T’is better to give than receive, right? Well if you are looking for a last minute gift for a youth athlete in your family, here are four ideas that are bound to bring big smiles!
1. Tickets to a professional game.
Going to a NFL, MLB, NHL, or any other professional game is something every youth athlete should experience at least once. Getting to see the “real thing” live and in person can be a huge inspiration for young players and really solidify their love of sports. Going to a professional game can be fun for the whole family, so why not make it a holiday outing for everyone while the kids are on Winter Break this year?
If there isn’t a professional team that’s local to your area, or tickets to a pro game are just too expensive, look for semi-pro teams, feeder teams like AAA baseball leagues, college teams, or any other local team that is looking for fans! Some of these smaller organizations have fan appreciation days, interactive activities for the kids (like getting to run the bases) or discount for sports teams, so you and the other sports parents can get everyone together for a team building day.
2. A new thermal layers for their winter sport.
Water is a good conductor of heat, so when youth athletes are sweating heavily and their clothes get damp, water replaces some air between the fibers of the clothing, resulting in heat loss. So while cotton clothing might be lighter, in the winter it’s important that a youth athlete have the right thermal layer under their equipment to regulate their body temperature. The layer nearest to the body should be moisture-wicking to help keep players dry and warm. The outermost layer should be waterproof is possible (snow and slush are going to abound in winter sports!), but still be “breathable” so sweat can evaporate. A good fleece is the perfect in-between layer to keep players warm while the rest of their thermal layers work to keep them dry.
3. Once-in-a-lifetime “sports experience.”
If your youth athlete is a huge racing fan why not get them a ride-a-long in stock-car for the holidays? Or if they live and breathe baseball why not sign them up for a summer baseball camp sponsored by a MLB team? These once-in-a-lifetime sports experience are the kinds of gifts that kids will remember for their entire lives. While experiences may not be the biggest present under the tree this season, you can bet they will have the biggest impact on your youth athlete.
4. New gear for next season.
Better water bottles, sturdier sunglasses, sports ear buds—these non-essential sports gear items won’t necessarily make your youth athlete any better on the field, but it’s a nice thing to add to their sports bag for next season! For instance, sports ear bud headphones are designed to stay in place even when you’re sweating heavily, making them a great gift for athletes that like to run or hit the gym for a conditioning workout. New sports gear, like baseball cleats or football helmets, can be very expensive, so a gift-card to a local sporting goods store is also a great gift so they can pick out the exact sports gear they want/need.