Category: EXPERT TRAINING TIPS

HOW TO MOULD YOUR MOUTHGUARD

Using a mouthguard in contact sports is very important, especially for junior players. A properly fitted mouthguard is essential for you to be protected. The most popular types of mouthguard is the mouth formed or boil and bite which is heated and then formed to fit your mouth.

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Moulding a mouthguard is made easy using the following directions. Firstly, boil a small pot of water and submerge your mouthguard for about 20 to 30 seconds. Your mouthguard should have instructions for the correct amount of time. Remember, the mouthguard should be heated to the point that you are able to mould, it should NOT be beginning to melt.

Remove the mouthguard from the water using tongs careful not to deform the mouthguard by squeezing too tightly. Cool the mouthguard either by dipping it in cool water or allowing it to air dry. Check your mouthguard instructions to see if water is recommended, different brands may have different instructions. Cool the mouthguard to the point where you can put it in your mouth without burning yourself, it should be warm still.Shock Doctor 1

Place the mouthguard in your mouth to mould it. Push the mouthguard against your teeth with your fingers and bite down lightly. Pull the guard tighter to your teeth by placing your tongue against the roof of your mouth and sucking the air and water out.

Signature 2Now you need to cool the mouthguard. Some brands say that the guard needs to cool rapidly after it has been fitted by dipping it in cold water. If the mouthguard does not fit properly, don’t stress, you can remould it simply by starting the process again.

Using a mouth formed mouthguard is the easiest way to ensure the mouthguard fits perfectly to your mouth. Be sure to inspect your mouthguard frequently and replace it if it becomes deformed or you notice that the edges become jagged.

Sportsmart stocks a variety of mouthguards for both seniors and juniors. You can view our range of mouthguards online or visit our stores to select the type that will suit your sporting needs.

If your child plays any of the following sports, they most likely need a mouthguard: Rugby, AFL, Martial arts, Hockey, Boxing, Basketball, Soccer, American Football, Lacrosse, Ice Hockey. It’s best to check with your coach, if you are worried it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Introducing the HEAD Tennis Sensor

Introducing the brand new Head Tennis Sensor.

What is it?

The HEAD Tennis Sensor powered by ZEPP allows you to track your performance on the tennis court. It is the same size and weight as the butt cap and allows you to measure your top speed, rpm, and sweet spot. You can analyse your serve using 3D animation and keep track of your matches and keep a record of all your best shots. It also provides free training session on the app.

How to use it?

Simply download the app, compatible with both Apple and Android phones and tablets. You can move the device easily from racquet to racquet and an easy to use installation tool is provided. With 5-6 hours of tracking time it lasts all games and comes with a magnetic charger with USB connection making it easy to charge anywhere.

summary tech features

The HEAD Tennis Sensor works with most Head touch and XT tennis racquets (see in store for details).

There are 3 different modes of play you can use the sensor in.

PLAY | TRAIN | COMPETE

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The best way to understand is to see the technology in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHb7AHylsPY

Get yours now In store & Online

Health benefits of playing Table tennis

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Table tennis is a sport that any age and physical ability can play. It is a great sport to help stimulate the brain and improves reflexes and hand eye-coordination. Table tennis is a low impact sport that is able to help keep you fit as well as increase flexibility, with very little strain on joints.

Here are the top benefits of playing Table Tennis:

  • Improves reflexes: Table tennis is such a fast paced, short distance sport, as a result it aids in the improvement of fine and gross muscle movement. Also, it requires short bursts of exertion and then recovery, which can contribute to the improvement of fast-twitch muscle development.
  • Playing improves hand-eye coordination: Table tennis also helps to stimulate mental alertness, concentration and strategy building skills. Making it a perfect game for kids to help sharpen these skills from a young age, also can help older people to stay sharp.
  • It’s a great family sport as anyone of any ability can play: Table tennis is a perfect sport to be played at home, in pairs or as a team. It is the perfect family fun activity that gets you away from the TV, phone and any other electronic device, for a few hours.
  • Improves strength without putting any strain on joints: Table tennis is a great sport to help increase core, arm and leg strength without over exerting your joints. It also can be a great way to burn calories, especially considering how fun and addictive it can be, you’ll be playing for hours before you even notice.

At Sportsmart, we stock a variety of indoor and outdor tables from a number of different brands, including: Stiga, Alliance, Cornilleau. Check out the full range here.

