It is fairly obvious that purchasing the correct youth football equipment is crucial to great performance and, more importantly, the safety of your players. What may not seem so obvious is the equal importance for maintaining the equipment you have purchased. Below are some simple guidelines you can follow to help keep your equipment looking and functioning great.
1. Take equipment out of bags or storage after use. This may sound simple but often people, especially kids, will leave sports equipment like gloves and pads in the bag. In a dark place this damp equipment is an optimal breeding ground for bacteria and mildew. To help prevent this growth and the resulting nasty smells, remember to take the equipment out as soon as possible.
2. Wipe hard surfaces down with a disinfectant wipe, or a light spray of disinfectant on a damp towel. This will remove surface dirt and bacteria, and help the equipment look bright and shiny.
3. On light fabric items, like uniforms or vests, you can often use the washing machine after use, but make sure you check the manufacturers requirements.
4. For fabric items that cannot be washed, use a odor-neutralizing spray like Febreze to removing stinky smells. Place stinky shoes in a bright sunlight outdoors for a full day.
5. Simple mechanical repairs, such as elastic, faceguards, padding, or small dents and scratches, can often be done at home. You can frequently repair these with little cost using kits found at your equipment supply store. Helmets often get banged up, and cosmetic maintenance can be done at home with a helmet care kit. It is always a good to research minor repairs with your manufacturer or suppliers before attempting them to be sure you maintain the structural integrity of the equipment.
6. If the damage is major, many equipment supply stores offer repair service, or can refer you to a reliable local specialist. After all, a major repair is still often less expensive than a new piece of equipment. Be sure to get professional help with ANY structural repairs, as these not only impact the appearance and function of the equipment, but also the safety of youth playing.
7. Use equipment to inspire responsibility and dedication. Taking good care of his or her equipment can be a great teaching tool. You can leverage a passion for sports into a lifetime of responsibility for valuable equipment.
In conclusion, there are many simple things that can help maintain fabulous youth football equipment. You can keep kids looking (and smelling) great with small effort, while teaching the value of responsibility. Best of all, proper care of equipment will help ensure safety and success at game time.