How to Dress Youth Hockey Players
We don't need to tell you that hockey is the greatest game on earth. You probably also know it requires the right equipment for comfort, performance, safety, and for fun. But new-to-hockey parents might be a little intimidated by the gear their child needs to wear. What is all this stuff and in what order does it go on? To shorten the learning curve, we've laid out the best way to gear up because, as with most things, there's the efficient way to do something and then there are all the other ways.
To start, your child needs the following equipment:
- Shorts (containing a protective cup)
- Shin guards
- Shoulder pads
- Elbow pads
Once your child is in his or her jock or jill and skate socks, the next piece of equipment to put on is the shin guards. Simply place the shin guard over the shin and knee. Your child's knee should fit as close to the center of the knee cup as possible. Then fasten the velcro straps.
Pull the hockey socks on over the shin guards. With the tight end at the bottom of the shin guard, pull the socks all the way up. Open the velcro tabs on the mesh shorts and attach the sock to the velcro tab on the back and front.
Next come the hockey pants. Step in and pull them all the way up, using the lacing and belt to secure them at the waist.
Then come the skates. Have your child sit down and slide his or her foot all the way into the skate. Make sure they kick their heels back slightly, settling their feet into the back of the skate boots. Tight laces are key to a young player's skating ability. Most young beginning players are not strong enough to tie their laces tight enough. Often it is the parent of the young player who will tie the skates tight enough, until the player is of an age which he or she has enough strength to do it independently. Be sure to double-knot the laces so they don't come loose during the game. Now your child is ready for the shoulder pads.
Slide the shoulder pads over the head, securing both chest straps firmly. Then secure both bicep straps.
Elbow pads are the last piece of gear to put on before the jersey. First, slide the arms into the pads. The elbow should rest comfortably in the elbow cap. Finally, secure the pads down with the velcro straps. This should allow the padding to extend from your child's lower bicep to the top of the glove.
Before moving on to the helmet, put on the jersey. After the jersey is in place, it's time to put the helmet on.
Slide the helmet onto your child's head. Once the helmet is in place, secure the side straps from the facemask to the helmet, followed by the chin strap. Once the straps are fastened, the chin cup should fit snugly against the chin.
Lastly, your child should put on gloves, grab his or her stick, and hit the ice!
For more information on sizing and fitting hockey equipment, you can visit any Pure Hockey store or read our full series of fitting guides.