Gift ideas for the whole family

Wanting to get a Christmas present that the whole family can use? Or a present that will keep everyone occupied over the school holidays. Then look no further…

Pool Tables

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  • At Sportsmart we stock 7ft and 8ft tables as well as a wide range of accessories (pool cues, pool balls, chalk etc).
  • Benefits of a family pool table include:
    • Time spent as a family, away from the tv and electronic devices.
    • Encourages team work which can help you bond as a family
    • Something to entertain the kids when its too hot outside or when it is raining

Trampolines

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  • Trampolines, over the years, have become a lot more after with the inclusion of the enclosed net. We stock these trampolines in the 8ft, 10ft and 12ft sizes.
    • Trampolines are great for young kinds.
    • They get kids outdoors for hours.
    • It helps make sure kids are being active, whilst also having fun (which is the most important part).

Table Tennis Tables

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  • We stock a wide range of indoor and outdoor table tennis tables (see our ‘How to choose a table tennis blog’ for more information on which table best suits your needs).
  • There are surprisingly a lot of benefits of playing table tennis:
    • Helps improve hand-eye coordination
    • Improves reflexes
    • Keeps your brain sharp
    • Its also a great way to keep the kids occupied for hours these school holidays

Dart Boards

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  • We probably recommend Dart boards for the older kids.
  • Darts is a game that requires a high level of skill, accuracy and a steady hand.
  • Some of the benefits of playing darts include:
    • Great stress release as you really need to focus
    • Helps build team work and encourage friendly competition
    • Improves hand/eye coordination – due to the high level of precision involved

How to choose a table tennis table

As Christmas approaches many of you may be wondering what activity the whole family can enjoy over Christmas and the holiday period. A table tennis table is the perfect gift, it’s active, fun, and the whole family can play it regardless of skill level.

This blog hopes to answer any questions you may have before purchasing your very own table. If we’ve missed anything feel free to give our online team a call: (03) 9091 5024.

Indoor or Outdoor table?

The first thing you need to consider is whether you will be using your table tennis table indoors or outdoors, as these are two different types of tables.

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Indoor or Outdoor?

Indoor tables are obviously for indoor use only, this is because they are not made to handle outdoor elements. Moisture and sunlight can cause damage to your table tennis table.

If the table is to be used outdoors and subjected to moisture and sunlight then we highly recommend getting an outdoor table tennis table.

At Sportsmart we stock a variety of options in both so once you’ve decided where it will be used we can help you choose the rest.

 What do the different table thicknesses mean?

We have a variety of different thicknesses available at Sportsmart. The different thickness in the top and frame give a truer and more consistent bounce. ITTF approved tables are 22mm or greater.

Indoor Table thickness available: 12mm, 15mm, 18mm, 22mm and 25mm.

Outdoor table thickness available: 4mm to 9mm

Frame thickness’ will vary according to the Table top.

Can you use an indoor table outside?

It is best to use indoor table tennis tables indoors and vice versa. Indoor tables are made from Medium density fiberboard (MDF) and does not survive well when exposed to moisture and sunlight. Whereas outdoor tables are usually made from a mixture of plastic, resin or fiberglass.

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Cornilleau Outdoor Table

Do they come in a variety of colors? 

Standard competition colour in Victoria is a dark blue top. There are no rules or regulations on colors of the tops for leisure use. We stock tables with blue and black tops.

Will my table fold and store easily.

Most tables available from Sportsmart come in 2 pieces and can be folded for compact and easy storage. This also allows the table to

be used in the playback position for solo practice. Cornilleau outdoor tables come as one piece, however fold away very easily.

 If I purchase a table from Sportsmart will it come with accessories?

The majority of tables don’t come with accessories as there are so many different nets and racquets available and everyone has different needs. However, any table tennis purchase at Sportsmart entitles you to 25% off all table tennis accessories. We have a large range of bats, balls and nets to help you get started and our staff would be more than willing to discuss the best accessories for you based on your needs and table purchase (excludes online purchases).

 What is regulation sizes?

Sportsmart table tennis tables are all of regulation size.

SIZE (IN MM) Length: 2740 mm Width: 1525 mm Height: 760 mm Net Height: 152.5 mm

SIZE (IN FEET) Length: 9.0 ft. Width: 5.0 ft. Height: 2.5 ft.

Net Height: 0.5 ft.

SIZES (IN INCHES) Length: 107.87 inches Width: 60.0 inches Height: 29.92 inches Net Height: 6.0 inches

Will the Table Tennis Table fit in my car?

The table will not fit into a car. It will need to be transported in a Trailer, Ute, or large van.

It can be placed on roof racks of a car providing there is adequate tie downs available.

We have more than 10 table tennis models to choose from, to suit a variety of needs and preferences. Brands that we stock include Stiga, Alliance, Summit and Cornilleau table tennis tables.

Still have more questions about choosing a table tennis table? Feel free to visit us in store at our 3 store locations Sportsmart Moorabbin, Sportsmart Northcote & Sportsmart Kilsyth and one of our friendly and enthusiastic staff members they will be able to assist you with your needs.

