Coach Amy's Guide to Soccer Gear Care
& Other Helpful tips
Machine wash in cold water, do not use fabric softener. Line/air dry. Fabric softener and dryer heat ruins the numbers and other silk screening on the shirt.
Make no attempt to reattach the number! Do not iron, tape, superglue, sew or otherwise attempt repair. Contact your coach or the equipment coordinator to get a replacement shirt.
Purchase the type of shin guard that includes ankle and Achilles tendon pads. Kids kick with little control and ankles take the brunt of many misplaced kicks. Shin guards must be worn under socks.
Do not put shin guards on until just before you play. Remove shin guards right after your practice or game. This will help minimize sweat and skin irritation that can be caused by excessive wear.
Machine wash – cold. Place shin guards in a washable mesh bag, (you can try a women’s nylon knee-hi) especially if you have the style with Velcro straps. This will prevent the Velcro from sticking to other clothing items and the elastic band from getting wrapped around everything else in the washer. The pads in other styles may get all bunched up if you do not somehow secure the shin guard. Air dry shin guards, preferably in the sun with the skin side facing the sun. This will help kill the bacteria and fungus that can grow on shin guards. Avoid spraying with disinfectants/deodorizers as the residue may cause skin irritation. If you spray, allow to completely dry before wearing. Shin guards may need to be replaced each season because of odor (fungal/bacterial) build up – they may look functional, but if you cannot get the stink out, it’s time to purchase new ones!
If you purchase new cleats, wear them playing around the yard a few times to break them in. This will help minimize blisters. Depending on the type of cleat, apply a water repellant or leather softener. Cleats are meant to be sized for your players current size and not purchased too large hoping to get a few seasons of wear out of them. If cleats are too large, players may not have proper ball control.
Like shin guards, avoid wearing cleats to and from practices and games. Put them on just before and remove them right after you play.
Wet cleats? Cleats should be dried after wearing in wet conditions. Loosen the laces and place in front of a fan overnight or pack with newspaper. The newspaper will wick the moisture out of the cleat. Place newspaper firmly (but don’t stretch the material) inside the cleat. After 2-3 hours, remove the damp newspaper and repack. Repeat until nearly dry, then leave unpacked to air dry.
Wearing wet shoes may cause athletes foot or skin irritation– even in the very young player.
Blisters? Try placing a 1 - 2 inch wide x 3 – 4 inch long piece of cloth athletic tape around the back of the heal. Be sure the tape does not role when putting on your sock. You can also try a smear of vasoline between the cleat and the sock. This will help with the friction.
Like shinning guards, use caution when if using disinfectants/deodorizers as the residue may cause skin irritation. If you spray, allow to completely dry before wearing. Residues may wick back through wet or sweaty socks.
Disinfectants/deodorizers and fungal/bacterial build up can cause skin irritation, so it can be hard to determine which may be the cause of red and itchy feet or shins.
Machine wash- cold, air dry – prop open the glove to help speed the drying.
Machine wash – cold, air dry.
If you have other helpful hints – please feel free to send them along!