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.
Boxing has become the latest fitness trend. With it’s growing popularity, we want to make sure you are choosing the right equipment. Read on to understand how to choose the right boxing gloves for you.
Are you a beginner? Then you can’t go past the Everlast ‘Authentic Training Gloves’. They provide the support you will need and they’re also affordable, exactly what you need when you’re just starting boxing. These boxing gloves are best used for “Mitt Work” or focus pads. They provide full wrist support, which helps to avoid any hand and wrist injuries that may result from repetitive movements. The gloves feature adjustable hook and loop straps that allow you to adjust the wrist support and ensure a secure fit. The Everlast Boxing gloves also contain a soft touch lining which adds extra comfort and there EVERCOOL mesh ventilation panels help keep your hands cool and free from sweat. These are the perfect beginner glove.
The other option Sportsmart have for beginners in the Everlast ‘Prostyle Advance Training Glove’. This glove is engineered for: Mitt work, Boxing bag and Sparring. Making it the perfect all round beginner glove, whilst it is a little bit more expensive than the ‘Authentic Training Glove’, the pro style boxing glove can be used for different types of boxing, meaning you will only need one pair, saving you room in your gym bag! Lastly, the glove contains a soft synthetic leather outer for increased durability and comfort.
For our intermediate boxers, we have the Everlast ‘Power Lock Training Glove’ the more affordable of the two options. These boxing gloves are engineered for: mitt work, heavy bag (Boxing Bags), and sparring. This glove contains a layered foam construction, securing the hand into a natural fist position. They also have a soft synthetic leather outer for greater durability and comfort. As well as the thick wrist strap hook and loop closure for a secure fit and the soft touch lining for extra comfort.
The Everlast ‘Ever shield contender II training glove’ is the ultimate in all rounder gloves. Engineered for mitt work, heavy bag (boxing bag) and sparring, it is made of genuine leather for durability, a moulded one-piece padding helps form a comfortable fist and lastly has an advanced wrist protection padding. The secure fit helps to maintain protection and comfort during a variety of striking angles.
Last but not least, for the next Danny Greene out there, we have the Everlast ‘1910 Leather Training gloves’. Engineered for mitt work and heavy bag training, this leather boxing glove has an advanced padding design which ensures maximum protection. The same adjustable hook and loop wrist strap which ensures a secure fit as well as making it easier to get on and off as well as the mesh ventilation panels to ensure nice sweat free, non-smelly gloves.
Boxing gloves come in a variety of sizes depending on your hand size. Boxing gloves also come in a variety of weights. Lighter gloves are usually used by professional boxers, however if you are just training, use a heavier glove as they offer more protection.
Check out Sportsmart’s full range of boxing gear here.
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.
So, we’ve helped you pick a basketball system…now how to pick the perfect ball. After all, you can’t play basketball without a basketball!
When looking for a basketball, be aware that there are different sizes available for different age groups. The following is a standard basketball size guide:
- For ages 3+ (Male & Female): Size 3
- For ages 5-8 (Male & Female): Size 5
- For ages 9–12 (Male Only): Size 6
- Women aged 9+: Size 6
- Men aged 13+: Size 7
These sizes fit consistently and comfortably across the different age groups.
Additionally, depending on whether you are playing indoor or outdoor basketball, you may want a ball with a different texture. Outdoor balls will need to be tougher than indoor to last well on the concrete courts. Some people simply prefer the feel of one type of ball over the other, in which case it is always best to pick what feels most comfortable to you.
What is the point of compression wear?
Compression wear is the best to wear when engaging in demanding physical activity. It helps boost circulation – resulting in more oxygen being transported to the active muscles, helping to improve performance. Compression wear can also help to reduce muscle fatigue. Compression wear is lightweight, breathable and body firming, making it ideal for both low and high impact training, competition as well as recovery.
How does compression wear work?
