It’s vital to mental the prestige that great gear dram in the security of youth athletes.

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Well-maintained equipment that fits goes a long way toward preventing injuries, and also it’s up to each athlete, the athlete’s parents and the athlete’s coaches come ensure the the gear worn by everyone is approximately par.


As parents and also coaches start preparations for the upcoming youth soccer season, we believed it would certainly be useful to pull together a checklist of every the gear that keeps youth athletes safe. Check out on because that tips on exactly how to make certain each item of equipment fits as it should, and how to store it in match me condition.


How should a football Helmet Fit?

Frank Kuhrasch in ~ Riddell sporting activities stressed to coaches that helmet fitting need to be a component of preseason instruction, even for youth athletes who have been play the sport since Pee Wee leagues.


“Helmet fitting takes time,” that says. “While every school does it somewhat different, that should

be excellent in an environment where the player and the individual responsible for fitting deserve to concentrate ~ above the details of the fit. It should not only be an practice in safety, yet an education experience also (e.g., read the warning label to them and tell lock how essential it is for them come tell a coach if your helmet is not fitting properly).”


The team at Athletico physical treatment has wonderful checklist for finding the right helmet and also gauging its fit:


Start by measure up the athlete’s head circumference, then compare it to available helmet sizes.

Try top top the helmet through wet hair to approximate gameday conditions.

It need to fit tightly, however still comfortably.

Athletico says the helmet must sit an inch over the brow, and ear holes should align with the ears.

When the right is right, then you can pull the chin strap around. Note that the strap should conveniently fit top top the chin and also fasten. Don’t usage it as a tightening device.


Feel complimentary to tug at the helmet a tiny to make sure the right remains even after contact. The physicians at Cleveland Clinic advise players to traction the helmet from next to side and also up and down. Laterally, the cheek pads have to not slide, lock say, and also forehead skin should relocate with the helmet. Vertically, the helmet do not do it sag onto the athlete’s nose.


A couple of more fitting tips from the doctors:


Have someone put a hand on height of the helmet and apply a tiny bit that pressure. If the push feels evenly distributed, it is a good sign. If it’s concentrated in the former or the back, it is a sign the right is poor.

Youth athletes should wear youth helmets. Adult helmets space too heavy and could cause serious injury come a youth athlete that wears one.


If a visual overview helps, examine out the video clip on sizing a football helmet from sporting activities Unlimited.




How have to Shoulder Pads Fit?

Riddell has wonderful visual guide to shoulder pad fitting the makes gaining this appropriate a breeze:


Measure circumference at the chest and also along the contours of the shoulders to get a precise size measurement.

When you discover pads in your size, put them on and also secure the straps.

There need to be no pinching at the collar, and also you need to still be able to move freely.

In the front: pads should securely cover the chest bone and also shoulders.

In the back: pads must securely cover the shoulders.


Other protective Gear

With pads and helmet equipment properly, you have the right to move top top to other safety equipment. At minimum, girlfriend will desire to to buy a mouthguard, a neck roll and an athletic cup. We additionally suggest a girdle and also rib protector.


Here room fitting instructions for every five:


How have to a Mouthguard Fit?

Bobbie Quinn in ~ Gladiator Guards has actually a four-point checklist to ensure proper mouthguard fit:


You don’t require as much coverage as you can think. Make certain the security doesn’t prolong to the soft palate, which could make friend gag.

The security should, however, cover her gums partially to protect them native cuts.

The guard must fit quickly without you having actually to bite on it or clench her teeth.

The guard should let friend still breathe and also speak normally.


How have to a Neck role Fit?

Neck rolfes fit along the earlier collar of a football jersey, and they’re necessary for stabilizing the neck during a tackle. Make certain the material is light however durable, sportswriter Colin Linneweber says.


“Despite the need for a clenched fit, the neck roll need to still be changed in a fashion that enables your neck to breath comfortably. That is command you screen the neck roll amid beat to assure it hasn"t fallen the end of its ideal alignment.”


How must an athletic Cup Fit?

