dry cleaner, etc. and then get back in plenty of time. Sometimes I even go grocery shopping and if I don’t have time to drop the groceries off at home, I keep them in these cooler bags so they don’t spoil. Practice is also a good time to get your car washed, which is something I always procrastinate. I’ve also done Christmas and birthday shopping during practices.
I’m a coupon person, so I take time at practices to go through all of my mailers and cut out the good coupons. With the rising cost of everything and the expense of having my two baseballers with all of their expenses, saving money on groceries is key for me, and I’ve become a great couponer with all of my extra practice time. I clip them all and keep them in a handy coupon organizer and then every couple of weeks I go back through it and clear out the ones that are expired. This is a great chore to get done at baseball practice.
Call a Family Member or Distant Friend
Remember those people we always say we’ll keep in touch with and then don’t have the time? Well, here’s your chance to give them a ring and catch up. My Dad lives in another state, so keeping in touch with him can be hard with my busy lifestyle. Sometimes I even FaceTime practices or games to him since he doesn’t get to see his grandsons play. Keeping in touch with friends can be hard too, and often baseball and softball parents only get to see other team parents. Call a friend who you’ve been meaning to get in touch with and practice will fly by.
Clean Your Car Out
Sometimes the best way to clean your car is to just open all the doors and take everything out. Baseball fields often have parking lots where this could be a convenient place to do it. Our kids are notoriously messy and they’ve probably left everything from water bottles and gum wrappers to dirty socks thrown around your car. Use some practice time to clean your car out or organize your trunk and your car will stay nice and neat inside.
Do Some Online Shopping
If you have a good data plan, you could use some of your spare time at practice to do a little online shopping. Amazon.com, Target.com, Walmart.com, and many other stores have great mobile sites that make it easy to browse for and buy things that you need. You could even look for new and used stuff at Ebay.com, such as used gloves, used catchers gear, used bats etc.
Take a Nap
If it’s not too hot out, sitting in your car listening to some music or just relaxing can be a nice break from the day. You may even be able to doze off for a few. Many a power nap has been taken by exhausted sports parents in their cars with the seats reclined. Just set an alarm if you tend to be a heavy sleeper.
Time is something it seems we are all short on. If you have any other suggestions on ways to keep busy at baseball practices and games, I would love to hear them.