News Post

Going to State? A Guide to Checking and Refitting Your Athletes’ Equipment

November 21st, 2019

Four months ago, the 2019 high school football season kicked-off with high hopes for victories and record-breaking high temperatures. Teams issued and fit equipment and then hit the field for practice. As everyone’s season progressed, some teams found the sweet taste of victory while others found the agony of defeat. We now find ourselves at the end of the season anxiously awaiting the outcomes of State Championships, and, for those teams going to State, checking and refitting your athletes’ equipment is as important as watching film and practicing when it comes to preparing for your opponents.

Adjusting for Wear and Tear

Your athletes’ equipment gets put to the test practice after practice and game after game, so by the end of the season it has seen a lot of wear and tear. Check for and replace rusted hardware, torn straps, cracked helmets and shoulder pads.

Adjusting for Temperatures

Weather is another factor that plays a role in checking and refitting your athletes’ equipment. The record-high temperatures experienced at the beginning of the season have been replaced by record-low temperatures going into championship games, and these changes in temperatures affect the fit of your athletes’ helmets.

Hot temperatures cause air to expand, and cold temperatures cause air to contract, which cause air-management helmets originally fit in hot weather to fit loose in cold weather. Coaches and parents need to check the fit of their athletes’ air-management helmets on the sidelines prior to each practice and each game and adjust the fit as needed according to manufacturer guidelines.

Cold weather also hardens foam in non-air management helmets making them feel more rigid and uncomfortable, which some athletes describe as “tight.” To minimize this, keep your helmets as warm as possible by:

  • Storing them at room-temperature
  • Putting them on in the locker room before going out into the cold weather
  • Keeping them on for the duration of practices and games

The Winning Edge

Athletes play hard all season, and getting to the State Championship requires dedication and sacrifice. When most teams are focusing on resting and recovering, teams going to State have to find the physical and mental strength for one more game. Committing a part of your State Championship preparations to checking and refitting your athletes’ equipment gives your team the winning edge. It optimizes your athletes’ safety so they can optimize their game-day performance.

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