USA Hockey Magazine

November 2014

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In North America, youth hockey players are also required to wear full face masks. Cages offer the best overall protection, although many complain that some areas of vision are blocked. On the other hand, older athletes may choose plastic visors, which provide good airflow but less facial protection, and tend to get scratched easily. Some athletes use a com- bination of a visor and cage. Whatever you use, take care of it. Keep cages secure and regularly replace scratched visors. LET YOUR HEAD GUIDE YOUR PLAY The equipment you wear is designed to help protect you from injury: bruises, slashes, fractures or concussions. But sometimes, equipment can give you a false sense of security, or what I call the "Gladiator Syndrome." It is not uncommon for athletes to feel a sense of empowerment, invulnerability and strength after suiting up. After all, players do look physically bigger, taller and stronger. This feeling of invincibility often occurs without us realizing it, prompting us to take more risks and be more aggressive without thinking about it. Alex, the captain of an adult hockey team in New Jersey, dis- covered this insight. "I normally play with a half-shield visor. But, I was going to sub for a less skilled team at a lower level of play. So, to be extra careful, I wore my full cage that night. On one play, I went straight for another player, and without really thinking about it, we hit hard face to face. After the game, I realized that I would never do that if I wore my visor." The moral of the story: Use your head when it comes to playing the game the safe and smart way. YOUR BEST PROTECTION IS FREE So, when it comes to protective equipment, use your head. It is the best piece of equipment you have, and it's free. Use it wisely when it comes to choosing your equipment, caring for your equipment and playing the game the right way. After all, your head is the best protection that money can't buy. Y Rosemarie Scolaro Moser is the author of "Ahead of the Game: The Parent's Guide to Youth Sports Concussion," director of the Sports Concussion Center of New Jersey. 25 NOVEMBER. 2014 // Hockey Safety DON'T CHEW ON YOUR MOUTH GUARD. Wear it. A mouth guard won't protect a player's teeth or prevent a laceration if it's hanging out of the side of your mouth or dangling from a strap. Improperly wearing a mouth guard can also cost you time in the penalty box. First comes a warning and then you sit for 10 minutes for violating Rule 304 c. THE RIGHT BITE @summerskates facebook.com/SummerSkates @summerskates facebook.com/SummerSkates ✓ Durable sports fl ex sole ✓ Forming cushioned footbed ✓ Ultra-soft lined lace bridge ✓ Washable and air dry CUSTOMIZE WITH YOUR LOGO. www.summerskates.com THE ULTIMATE HOCKEY HOLIDAY GIFT. RESERVE YOUR EXCLUSIVE SPOT TODAY! www.MiracleOnIceFantasyCamp.com MARCH 29-APRIL 2, 2015 Relive the magic of one of the greatest sporting achievements of the 20th century by joining players from the gold medal winning 1980 US HOCKEY team at their inaugural FANTASY CAMP, in the beautiful and historic village of Lake Placid, in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. Makes a great holiday gift for the hockey enthusiast on your list!

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