There is nothing worse than smelling the fact that your child loves to play hockey. You know what I mean, the smell of their equipment from not even being close to it. After playing a hard game, or from several days of practice sessions, when the gear is left in the bag, it IS going to stink.
Why? Because it is moist. You sweat when you do a workout, right? Well so does your child when they play hockey.
When gear is left in a closed-up bag and not aired out straight after use, it is going to begin to manifest mold. Not a nice thought, I know, yet it’s the truth. Bacteria will breed and create a nasty infectious space. Not what you want your child putting their hands in, especially if they have a cut.
So, its time to help your hockey player to understand the importance of caring for their equipment. It is never too early to teach them this responsibility.
If they want to play hockey, and you spend your hard-earned money on getting them the gear they need to play, they should take responsibility for it. It’s not hard really, no different to the routine of play that the coach teaches them.
Get them into a routine, regards to what they do when they get home from the rink.
Here’s a simple routine that will work to help stop the stink from forming.
Separate their gear.
Okay, so there are things that will need washing after each game, things such as their bottom layer. The tops and inner layers that are close to their skin. These things will need to go in the wash, just like their normal clothes do.
So, teach them to separate those items out and place them in the wash. That might be in a basket, but be mindful they will be damp and won’t want to stay in their for more than a few hours, or it could be straight in the machine, so the wash cycle can be set off.
Dry their gear.
Next it is important to take the things that might not necessarily need washing every time but are still damp from use and dry them out.
This might mean opening up the gloves and placing them on a rack. Hanging up pads and protectors. You can purchase drying racks from as low as $39, so it is well worth the investment given what you have already spent out on the equipment Here are a few examples of racks that you could use:
Dry’n Go This is a portable rack that you can take anywhere with you.
Search Amazon for ‘Hockey equipment drying rack’ and you will see a different number of racks, some portable, some not.
It only takes five minutes for your child to go to a rack and hang their gear up. Remember, we are trying to instill in them the importance of taking responsibility for their own gear.
Make it a game day ritual.
Just like the other game day rituals they have, why not make drying their gear out another one. Initially it might take you doing it with them to get them to see how easy it is, then walk away once they get the hang of it, and let them do it themselves.
Talk about how much better their gear will feel when they go to practice, if it’s not damp and smelly. Show them what means to take responsibility for making it nice for them. They will appreciate it in the long run.
Notice the voice in your head.
Oh, and if you are a parent who believes that it is your responsibility to take care of all of this for them, I am going to ask you why? Why do you think it’s your responsibility?
You can say “well I’m their parent, so it’s my job to do that” and I am going to say really? I want you to stop and question that, just for a moment. Who says that its really true, other than the voice in your head, who may or may not be your Mother or another adult figure? No one. Honestly. No one.
It doesn’t HAVE to be your responsibility. You can choose to make it your child’s responsibility.
Having trouble with the mental side of the game of hockey? Karen Cherrett, Mental Skills Coach can help with that. She coaches players to understand how their thoughts impact their game; Parents how to support their child's mental wellness; and Coaches to understand mental skills management for their players.