It’s important to psychic the importance that good gear plays in the safety and security of youth athletes.

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


As parents and also coaches start preparations for the upcoming youth soccer season, we assumed it would be advantageous to pull together a checklist of all the equipment that keeps youth athletes safe. Read on for tips on just how to make certain each item of tools fits together it should, and how to store it in take care condition.


How must a football Helmet Fit?

Frank Kuhrasch at Riddell sports stressed come coaches the helmet fitting should be a component of preseason instruction, even for youth athletes who have actually been play the sport because Pee Wee leagues.


“Helmet installation takes time,” the says. “While every institution does it rather different, it should

be excellent in an atmosphere where the player and the individual responsible because that fitting have the right to concentrate on the details of the fit. It need to not only be an practice in safety, however an educational experience also (e.g., review the warning brand to them and also tell them how essential it is for them to tell a coach if your helmet is no fitting properly).”


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


Start by measuring the athlete’s head circumference, then to compare it to accessible helmet sizes.

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

It have to fit tightly, however still comfortably.

Athletico claims the helmet should sit an inch above the brow, and also ear holes need to align through the ears.

When the to the right is right, then you can pull the chin strap around. Keep in mind that the strap should quickly fit onto the chin and fasten. Don’t usage it together a tightening device.


Feel totally free to tug in ~ the helmet a small to make certain the to the right remains even after contact. The medical professionals at Cleveland Clinic advise players to traction the helmet from next to side and also up and also down. Laterally, the cheek pads should not slide, they say, and forehead skin should relocate with the helmet. Vertically, the helmet do not do it sag ~ above the athlete’s nose.


A few more fitting advice from the doctors:


Have someone placed a hand on peak of the helmet and apply a little bit that pressure. If the pressure feels same distributed, that’s a an excellent sign. If it’s focused in the former or the back, that’s a sign the fit is poor.

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


If a visual guide helps, examine out the video on sizing a football helmet from sports Unlimited.




How have to Shoulder Pads Fit?

Riddell has terrific visual overview to shoulder pad fitting the makes acquiring this best a breeze:


Measure circumference in ~ the chest and also along the border of the shoulders to gain a precise size measurement.

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

There should be no pinching at the collar, and also you must still have the ability to move freely.

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

In the back: pads have to securely sheathe the shoulders.


Other safety Gear

With pads and also helmet equipment properly, you can move top top to various other safety equipment. At minimum, girlfriend will desire to purchase a mouthguard, a neck roll and an strong cup. We also suggest a girdle and also rib protector.


Here space fitting instructions for all five:


How must a Mouthguard Fit?

Bobbie Quinn at Gladiator Guards has a four-point checklist to ensure suitable mouthguard fit:


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

The guard should, however, cover her gums partly to safeguard them from cuts.

The guard must fit easily without you having to bite on that or clench your teeth.

The guard must let girlfriend still breathe and speak normally.


How should a Neck role Fit?

Neck roll fit along the earlier collar of a football jersey, and also they’re essential for stabilizing the neck during a tackle. Make sure the product is light however durable, sportswriter Colin Linneweber says.


“Despite the need for a clenched fit, the neck roll should still be adjusted in a fashion that permits your neck to breath comfortably. The is imperative you monitor the neck roll amid beat to guarantee it hasn"t fallen out of its appropriate alignment.”


How should an strong Cup Fit?

For boys, an athletic cup made of tough plastic or steel is vital in call sports. Traditionally, they’ve been held in location with jockstraps, however many athletes today choose compression shorts to store the cup in place, claims the team in ~ the Urology treatment Foundation.


As far as size, the foundation’s team states Youth sizes fit guys up until around puberty, at which point they should look for teenager sizes. “For a cup to work, it must fit tightly versus the body,” castle write. “Choose a supporter v a comfortable yet secure-fitting waistband, and also leg straps tight sufficient to avoid rolling or twisting. ... heck that the cup and supporter (or compression shorts) are tight enough to prevent movement (but carry out not pinch) before wearing throughout a practice or game.”


How need to a football Girdle Fit?

Football girdles are crucial for protecting the hips and also thighs during a minute of impact. University wrestler Brennen Godeen writes at Campus men that many girdles match up through waist sizes.


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


How must a Rib Protector Fit?

Rib pads add another useful layer of protection. Girlfriend can find your fit by measure up the one of her chest.


“Most rib pads can either be hooked into the bottom that the shoulder pads or worn separately,” Sean Jackson writes in ~ Made Man. “Ribs pads that space attached come shoulder pads need to snap right into place as extenders are designed on numerous shoulder pads. Those that are worn with suspenders have to be put on prior to shoulder pads, to ensure a proper fit.


“Once the rib pads are in, trace about the pad v your finger to make certain they are not as well tight. If their purpose is to protect you, wearing them too tight may reason injury together well. Test them by jogging in place, pivoting and squatting. The pads must stay in place regardless of the activity.”





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


What have to You wear Under your Pads?

T-shirts space fine under uniforms in most situations as lengthy as they’re made of lightweight cotton, which enables for breathability.


That said, many athletes today space opting for compression shirts and compression tights. There is part evidence, Gretchen Reynolds at The brand-new York time reports, the compression clothings helps through the body’s positioning in space, reduce fatigue and minimizes soreness after practice or a game.


She says that these clothing must to the right tightly, i beg your pardon some people find uncomfortable. And to the delight of parents and also anyone else approximately you ~ a game, girlfriend should probably keep the compression tights on because that several hours after a video game to maximize their benefits.


Just be certain to wash thoroughly afterward.


Gear Maintenance: how to Keep devices in take care Shape

To ensure your devices gives girlfriend the security you require for every practice and for every game, it’s vital that you keep each item in great shape. This way cleaning regularly, disinfecting once necessary and also constantly security for wear and tear.


Your Helmet

The within of your helmet collection a most moisture, i m sorry is perfect for reproduction bacteria the can provide off foul odors. Therefore, you’ll want to clean the inside of the helmet regularly.


Coach beam at Carolina Crusader soccer recommends utilizing something gentle such as dish-washing liquid and a pair of rags come clean the helmet. Use the soapy rag to get in between the pads, then use a second damp rag to eliminate the soap. Afterward, leaving the helmet to dried away from excessive heat or straight sunlight.


And native time come time, spray the inside of the helmet with a tenderness disinfectant.


Your Pads

Your pads require a similar cleaning regiment, rose Kivi writes in ~ Livestrong. The first step is to leave them come dry out after a video game to store bacteria or mold native growing.


Later, girlfriend can offer them a irradiate cleaning v a wet rag. Simply be sure to polishing them afterward with a dry one. Then 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 treatment of her cleats, due to the fact that they absolutely take treatment of friend on the field. Jay Berks, a brand-new York-area preps football player and the video blogger in ~ East coast Sneaker Head, has a helpful video tutorial for acquiring your total looking as with new:



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