Our youth sports community is very well connected and we have partnered with organizations like USAFootball, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Pop Warner, and other local agencies to deliver football fundamentals and safety resources to your fingertips. While you're sitting at practice or taking a break from work, download these helpful apps and educate yourself on football safety!
Another non-required accessory is the eye shield similar to the one pictured to the right. Popular among players at every level, these items can trap heat inside the helmet and I do not recommend their use during conditioning week and hot days when players are getting acclimated to the gear and weather. If a player does decide to wear a eye shield it must be clear (no colors or tinting) and not have designs imprinted on it.
We recommend that players wear some sort of shirt under their shoulder pads during practice and games. What's common are sport "performance" shirts which are relatively inexpensive, breathe well, dry quickly, and can be found at many retailers such as Dick's Sporting Goods, Target, Walmart, and Big5. Another type of performance apparel are padded compression wear (illustrated in the sample picture above) that supplement the protective equipment issued by the team. Padded shirts are especially popular, gloves are favored by receivers and running backs, but be sure to consult with your head coach before you acquire padded compression shorts that would replace the team issued integrated football pants during games.
Parent Supplied Equipment
Parents need to ensure their player has an athletic supporter (cup), cleats, socks, mouthpiece and a water bottle to bring at every practice and game. The team will provide everything else essential to playing football.
Having said that, there are many times where a parent or player may opt to acquire additional gear. The following is advice in case you decide to do so - remember, this is not required....
You must play an active role in observing for signs of exhaustion or attitude change in your player. The first week of practice is typically an acclimation week so you should expect your player to be extra tired, thirsty or hungry but coaches should be made aware of any elevated occurrences of headaches, dizziness, and sensitivity. Remember that these players are young, may not be able to articulate specifics and may state something similar to “I don’t feel right.” You know your own kids better than anyone else, please don’t hesitate to speak with your coaches regardless of how minor a report of discomfort may seem.
Hydration – it is very important that your player not only drink fluids while at practice but prior and after practice too. If they are not excited about drinking water sometimes the flavor of a sports drink is what does the trick. And don’t worry; they’ll sweat it all out during practice! Healthy Meals - we can't emphasize this enough: players need to eat a healthy meal in the day time especially at school.
Team Issued Gear
Our coaches will do a terrific job at fitting your young footballer with the appropriate size helmets, shoulder pads and practice apparel that is an essential part of player safety. That job will continue throughout the season but we need your help! If your player mentions that a piece of equipment doesn’t fit right, something is loose or too tight, please let your coaches know immediately via email prior to attending practice so that we resolve the matter before we take the field. Watch the first two videos to see how you check your player's equipment for proper fit and then the third to learn how to help your player adjust shoulder pad straps...