What’s in Your Bag with Angela McClendon Johnson

Angela Johnson

By Lainey Berkus – Photography by Suzanne Pack


Who jumps up and down, paces the field, and cheers from the top of their lungs more than a committed soccer mom? No one!


Readers, I proudly introduce you to Angela McClendon Johnson. By day, this superpower is a committed premier project manager at a top insurance bank in the Alamo City. By late afternoon, she turns into a passionate, hands-on SOCCER MOM extraordinaire.


Every day, this high-energy and go-getter professional trades in her fabulous designer handbags, exquisite professional clothing, and stunning 5-inch heels for a Texas Longhorn jersey — with plenty of bling— leggings or yoga pants and wedge sneakers. Her must-have accessories are a visor, sunglasses, a Yeti water bottle in hand, her cell phone, and a massive soccer bag so heavy she needs a utility wagon to tow it around.


Eight seasons and counting…Year-round, this soccerista drives her two sons (often with six of their teammates) to practices, games, tournaments, clinics, and summer camps. Simply put, rain or shine, Angela is in the moment with her growing kids, who are competitively chasing that black and white soccer ball all over San Antonio.


“Being a soccer mom is an artful balance of support, dedication, and the joy found in every kick, win or defeat. More importantly, this game provides valuable life lessons to my children and their teammates. Playing soccer helps our young people understand hard work. Kids learn about concentration and focus, decision-making, perseverance, problem-solving, communication skills, cooperation, leadership, and good sportsmanship. Through the highs and lows of the soccer field, my kids not only have an appreciation for the game but learn profound lessons of resilience, teamwork, and personal growth. Soccer isn’t just about scoring goals; it’s a field where their character matures while developing skills that shape them into well-rounded individuals ready to face life’s challenges.”


Let’s jump right in and discover what the must-haves are in Angela’s soccer bag.


What are your Soccer Mom essentials, the items you must have on hand?


My soccer bag is an organized chaos of preparedness and versatility. Within its depth lies everything you need to be ready to play in an active practice or a competitive game. Soccer balls, air pump, mouth guards, sweatbands, headbands, bug spray, water bottles, plastic bags, sports braces, snacks galore for recharging, sunscreen, umbrellas, canopy, extra jerseys, shin guards, cleats, sweatpants, changes of clothing, deodorant, portable cleansing towelettes, a first aid kit for occasional mishaps (on and off the field), cooling towels, spray water bottles, extra socks, and hand warmers. I always carry blankets and portable chairs with me, too. Puzzles, books, and drawing/coloring supplies are handy for the downtime in between games, practices, and tournaments…


How do you survive the busy soccer season?


Preparation is the key to surviving and enjoying soccer life. Both moms and the players need to organize themselves for the season. This means making sure I stay on top of laundry, meal prepping, balancing homework, family, and quiet times, plus all the other things we moms do in life.


My phone is the major tool to stay organized and in the know. As a soccer mom, you must embrace technology. I have three soccer apps that connect me to the other soccer moms and players on the team. The TeamSnap and Mojo apps keep soccer moms updated on schedules, canceled games, time changes, results, scores, snack assignments, and so much more. The games are live, too. My fellow soccer moms and I also upload our game images, videos, and comments onto the apps.


What are your tips from the sidelines?


Clean out your soccer bag at least once a week, along with vacuuming, washing, and disinfecting your car.


Time your meals and snacks. You don’t want your players overeating before the game on anything other than healthy foods like energy bars, protein snacks, carrots, and oranges. Always be prepared with lots of water.


Have a mental checklist. Before I head to the field, I go through all the schedules and the needs of each family member. Moms (and Dads) must balance their timelines so they can support their children on and off the field, too. I make it a point to be cognizant of school tests, quizzes, projects, and homework assignments for my kids and make sure to balance the quality time of studying and resting.


Know the etiquette of the game. Your children are watching how you handle yourself on and off the field. You always want to be respectful to everyone on the team, the coach, and other parents under all circumstances. If you have a concern with the coach or a call, handle it with calm and thoughtful dignity. Every act and word is a teachable moment. The soccer mom is there to teach values and help their children deal with adversity and uncomfortable situations and conversations.


Everyone reacts differently and not always with kindness. I prefer to be a beacon of light, a vessel for what is right, and lead by example. It is all part of the soccer game — and prepares you for the real world, outside the sport.


Be ready to cheer on all the team players – fostering those leadership skills, giving endless pep talks (win or lose), with plenty of high fives.

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