When it comes to your little ones playing football for the first time, there is a lot of equipment that needs to be purchased to keep them safe. It might seem like overkill at first, but a bulky player is a safe player on the gridiron.
With collisions and hits play after play, you and your kids will be well-protected snap after snap. However, the challenge is figuring out what to purchase and how much to spend. Let’s dive into the required football equipment to get you started right.
10 Things of Equipment You Need
Having the perfect football gloves are a great place to start. They are specifically designed to protect hands from weather and against tackles on the football field.
Many gloves have fun features like a tacky palm, which will allow the player to hold onto catches and grip the football as they run. Also, there are a ton of different gloves for different positions on the pitch.
For example, if your child plays the quarterback position, they will need a glove that does not affect their throwing motion. On the other hand, if they are a running back, they need a glove that holds the ball tight, so it will not fall from their grasp.
Many of these gloves will prevent fingers from bending and will have extra padding for a position like linemen. At the end of the day, understand what position your child is playing and get them a glove that works. If your child plays as a lineman, do not get them a tacky palm because they do not need to grip the football, since their job involves blocking or tackling specifically.
Another item you should have on your football equipment list is a helmet. A helmet may be the most important thing your child wears on the gridiron. Protecting the head and neck are imperative to stay safe in this sport.
Without the right helmet, a player could have severe injuries to the spinal cord and/or brain. As information continues to stream in about concussions, know that the most up-to-date helmets work to limit injuries and keep the player comfortable as they play.
Many of the best football helmets have absorbing inserts that direct contact against the jaw and the head. The best brands, like Riddell and Schutt, design its helmets to focus on safety, fit, and comfort.
Other intricacies of a football helmet involve designs for skill levels, different sizes, and varying ages. With a plethora of accessories, facemasks and chinstraps can be swapped out for lightweight assortments based on position and protection.
Helmets always bring about the conversation about concussions, but there are a few things that people need to know when purchasing one. At the high school level, about half of the helmets have not been reconditioned properly. Because of this, they can fit poorly.
This level of competition only has 1 in ever 5 helmets brand new. The number gets even worse as you go down to middle school and elementary school. What should happen is helmets should be recertified year after year. When they fit properly and include a mouth guard, chin strap, jaw pad, and face mask, your helmet should be ready to roll.
After you purchase this fundamental piece of football equipment, clean the helmet with water and nothing else. Never paint or alter your helmet. Keep it the way it was designed.
Lastly, when using a helmet, never butt or ram into an opposing player. Helmets were not designed to lead with the head when tackling, and instead, are preventatives against head injuries. Knowing the proper tackling techniques will help use this football equipment properly.
Lastly, never share a helmet with another player. An individual’s helmet was designed for them and them only. With so many components that make up the right helmet, make sure your child keeps this piece of equipment to themselves.
3. Jockstrap and Cup
Especially with boys, a jockstrap and cup are essential for protecting reproduction organs. These are mandatory to be worn for protection during football practices or games. Players should not leave this off their football gear list.
4. Mouth Guard
Other football equipment includes a mouth guard. These “mouthpieces” are perfect to protect the jawline and teeth. But, what most people do not know if that fact that mouth guards can protect against concussions, as well.
During a football game, a mouth guard must be worn every down. Referees will check that the mouthpiece is in, so make sure to purchase one that has a color that stands out. This will make it easier for the referee to check for safety during the game.
5. Neck Collar & Roll
If your child is a defensive lineman or linebacker, having a neck collar is one of the most important pieces of football equipment to purchase. This gear is vital to protect against whiplash.
These rolls fit easily around the neck and underneath the helmet itself. You can attach it to shoulder pads for extra permanence. The job of a neck collar is to hold the athlete’s neck in place, so it does not snap back during gameplay.
Neck injuries are definitely minimized when using a neck collar. They come in a variety of volumes and shapes, so see what works for your child, as it pertains to their protection.
6. Shoulder Pads
The next thing you need to purchase on your football equipment list is shoulder pads. Shoulder pads should not be underestimated on this list because they protect the shoulders and the torso against the most vicious of hits.
With absorbent padding, shoulder pads are adaptable from position to position. For example, football positions like a wide receiver and quarterback need lighter shoulder pads that are more flexible in nature.
Because of this, these players will be able to run faster and they will not be restricted in movement. One of the downsides of this padding is the fact that these players can be injured easier because they do not have as much padding as other player positions.
Alternatively, football players like defensive backs and running backs need the strongest padding available for a few reasons. First off, players who have this type of padding can absorb the hardest of hits but are still able to maintain their speed and range of movement.
Positions like linebacker and fullback need the snuggest of should pads. For extra protection, added plates allow for greater durability, but these pads will not weigh much more. Lastly, linemen need pads that weigh the most, but they will be the strongest around made of the most durable of materials.
Football cleats are very important in the game of football, too. Cleats vary from position to position, too. With great brands like Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour, there are plenty of options to consider for a football player.
One specific feature includes added ankle support to prevent lower body injuries. There are a lot of color and design options to inspire any football player, as well as options that have spike options that stick in the grass and/or turf. There truly are more than enough options to explore when figuring out the right shoe game.
The main styles include low-cut, mid-cut, and high-cut football cleats. The low-cut are created to be very light for the best of mobility. For the mid-cut options, the ankle support is even and there is decent ankle mobility, as the player moves around the field. The high-cut cleats are for athletes who want the very best ankle support, but the mobility will be minimal compared to every other cut type of cleat.
8. Thigh Pads Along With Hip & Knee
Thinking about the lower half of the human body is important as well. Taking away abrasions and damage is what thigh, hip, and kneepads do best. Placed underneath pants, these pads use a compression fit to stay in where they need to for added protection. The pads can be snapped in, insert in padding poaches or sewn directing to the pants.
9. Training Gear
Other equipment you may need on your football list includes training gear. After you have your protection list completed, training gear can help take your child to a whole new level. Some of the gear includes speed ladders, tackle bags, blocking shields, and so much more.
A lot this equipment is designed for college and professional ranks, but it can also be used for high school, middle school, and Peewee programs. No matter what training gear you get, you should be adamant that your child gets the best training to teach them right from wrong on the gridiron.
10. Miscellaneous Equipment
Other equipment on your football gear list you may need includes arm sleeves, eye black, duffle bag, first-aid kit, skullcaps, a personal water bottle, and/or a visor/eye shield.
No matter what you decide upon, there are endless amounts of football equipment to help your child. Start with the basics and work your way up to more specific equipment that will make their life easier.