Compression wear works through the use of strategically placed panels. These panels wrap and support the major muscles being used in physical activity. Compression wear helps to reduce vibration and fatigue in the muscles. It can also help to keep you feeling dry, as the material is designed to wick moisture away from the skin. Many high-end compression brands contain a 50+ UV protection, making it perfect to wear all year round.
How does compression wear fit?
Most compression brands determine size using the BMI index, weight and height. Compression wear should be quite tight to work effectively.
At Sportsmart we stock compression tights, tops, shorts and socks. We also offer both normal compression and thermal compression – perfect for winter.
Skins have come out with the Skins ‘Team’ range which is a more affordable price range with the same high quality they have always produced.
STEP 1: Choose a type that suits your needs
|In ground systems remain stationary for maximum stability.
Best for: Premium performance usage in a permanent paved area. And best for competitive or professional players, casual but regular players, families and teens.
|Portable systems can be moved for convenience or storage.
Best for: Anywhere where portability is important. Portable systems with an acrylic or polycarb backboard are best for casual players, young kids and families. Portable systems with a glass backboard are ideal for competitive players.
|Combo systems consist of a backboard and rim. They can be mounted to either an existing basketball system, to a pole, or roof via mounting hardware (sold separately).
Best for: Tight spaces or areas where there is no fixed place for a pole/bar. Casual but regular players, families, teens.
|Infinite Adjust||Preset Adjust|
|Infinite adjustment lifts can be set to any height between:
7.5 feet to 10 feet (2.3 to 3 meters).
|Preset adjustment lifts can be set to predetermine heights in 4 or 6 inch (10 or 15cm increments).|
STEP 2: Choose a backboard type and size
|Glass backboards feature the best rebound performance and are ideal for highly competitive play.
Best for: heavy use; competition or professional players.
|Acrylic backboards feature better rebound performance and are ideal for competitive play.
Best for: casual-heavy use; families; teens and children.
|Polycarbonate backboards feature good rebound performance and are ideal for recreational play.
Best for: casual use; children.
|Composite backboards offer a recreational level of play and a larger variety of colour options.
Best for: young children playing for fun.
Choosing a backboard size and type
Sportsmart offers basketball backboards in 8 sizes: 24”, 32”, 42”, 44”, 48”, 50”, 52”, 54”, 60” and 72”. The main factors affecting the size you choose are the size of your playing area and the skill level of those who will be using it.
The 24” and 32” are junior basketball systems best for young kids from 3 years old.
The 42” and 44” backboards are most suited to young children playing casually.
Backboards sized 48”, 50” and 52” are best for a small playing area, and can often be a good option to suit budgets.
For a playing area the size of a 2-car driveway, a 54” or 60” backboard will suit.
For more professional players who want to best replicate actual playing conditions, and who have the space and budget to suit, a 72” backboard is ideal.
NEED MORE HELP?
Sportsmart has a wide range of basketball systems suited to all types of players. For more advice and information, view our range of basketball systems and backboards online, visit one of our Melbourne stores or phone our online team on (03) 9091 5024.
Having just completed Connor’s Run on the weekend, I experienced that all too familiar burning pain in the side of your abdomen that signals a stitch. It makes any runner want to stop in their tracks until that pain subsides. So, I decided to do some research to understand what causes this familiar pain and the best way to prevent it from happening in the first place.
What is a stitch?
Basically, a stitch occurs when there is a reduction in blood flow to the diaphragm. There is no definite reason as to why this occurs. Theories suggest it is caused by pressure from the legs on to the diaphragm from below, in addition to quick breathing putting on pressure from above, resulting in the muscle pinching and cutting off the blood and oxygen supply.
How can you prevent a stitch?
1. Stay hydrated: Ensure you are well hydrated in the 12 hours before exercising.
2. Don’t eat too much food or sugar: Avoid large quantities of food in the 2 hours prior to exercising. Also stay away from sugary drinks and lollies.
3. Deep breaths: Most runners swear by deep, steady breathing to help avoid a stitch. If this doesn’t help, try slowing your pace and reducing intensity until the sensation subsides.
See a doctor if you experience persistent pain following exercise.