For boys, an strong cup made of hard plastic or steel is essential in contact sports. Traditionally, they’ve been organized in place with jockstraps, however many athletes today prefer compression shorts to keep the cup in place, claims the team at the Urology treatment Foundation.


As much as size, the foundation’s team states Youth size fit boys up until approximately puberty, in ~ which point they need to look for teenager sizes. “For a cup to work, it need to fit tightly against the body,” castle write. “Choose a supporter through a comfortable but secure-fitting waistband, and also leg straps tight enough to protect against rolling or twisting. ... heck that the cup and supporter (or compression shorts) are tight sufficient to prevent activity (but do not pinch) before wearing during a exercise or game.”


How have to a football Girdle Fit?

Football girdles are essential for protecting the hips and also thighs during a moment of impact. College wrestler Brennen Godeen writes in ~ Campus men that most girdles complement up with waist sizes.


“Once you have tried castle on, shot pulling castle down and moving the i know good pads around,” that says. “If they are sliding and also moving around an extremely easily, friend should think about trying the next lowest dimension on. You want the girdle to be snug around your waist and also hips; you don"t want someone to traction them down in a game or worry around readjusting them every second.”


How need to a Rib Protector Fit?

Rib pads add another helpful layer that protection. Friend can uncover your fit by measuring the one of her chest.


“Most rib pads deserve to either it is in hooked into the bottom of the shoulder pads or worn separately,” Sean Jackson writes in ~ Made Man. “Ribs pads that are attached come shoulder pads should snap right into place as extenders are designed on plenty of shoulder pads. Those that are worn with suspenders should be put on prior to shoulder pads, to ensure a ideal fit.


“Once the rib pads are in, trace around the pad through your finger to make certain they space not also tight. If their purpose is to protect you, wearing them as well tight may reason injury together well. Check them by jogging in place, pivoting and squatting. The pads should stay in place in spite of the activity.”





For comfort and performance, us recommend looking right into both gloves and also base layers, which are the clothing worn under the pads.


What have to You wear Under her Pads?

T-shirts room fine under uniforms in most instances as long as they’re do of lightweight cotton, which permits for breathability.


That said, plenty of athletes today room opting because that compression shirts and compression tights. Over there is some evidence, Gretchen Reynolds in ~ The new York time reports, the compression clothings helps v the body’s positioning in space, reduces fatigue and also minimizes soreness after exercise or a game.


She says that these clothes must to the right tightly, i m sorry some civilization find uncomfortable. And also to the joy of parents and also anyone else roughly you ~ a game, you should more than likely keep the compression tights on for several hrs after a video game to maximize your benefits.


Just be certain to wash thoroughly afterward.


Gear Maintenance: how to Keep devices in take care Shape

To for sure your tools gives girlfriend the defense you need for every practice and also for every game, it’s an important that you store each piece in great shape. This way cleaning regularly, disinfecting once necessary and also constantly monitoring for wear and also tear.


Your Helmet

The within of your helmet collects a lot of moisture, i m sorry is perfect for reproduction bacteria the can give off foul odors. Therefore, you’ll desire to clean the within of the helmet regularly.


Coach ray at Carolina Crusader soccer recommends using something tenderness such together dish-washing liquid and also a couple of rags come clean the helmet. Use the soapy rag to get between the pads, then usage a second damp rag to remove the soap. Afterward, leaving the helmet to dry away from too much heat or direct sunlight.


And indigenous time to time, spray the within of the helmet v a tenderness disinfectant.


Your Pads

Your pads need a comparable cleaning regiment, climbed Kivi writes at Livestrong. The first step is to leave them come dry out after a video game to save bacteria or mold indigenous growing.


Later, you can provide them a irradiate cleaning v a wet rag. Just be certain to polish them afterward with a dried one. Climate spray the pads with a gentle disinfectant. And also when the season is over, Kivi says, have the pads professionally cleaned and sanitized.

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Your Cleats

Finally, make sure to take care of your cleats, since they definitely take care of you on the field. Jay Berks, a new York-area preps football player and also the video clip blogger at East coast Sneaker Head, has actually a helpful video clip tutorial for obtaining your cleat looking just like new:



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