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.
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.
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.
Now 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.
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.
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.
Do you have a family member or friend who you are struggling to find a Christmas gift for?
Firstly, do they love sport? Secondly, Do they love a particular sport?
We’ve put together a list of different sports and gift ideas that anyone who plays these sports or wants to start playing would love!
Ps. No harm treating yourself either 😉
Gifts for the Netballer
- Netball Stand: At Sportsmart we stock a range of different Netball stands in varying prices, so there is something to suit everyone.
- Netballs: We stock Mitre and Gilbert Netballs in both size 4 & 5 in a range of different colours and patterns.
- Netball shoes: Why not treat yourself and purchase from our wide range of Netball shoes, or buy a voucher and let them choose their own.
Gifts for the Soccer Player
- Supporter wear: We have a wide range of team supporter wear including: AC Milan, Arsenal FC, Socceroos, Borussia Dortmund, Celtic, Chelsea FC, FC Barcelona, FC Bayern Munich, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Melbourne Victory, PSG, Real Madrid and Tottenham.
- Soccer Accessories: We have a wide range of training items available, from: Soccer goals, practice inflatable defence man and markers.
- Protective wear: Does your child need new shinguard’s or gloves? We’ve got you covered!
- Soccer balls: Everyone loves a new ball for Christmas. We stock a range of brands (Mitre, adidas and Nike), colours patterns and all sizes (3, 4 and 5).
Gifts for the Tennis Player
- Tennis Balls: Somehow these always end up lost or missing so you can never have enough If you play. Also if you’re heading to the Australian Open, save some time and money and pick yourself up a giant novelty tennis ball for all your signatures!
- Tennis Racquets: For kids we have Junior racquets for UNDER $50 so these make an awesome gift if your child wants to start playing. We also have a variety of different priced senior racquets as well for the more advanced player.
- Bags: If you have a few tennis players in the family these bags can be great for storage, or if you have a little pro on your hands then these will make life easier when rushing them off to practice (a gift for the kids or for you? 😉)
Gifts for the Basketballer
- BBall Systems: These make amazing family gifts. We stock a massive range from entry level to top of the range, so we really do have something for everyone. Will your child be the next LeBron James?
- Basketball Shoes: We have a wide range of junior and senior shoes (and1 and Nike). Spoil yourself or give them a gift card to get your own.
- Basketballs: We stock a variety of different basketballs suited to both indoor and outdoor playing. Different sizes are available to suit all ages.
Gifts for the Cricketer
- Outdoor Cricket sets: Heading into summer means a lot of time spent at the beach…who doesn’t love beach cricket? Perfect for kids of all ages and even for dads of all ages.
- Cricket packages: we have some incredible junior cricket packages available that covers just about everything the little cricketer will need for the season.
- BBL gear: With BBL starting soon grab your supporter wear and even get playing yourself with our awesome light up stumps and balls.
- Playing Gear: We have everything from bats, padding, bags, clothing and balls. No matter what age or size we’ve got your cricketer covered this Christmas.
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?
- Have a strong routine.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Basketball can be played on many different surfaces; from synthetic indoor flooring to outdoor, concrete and asphalt. It is important that whatever basketball shoes you pick can withstand the surface that you typically play on. If you play basketball indoors, it is also worth checking if there are any rules about the type of shoe you can use on an indoor court.
In addition to the basketball court surface, the level you are playing at is another big factor to consider when purchasing basketball shoes. A casual player may opt for a better value option than a highly competitive player who plays multiple times a week. Other important aspects to consider when purchasing your new basketball shoes include:
- Cushioning and stability
Basketball requires many start–stop movements along with quick direction changes, running and jumping. A basketball shoe that hasn’t got enough cushioning can result in strong jolts in your legs. For the sake of your joints, it is important to ensure you have a correct fitting shoe, as well as shoes with enough cushioning, stability and grip to ensure you don’t hurt yourself or jar your joints. A good quality shoe with a strong grip is perfect for basketball, to ensure you don’t slip over with any sudden direction changes.
It is important to ensure the fitting of basketball shoes is perfect. Again, with the amount of movement involved in basketball it is easy to roll an ankle. One way to help prevent this is to ensure your feet are snug in your shoes, to prevent any extra movement within the shoes. This also helps to prevent blisters due to rubbing. A better fitting basketball shoe will also provide more comfort and overall support.
It is inevitable that your feet will get hot and sweat, no matter what sport you play. To reduce this effect, choose good-quality, breathable basketball shoes. They will be more comfortable and better fitting, with less pressure on your feet.