How To Dress Your Child in Hockey Gear
Hockey is part of the Canadian culture and pride, so you probably won’t be surprised if your child asks to play.
Once you get your child registered in your local minor hockey association and have visited Source For Sports to have them outfitted in the gear that is not only going to keep them safe but also allow them to have fun, you will then have to learn how to dress your child with the gear in the locker room.
Here are a few tips to help you dress your child in their hockey gear if you are both new to the game:
- Arrive at the rink with your child already in their hockey base layer, and a track suit or T shirt and pants over top. This will speed things up, and ensure that you didn’t leave any of the base layer pieces at home.
- Start dressing your child from the bottom up, starting with the skate socks. The socks need to be put on the foot so that the heel is in the proper placement, and that the rest of the sock is smoothed with no wrinkles to avoid the potential for blisters.
- Take note that the shin pads are Right and Left specific. Make sure the knee is placed in the knee cradle before doing up the straps around the calf. Check that the straps are tight enough to prevent the shin pad from moving, but not so tight that it is uncomfortable.
- Starting with the wide end, roll the hockey sock up the leg, covering the shin pads, all the way up to the thigh where you can attach them to the Velcro tabs on the hockey jock or jill short. The Velcro tabs hold the socks up so they don’t slip during the game.
- Once the shin pads and hockey socks are on, have your child step into their hockey pants and pull them up so that the belt is level with the top of their hips. Snug the pants closed with the ties, then adjust the belt to secure the pants into position.
- The skates should be put on next while your child is seated on the bench. See our video on How To Tie Your Child’s Hockey Skates for tips to get the skates on properly and tied effectively.
- Moving on to the upper body, the next piece to put on is the neck guard. Some styles have bibs, which will be held flat under the shoulder pads.
- Slip the shoulder pads over your child’s head, making sure you have the front and back in the proper position. Adjust the sternum straps around the rib cage, again not too tight to restrict breathing or movement. The bicep straps also hold the pads in place, and should allow enough room that you can tuck the top of the elbow pad under the bottom edge.
- It is important to position the elbow pads, which are also Right and Left specific, with the tip of the elbow in the cup with the straps snugged up so there is no movement. Players of all levels fall, and you want to make sure that the elbow pad is not going to shift so that this vulnerable area is protected from falls, errant pucks and sticks.
- The team jersey can now be put on, making sure it isn’t snagging on any exposed Velcro or caught under the various pieces of equipment.
- The most important piece of equipment for safety is your child’s helmet. Make sure that you have purchased a helmet that has been properly fitted. Place the helmet on the head, and put the mouth guard into position before fastening it to the face cage, then do up the helmet chin strap. Ensure that your child’s chin is nestled into the chin cup when you lower the face cage, then snap all the straps into place. Check that the helmet has no movement and adjust any straps to snug the helmet to the head if necessary.
- Next are the gloves – your child’s fingers should go to the end, and their thumb should be well situated in the proper place so that they can stick handle easily.
Your child is now ready to grab their hockey stick and get on the ice! Soon both you and your child will be pros at getting the gear on and off.
Source For Sports offers a free equipment check to make sure that your child is safe on the ice – remember, if it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t protect.