Welcome to the realm of travel lacrosse, where my life as a lacrosse mom often feels like a whirlwind of practices, games, and gear. But enough about me. I’m here to talk about the gear. But not the cleats, the stick, or even the lacrosse backpack – those trusty lacrosse elbow pads. These pads are like our secret weapon in the game of safety on the field.
I’ll explain below why I think these little pieces of safety gear are the unsung heroes of our boys’ lacrosse adventures.
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The Intense World of Lacrosse
From my experience, travel lacrosse is an exciting and intense sport that demands speed, agility, and high energy. However, this physical environment also means that safety should be a top priority and lacrosse elbow pads play a key role in that.
The Rough and Tumble
If you’ve been to a couple of games already, you know that boys’ lacrosse is not for the faint of heart! I emphasize boys because girls’ lacrosse, while still physical and fast paced, does not require elbow pads (or a chest pad or gloves). This highly physical game makes protective gear like elbow pads an absolute necessity, especially for defensemen. They can’t be focusing on staying out of harm’s way when they’re supposed to be protecting the net!
The Risk of Injury
The fast-flying ball and aggressive plays can result in collisions and impacts that pose a risk of injury, particularly to the elbows. That’s where elbow pads become vital, providing an extra layer of protection.
The Role of Lacrosse Elbow Pads
Now that we’ve explored why elbow pads are essential , I”ll explain their role in more detail. These unassuming pieces of gear play a significant part in keeping our young athletes safe while protecting those crucial elbow joints.
Shielding the Elbows
The primary role of lacrosse elbow pads is to shield the elbows from impacts, slashes, and checks. These pads are designed to absorb and distribute the force of a blow, reducing the risk of injury to this vulnerable joint. Ever seen a middie run down the field with the ball? Every opposing player he encounters is slashing at his stick arm, usually around the elbow, attempting to dislodge the ball.
Elbow pads are equipped with padding that offers shock absorption. When a player falls or takes a hit, the pads cushion the blow, reducing the impact force that reaches the elbow.
Preventing Cuts and Abrasions
Lacrosse elbow pads not only protect against impact injuries, but also guard against cuts and abrasions. The rugged terrain of the lacrosse field can cause friction burns and scrapes, which the pads help prevent.
The Right Fit for Safety
Choosing the right pair of lacrosse elbow pads is crucial to ensure maximum protection and comfort for your young athlete. Here are important factors to consider when selecting one for your athlete.
Elbow pads come in various sizes to fit different age groups and body types. Therefore, it’s essential to measure your child’s arms accurately and refer to the sizing chart to select the right size. A proper fit ensures that the pads stay in place during play.
Range of Motion
While protection is crucial, mobility is equally important in lacrosse. So, don’t just settle for a pair that fits – ensure that the chosen elbow pads allow your child’s arms to move freely. If they restrict their movement and affect their performance on the field, then your child may be tempted to do away with them entirely, rendering them useless.
Comfort Is Key
In addition to a full range of motion, comfort plays a significant role in ensuring that your child actually wears the elbow pads during practices and games. Look for pads with moisture-wicking materials and adjustable straps for a comfortable fit. These pads will get sweaty!
The Importance of Compliance
Once you’ve selected the right pair of elbow pads, it’s essential to ensure that your child wears them consistently during practices and games. Otherwise, what’s the point?
I’ve met many young lacrosse players who seem to think they’re invincible! Of course- they’re tweens and teens! So, be sure to emphasize the importance of safety to your young athlete. Elbow pads not only to protect them, but also to keep them in the game.
Practice Makes Perfect
Injuries aren’t just limited to games as I’m sure you know. During practices, make sure your son wears his elbow pads consistently. This not only reinforces the habit but also allows him to get used to the feel of the pads during play.
Caring for Lacrosse Elbow Pads
Like just about any other piece of sports gear, proper maintenance is essential to keep elbow pads in top condition. Fortunately, caring for lacrosse elbow pads isn’t too difficult.
Elbow pads can become quite sweaty and smelly after intense games. To prevent lingering odors, simply wipe them down with a damp cloth or throw them in the washing machine.
Once you or your player has finished cleaning, allow the elbow pads to air dry thoroughly. Place them in a spot that is out of direct sunlight, as excessive heat can damage the materials.
Intense games will likely put the elbow pads through their paces, so check for loose stitching or damaged padding every so often. When necessary, replace them promptly to maintain their protective qualities.
The Peace of Mind
As a mom, my child’s safety is always my top concern, especially in a sport as intense as lacrosse. Lacrosse elbow pads provide that essential layer of protection that allows me to watch my child play with peace of mind.
So, whether your son is just starting his lacrosse journey or is a seasoned player, don’t underestimate the significance of these small but mighty pieces of gear. Lacrosse elbow pads are more than just gear; they’re a key piece of safety on the field for our children.
Here are my top choices for elbow pads.