Play Big, Stay Safe: Tips To Keep You Safe & Your Equipment Clean
With league and school sports picking play back up, it’s natural to be both anxious to get back on the field, but also nervous given the ongoing state of the coronavirus pandemic. If you are looking to join up with your team and return to play, but are also conscious of staying safe, here are some helpful tips to protect both yourself, and your equipment, while still enjoying playing the game.
1. Don’t Share Your Equipment, Especially Helmets
Growing up, we were all taught that “sharing is caring.” While this will one day be true again, in the meantime, it is strongly recommended that you only use your own equipment and do not attempt to borrow anyone elses or share yours. This is especially true when it comes to helmets. Sharing helmets can also result in the sharing of sweat, body fluids, and skin flakes. If your team or league is not able to provide you with your own helmet, we strongly recommend buying one just for you.
2. Bring Your Own Water Bottle
We know there’s nothing better than getting a cold glass from the team Gatorade bucket, and then dousing your coach with whatever is left after a hard-fought victory. However, in the short term it is probably best to table this tradition and start bringing your own bottle for your own water or your favorite sports drink. This cuts down on the amount of shared surfaces and will also help you and your teammates better social distance as no one will be congregating in the same small area.
3. Wear A Mask On Cramped Sidelines
Dugouts and sidelines don’t always offer the easiest ways to stay six feet away from each other. If you are in a position where your bench does not allow for proper social distancing, we recommend wearing a mask. This will not only keep you safe, but your teammates safe during those times that you wait to get back on the field.
4. Bring Hand Sanitizer
Be sure to sanitize your hands after exiting the field of play, especially if you come into contact with the ball or another player. Also check with your local league or school. They may have already installed sanitation stations at their fields.
5. Properly Sanitize your Equipment After Use
Cleaning your uniform after a game is easy, and odds are you were already doing this. But what about your equipment?
Anything cloth related like wrist or headbands can be thrown into the wash with your uniform. For hard plastic, protective equipment, first wipe away excess dirt and then wipe it down with a sanitation wipe.
Do not use sanitation wipes on your ball glove as it can ruin the leather. Gloves are a little more difficult to properly clean, but it can be done. Just follow these steps:
• Grab a brush and wipe away any excess dirt
• Grab a soft rag, preferably a cotton rag if one is available
• Wipe down the glove with a leather friendly soap (avoid soap specifically for shoes and saddles as these will leave a residue on your glove that is very difficult to get off)
• Let soap sit for a minute, then wipe away
Following these steps on a regular basis will keep both you and your equipment safe and healthy until life returns to normal.
We also recommend checking in with your local state, school, and league officials as guidelines are varying from state-to-state and league-to-league. You will want to make sure you are following your league and your state’s proper protocol.
Also, check the CDC’s website for more information as it is constantly being updated.
Stay safe. Play Hard. And Play Ball.
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