Cue Andy Williams; It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

While it’s hardly the holidays, the union of youth hockey, lacrosse and football makes October a wonderful time of year.  In western Pennsylvania, we’re surrounded by a smorgasbord of professional, collegiate, high school and youth sporting events.  Those so inclined—or otherwise begrudgingly dragged along by parents–have opportunity to witness the prowess of young athletes every weekend, and in some cases all weekend long!

Back to the Playing Field

After time away from his sport recovering from a shoulder injury, my oldest son Nathaniel has picked up his stick for a bit of lacrosse practice.  As I write, I hear the familiar tempo of wall ball “whumping” throughout our house.  (For the uninitiated, wall ball may be the single most important thing a laxer can do to improve lacrosse skills).  In a few weeks, Nathaniel will begin circle drills with his teammates; and we’ve a tourney or two before falling into the holidays.  Details and pictures will follow on Facebook.  For our family, October is a great time to lax, and a fun last hurrah before the snow flies and our team ramps into the more strenuous training of late winter.

Sinking the Stink

As Nathaniel’s equipment sat idle for a season, we’ll be leaving it overnight with a local shop for an ozone treatment.  If you’re unfamiliar with ozone’s effectiveness in destroying harmful bacteria, check out this recent article on sinking the stink from USA Hockey magazine. In some ideal world, we’d zap Nathaniel’s equipment after every practice, and twice after most games.  His gear is expensive and we want it to last.  But that’s neither practical nor affordable.  So we’ve developed a host of other techniques to help beat the day-to-day funk and lengthen the life of his gear, culminating in the development of OG.

Over the next few posts, Michelle, Coach Jim (whom you’ll meet soon) and I will share successful strategies for sports equipment care.  And we’ll provide useful tips and experiences from others.

On the latter point, how do you care for your sports equipment?  What techniques do you rely upon to keep your athlete’s gear in order?  Please share your thoughts via email or, better yet, join the conversation here and comment on our posts.  Remember, we’ve a collective responsibility to make the world safe for birds, dogs and park-bench-riding septuagenarians, so step up and do your part!

Meanwhile, leaves fall.  Light fades.  And that familiar “whump, whump” sound calls me outdoors to enjoy a bit of catch-and-toss with my son.  So join us.  Toss that ball.  Slap that puck.  And enjoy the most wonderful time of the year!

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