Click here to view our range of Table Tennis Tables.

How to survive weekend sport!

In our previous blog post, “5 reasons why kids should play sport” we explained the importance of kids being involved in sport. Including such benefits as: improving health, increasing self-esteem and confidence, and encouraging teamwork, communication and leadership skills. However, kids sport usually means one thing – Weekend game days.

For your child nothing beats the excitement of game day. I’m not sure all parents agree. For parents it usually means no sleep in, its cold usually wet and always some last-minute drama of ‘where are my shoes?’ or unwashed sport shorts from Thursday night training, as well as the arduous task of trying to find a different venue each week.

We understand the benefits for our kids, but how do we as parents survive it?

  1. Have a strong routine.4M7A1946

Have those uniforms organized the night before, and right before bed make sure you google the location, so you know where you are heading ahead of time. Make sure you treat yourself along the way to reward yourself for the successful taxiing of however many kids to each game. Whether it be with a coffee or a family meal after the game. Treat yourself. Instead of thinking of it as a weekend chore, try think of it as your weekend ritual.

  1. Give the kids responsibility.

Yes, you may be the designated taxi driver, but that doesn’t mean you should also be the dry cleaner, the chef and the maid as well. Playing sport comes with responsibilities and weekend game days are a perfect opportunity to teach your kids responsibility. Make it their job to get breakfast, or to put out uniforms after training to ensure they are washed in time, help them take responsibility for their participation.

  1. Get Involved.

For some the last thing you want to do is spend your Saturday working behind a canteen or a sausage sizzle at your kid’s sport especially after doing 9-5 all week. But there are more than just benefits for your kids playing sport, there are benefits for parents too.

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Weekend sport is a great way to stay social and be involved in the community. Positive reinforcement by cheering kids on at each match is rewarding for yours kids, but also seeing their excitement when they get a goal or win can be priceless to you. Being involved can also make the morning feel a lot more productive than just hiding out in your car would.

We hope this helps make this weekends sport a little more bearable. And after why not come reward yourself with a little shopping spree at Sportsmart 😉 Good luck to all our Team Smart teams playing this weekend.

How to prepare your cricket bat

At Sportsmart, we offer bat preparation for you:

New natural-faced cricket bats need to be oiled and knocked in before play. The deluxe cricket bat preparation will eliminate hours of manual preparation. Please allow 4-5 business days for this service to be completed.*

If you prefer to do your own bat prep, follow the steps below:

Cricket bats are made primarily from two different types of wood. English Willow or Kashmir Willow. Both are very soft types of wood, and require preparation before they can be used to hit a cricket ball.83154_500

There are four stages involved in preparing your cricket bat:

1. Pressing, 2. Oiling, 3. Knocking In, 4. Playing In.

Stage 1: Pressing

Pressing the bat is important for two reasons. 1) It strengthens the fibers in the bat, and 2) Saves hours off the knocking in process. Some brands already do this stage for you, i.e. Kookaburra (KPP), but it doesn’t hurt to do a little bit more yourself.

Most bat prepping is done using a machine. Or using a mallet to knock it in, however this takes twice as long.

Stage 2: Oiling

Oiling helps reduce the chance that your cricket bat will crack or split. Oiling your bat helps to maintain moisture levels within the bat.

How:

  • Using Linseed Oil, apply a light coat to the face, edge, toe and back of the blade – avoid the stickers and splice area. Allow to dry for 24 hours. Then, using a very fine sand paper (+180), give your cricket bat a light sanding. Reapply a light coat to the face.
  • 2-3 coats should be sufficient. Allow each coat to dry fully (it’s best to dry your cricket bat in a slightly elevated horizontal position).

Stage 3: Knocking In

Knocking-in is probably the most vital stage in the preparation process. This process compresses the fibers in the wood, protecting the bat against ball impact. If done correctly, this can increase a cricket bat’s performance and lifespan.

How:

  • Using a special bat mallet or an old quality cricket ball, carefully and repeatedly strike the bat (increasing the force gradually) in any area where one may hit the ball. The edges and toe should not be struck directly at right-angles to the blade as this can cause damage.
  • This stage should take a minimum of 6 hours (every bat varies).
  • Finally, using an old quality cricket ball, hit some short catches. If the seam, on the ball, leaves a mark, go back and continue knocking in. Allow at least another hour for this stage.

Stage 4: Playing In

This stage is important to determine if you have knocked-in the bat well enough.

How:

  • At this stage, the cricket bat can be used in nets with a soft ball. If the ball contact leaves a mark on the bat, go back and repeat the knocking in process for another hour until no marks are left on the bat.

*Our services should not be considered as full preparation – you still need to work your bat in against an old ball prior to use against new hard balls.

Shop our range of Cricket bats in store and online here.