New players to the game of hockey inevitably face the task of putting on all their gear for the first time. While getting dressed in all that gear seems like a daunting task, it's really not as difficult as it sounds. New players may want to practice a few times at home until they feel comfortable.
Remember that all your gear is adjustable. If it doesn't fit quite right the first time, try adjusting them until you find the right fit.
Here is a step by step guide to putting on hockey equipment:
1. Put on your undergarments. These can be compression shorts or jock shorts. Jock Shorts have a pocket for a cup and velcro tabs on the front and back of each leg to attach your hockey socks to. Jock shorts can be worn over compression pants. Some compression shorts also have a cup pocket with the velcro tabs.
2. Step into your athletic cup by putting both feet through the elastic waistband. Secure the garter belt around your waist, making sure that it fits snugly and comfortably around the groin area but is not too tight.
3. Put on your Hockey Pants/Girdle. Tighten your pants with the belt so that the pants fit comfortably but provide for adequate flexibility. If they are still too loose, you can use a pair of suspenders to keep them up.
4. Put on your shin guards (these will go under your hockey socks). Make sure that you leave enough space near your ankles for your skates. Some shin-guards have straps that can be tightened. Others need to be secured with hockey socks.
5. Hockey Socks are long cotton socks that are open on the top and the bottom. Your hockey socks go over your shin pads and attach to your garter belt.
6. Put on your skates and tie them very tight without cutting off circulation to your feet. The bottom of your knee pad should come just to the tongue of your skate. Tape everything in place.
7. Shoulder Pads go over the compression shirt or t-shirt. Slip your head through the middle hole and put your arms through the arm bands underneath the shoulder plate. Tighten the straps until the shoulder pads are secure but allow adequate range of motion.
8. Elbow Pads go over your long sleeve compression shirt. The joint of your elbow should rest squarely in the cup of the elbow pads. Adjust the staps so the pads fit tight but are still be comfortable.
9. Neck Guard fits around the neck to protect against sharp skate blades. Most models fasten in the back with an adjustable closure.
10. Finally, put on your jersey, helmet, and gloves. Put the mouth guard in and you are ready to play!
After practice or games, be sure to remove the gear in the opposite order you put things on. Everything will then go back in the bag in the order you need them next time.