Youth football is a very popular sport for many kids, and for good reason, but there are steps parents must take in order to ensure their child is prepared for the start of football season, involving everything from the purchase of proper football socks to teaching of sportsmanship and the importance of a positive attitude.
When selecting the gear a child needs to begin the football season, it’s important to consider both comfort and safety, as well as the uniform specifications required of the team. Beginning with football socks, the gear a young person wears can alter the experience playing football. For example, when selecting socks, aside from the team’s uniform, such as whether or not a child will have custom football socks, or striped football socks, it’s also important to consider comfort.
The Types of Football Socks
Socks for football are available in a range of lengths, including ankle length, knee length and calf length. If a team does not have specific requirements, the socks should be purchased based on the preferences of the athlete. Socks can also be purchased with more cushioning for added comfort, which can be a great option for little feet, and Dri-Fit socks will keep socks from becoming soaked in sweat during practice and games.
In addition to selecting the ideal football socks, or football team socks, the fit of the helmet is also very important. Often helmets are provided by the team, but regardless, the most important consideration is choosing a football helmet is the size. The size should feel comfortable, and not be too tight or too loose. To determine the size of your child’s head prior to choosing a helmet, measure the circumference with a measuring tape, starting an inch above the eyebrow. While a helmet shouldn’t be uncomfortably tight, it should fit snugly enough that it doesn’t slip when moved up and down.
Extra Items Needed for Youth Football
In addition to the basics, including football socks and helmets, there are other pieces of equipment and gear that a child will need prior to starting youth football. One such example are gloves, including lineman gloves. To fit a child for the gloves required in youth football, you should measure around the palm of the hand, avoiding the fingers and thumb.
Gloves designed specifically for a lineman are more padded at the knuckles than other football gloves, but most positions within a youth football team do require that the child wear some type of glove.
In addition to properly fitting gloves and football socks, prior to starting a youth football team, a child will also need a few other items, including a mouth guard, a neck collar, thigh, hip and knee pads and shoulder pads. Many of these items, particularly the padding, are provided by the football team or organization, but in certain instances you may wish to purchase your own safety equipment, or it may be that the equipment provided by the team organization doesn’t fit your child properly, in which case it’s important for your child’s safety to find equipment that does fit correctly.