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Your Back To School Sports Gear Checklist

Whether your child is gearing up for Little League or competing on high-school teams, get them prepared to give it their all with the right gear. From baseball gloves to tennis racquets, this list covers the essentials you’ll need based on the sports they choose—whether it’s just one or a variety of teams. Get ready, you’ll be cheering them on from the stands in no time.

Boys Playing Football

Baseball

Hit a home run of your own this year by making sure your child has the basic baseball must-haves. They’ll need a glove to catch those high-speed balls, a baseball hat to shield their eyes from the sun, a baseball bat to hit home runs of their own, batting gloves to optimize their time up to bat, a pair of baseball cleats to kick up their running speed, and a pair of baseball pants to slide into home plate with ease. Depending on what position they want to play and what the team requires, they may also need a batting helmet to protect their heads while they’re up to bat or catching gear if their dream is to be the starcatcher.

Basketball

If dribbling the ball down the court and shooting free throws is their thing, your child might be perfect for the basketball team. Set them up for success with a pair of basketball shoes to help their traction on the court, athletic clothing they can comfortably practice in, a basketball (and maybe a hoop) to practice at home with, and a good water bottle to make sure they’re hydrated throughout the game. Don’t buy a jersey until you know what their team requires.

Football

Safety is the name of the game when it comes to football gear. Most high-intensity football essentials include protective pieces like a football helmet to help keep their heads safe, a mouthguard to protect those shining smiles, and knee and shoulder pads to lessen the impact of tackles. They’ll also need cleats to grip the field while they run. If flag football is more their thing, they’ll need comfortable athletic clothing to play in and cleats or shoes that they won’t slip around the field.

Soccer

This sport requires a lot of running, so get them ready with the proper shoes. Some playing surfaces, like natural grass, require cleats, while others like indoor soccer fields often only require athletic tennis shoes. Make sure their shoes are the correct fit and that they have plenty of comfortable socks (it wouldn’t hurt to start off the year by reminding them not to leave their dirty socks in their gym bags for weeks) to avoid injuries or discomfort. Next they’ll need comfortable, breathable clothing to practice in and athletic shorts or pants they can pair with their team jerseys during the game.

Tennis

Let their confidence shine on the court with gear catered toward this back-and-forth game. They’ll need a tennis racquet to hit the ball over the net and a carrying case to keep it in mint condition, some tennis balls to work on their swing or serve at home with, court shoes (or comfortable tennis shoes) to maneuver around the court with, comfortable and cool athletic clothes to practice and play games in, and sunscreen if the courts are outdoors.

Volleyball

Watch them bump, set, and serve in style on the volleyball team with knee pads to protect their knees when they dive for the ball, athletic clothing (like spandex shorts) that is comfortable and won’t get in their way while playing the game with their team, tennis shoes that provide enough support and grip during their time on the court, and hair ties or clips if they have long hair to make sure it doesn’t get in their faces in the heat of the game. A volleyball to practice and challenge family members with is also a fun addition.

Golf

To get them ready to practice their perfect swings, add a golf bag filled with the basic assortment of golf clubs, a package of tees to help them prep their hit, golf balls to practice and play with, tennis shoes or non-metal cleats for proper footwear, and a hat to keep the sun out of their eyes while they’re up to tee.

You can also stock their golf bag with rain gear in case it starts raining while they’re playing and bug spray or sunscreen to keep them protected during their games.

Hockey

Depending on if they’re playing on ice or other surfaces, your hockey star may need skates to zoom around the rink in, a helmet to keep them safe, a hockey stick to hit the puck with (and a few extra pucks to use for practice and during the game), shin pads to protect their legs from high-speed pucks and elbow pads for protection during slides, and goalie gear if they want to be a goaltender.