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.
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.
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.
At Sportsmart, we are passionate about kids’ participation in sport. Here are some of the benefits:
- Sport improves physical health.
- Participation in sport at any age promotes health and wellness. Instilling this philosophy in children is the best way to promote health and wellness not only when they are young but for the rest of their lives. Learning these habits as a kid makes it easier to maintain as we get older.
- Sport increases self-esteem and confidence.
- Playing sport helps to establish a healthy self-esteem and can boost confidence. Seeing the results of practice pay off on match days, and the positive reinforcement and encouragement from parents, coaches and teammates, will improve a child’s self-esteem and confidence in their abilities.
- Sport encourages teamwork, communication and leadership skills.
- Team sports require teamwork, communication and leadership: three important criteria that an adult is required to be able to demonstrate when going for any job. Learning these skills as a child provides a great base for future success.
- Sport is a good way to relieve stress.
- Physical activity produces endorphins, which make you happy. Sport is a great outlet for stress relief, and to reduce the effects of negative emotions.
- Sport is fun!
- The biggest reason for kids to engage in sport is simply because it is FUN! So get out there and get your children involved in sport!
5 tips for choosing Kids Sports Shoes for School
When purchasing sports shoes for your kids- you know that it is hard enough holding your kid still to ensure they receive the correct fitting shoes let alone the correct shoe.
Here are tips we here at SPORTSMART have put together to help you choose the correct Kids Sports Shoes
5 tips for choosing kids sports shoes
1) Choose the correct shoe for the correct purpose
What will the shoes be used for? Will they be used for running and will the shoes be used for multiple purposes such as kicking a football or playing court surfaces sports such as Netball & basketball.
Kids running footwear are designed for running, specifically running in straight lines and even more specifically- running forward! They are made with lightweight materials (Such as mesh on the upper and blown rubber outsoles) which are great for running as they are light- however, they are not that durable. If you think, kicking a ball or running around on asphalt playgrounds are pretty abrasive activities so our shoes need to be durable to match.
If you kid is always going through their shoes before they outgrow- you need to choose a more durable shoes such as Cross Trainer. Cross Trainers have a more durable upper and outsole that wears better. Sure- they are heavier – but they will last longer in long run.
Playing a particular sport? It’s always best to choose the correct shoe for the correct sport. Remember- these kids shoes are designed for the particular need of sport. Using them for purposes that are not correct, will wear through the shoes quicker, and also not be as enjoyable for your child/
2) Think about the colour
Does your child’s school have rules about what colour shoes they must wear? Does your child always get their footwear dirty and you do not know how to clean kids sports shoes?
Maybe you need to consider black kids sports footwear option? Whilst black kids shoes are not technically any cleaner, they do hide the marks a lot better than white ones.
3) Consider how well your child can tie their laces?
If you child needs help tying their shoes laces- maybe consider kids velco sports shoes as an option.
Velcro are a great option- they build confidence in your child by making them self sufficient.
4) Does your child need extra arch support in their kids sports footwear?
Have you been recommended to have more arch support for child’s footwear by a podiatrist?
A quick trick to find if a shoe has arch support is to look on the inside side of the kids sport shoe. If the arch is a dark colour- this indicates the shoe has arch support as this part of a sole is a denser piece of foam to the rest of the sole.
5) Fit the shoes for a little bit of growing room- but not too much.
Playing sport is fun for kids. Don’t diminish that fun by having them wear flippers.
Allow about a thumb width (yours) of room at the front of the foot- this allows enough space for a growth spurt – but not enough for the foot to be swimming in the foot. Shoes are designed to be correctly fitting- kids will perform better, and have more fun especially if they are in correctly fitting kids sports shoes.