The season for summer and fall sports has ended, and Winter sports are starting and bringing with them the holidays.

During winter holidays student-athletes have the chance to take a break from schoolwork to enjoy time with their family and friends. Parents sometimes worry about the extra spending for the holidays and think they have to buy big gifts for their rising student-athletes. Yet, downtime may actually be the best and most appreciated gift for any student or athlete. Letting your child rest and helping them prepare for the next year will be sure to lighten up your Holiday spending. 8 Affordable Gift Ideas for Student-Athletes:

Socks and Warm Apparel

Socks are very practical and affordable stocking stuffers to help your student-athlete through the cold and snowy winter months. The more socks, the merrier. Winter athletes and water athletes should always have at least one extra pair of socks with them at every practice and game. Long underwear or thermal layers to put under practice clothes or game jerseys also make great gifts that they can wear under their uniforms to keep warm.

New Backpack

The next school year may still be a few months away, but classes and sports can require heavy-duty equipment to tote around the books and gear throughout the school year. If your student recently made a big transition, started high school or gone into a new sport, it might be time for an upgrade.

New Gear

Gear doesn’t have to mean hockey sticks or the hot new cleats.

Athlete and student gear can be extensive, but reliable equipment is necessary to keep them safe. Gear such, as knee pads and helmets, is typically required before the sport can be practiced meaning they might already have everything they need, but, sometimes an upgrade can help your student-athlete get the edge during the season. Avoid oral and facial injuries, which are common in sports, with a new mouth guard. It is an easily overlooked gift, but mouth guards can get worn easily and can be quickly forgotten when it is time to replace gear. Goggles are also an overlooked gift during the holiday season. Protecting the eyes from debris, stray balls or even the sun (polarized glasses), is a gift that can defend your student-athlete all season long.


Books never go out of style as a gift. With a variety of genres and subject matter, there are books about secrets tips and tricks to help your student-athlete get a step ahead during their off-season. Reading lists are always up on school websites, never making it too soon to start ordering for next semester. Informational books make good reads for the time in between classes or while waiting for practice to start. Reading about sports can be just as important as actually playing on the field. Help your student-athlete learn from others that have played the game before them.

Foam Roller

Not just for the gym, foam rollers can help everyone with stretching regardless of activity levels. Foam rollers are typically used after a workout to massage the muscles and access sore spots to speed up muscle recovery.  Rollers can be used at any time to get a good stretch before catching the bus in the mornings or after a big game. Students sit through their class days, building tension in their muscles and joints and a good foam roller can help alleviate stiffness of static muscles. This makes an excellent gift for parents, as there’s nothing like rolling out after a long day at the office.

Hand and Toe Warmers

Warmers are great cold-weather gift for your winter athlete. The cold won’t stop dedicated athletes from training this season. Winter is an excellent time for conditioning. Keeping the core warm is essential, but heat escapes first from the extremities. Hand and toe warmers will ensure your winter athlete is efficiently using their body heat and maintaining consistent body temperature. Both athletes and parents can benefit from these little packets at outdoor events. Warm up those hands to help you cheer on your athlete and their teammates more comfortable with warm fingers.

A Team Jersey or Jacket

Favorite team jersey is a popular Holiday gift. Their own custom team jersey, however, may be even more exciting. You child feels proud to wear their school's colors as they get to a greater sense of being part of the team. Sports gear is usually designed for the specific sport (eg. waterproof, spandex, windbreakers, cold gear, etc.), but can also show team spirit as your student-athlete represents their team off the field as well. Also, team gear gives a sense of sportsmanship and camaraderie, helping your athlete grow closer to their team.


A break after a fall semester is just what your student wants and needs:No school, no practices but lots of food and family time. Sleeping in and snow days may have been the only things they put on their wish lists this year. The Holidays don’t have to be expensive when finding the perfect gift for your student-athlete. Simplify your winter this year by thinking practically about your student athlete’s needs.