So, your kid has made the goalkeeper position on the team. Great! But the goalkeeper position is very different from other positions on the field. It involves much less running, a lot of jumping and diving, and constant hand-ball contact.
Your kid needs to be well-equipped to repel any threats on the goal they’re guarding. With this in mind, we’ve outlined a beginner’s tutorial on how to find the best goalie equipment for your kid. In this short guide to junior goalkeeper clothing, you’ll learn how to make all the right choices.
Without a doubt, gloves are the most essential part of a goalkeeper’skit. A pair of great gloves are much more important than all the other equipment combined. Accordingly, there are many choices to make.
There are three major factors involved when choosing the perfect junior goalkeeper glove: size, cut, and foam type.
A goalie glove shouldn’t be too snug or too loose. Neither of these extremes will do your kid any good on the field. The size is mostly dictated by the palm width. If your child is five to six years old, sizes 2 and 3 should do the trick. If you’re looking for gloves for a seven- or eight-year-old, size 4 should suffice. Children of around nine find size 5 gloves ideal. Sizes 6 and 7 are for children ages nine through twelve. Finally, 13-year-olds and older children fit sizes 7.5-8 perfectly.
Cut essentially refers to the design and stitching for the fingers and palm of a goalkeeper’s glove. There are various stitching types and combinations here, so the best way to go is to have your kid try as many models as they can get their hands on. Keep in mind that there’s no “universal” answer regarding the cut. Hybrid cuts are a good start, though.
There are three foam types for junior gloves: Contact Grip, Giga Grip, and SuperSoft. Contact Grip is great for wet conditions. Giga Grip adheres brilliantly and keeps the hands cushioned. Finally, SuperSoft is a cheaper version of Giga Grip. If you aren’t sure where to start, maybe SuperSoft would be a sound choice.
The second most important piece of equipment for goalies is the most vital piece of equipment for the rest of the team – boots. When choosing boots for a junior goalkeeper, make sure that they offer a lot of resistance. Your kid’s going to be doing a lot of jumping and diving, and a stable pair of boots can go a long way to boosting their dives.
Another thing to keep in mind here is that the boots should keep your kid’s feet dry. Goalkeepers, unlike most other players, spend most of the time standing or pacing the penalty area. Their feet should be kept as dry and as warm as possible.
This might not seem all that important, but a lot of thought should go into the choice of jersey. As mentioned, your kid is going to be doing a lot of standing around, interspersed with regular bursts of quick, high-intensity action. If it’s cold outside, your kid should wear long-sleeved junior goalkeeper clothing.
Then, there’s getting into position to catch or dive for the ball. Typically, silicone inserts are used on both sleeves to provide more support. Padded jerseys are also not a bad idea if you want to protect your kid’s elbows.
When it comes to legwear, you should prepare your kid for both cold and warm weather conditions. During those cold months, a long pair of tight-fitting trousers can go a long way to maxing out your kid’s on-field performance, while keeping them warm in the process.
On the other hand, a pair of sweat-wicking shorts can make a world of difference in terms of comfort during those hot early season matches.
Things such as hats, leg warmers, pads are all optional parts of junior goalkeeper clothing. This equipment isn’t necessarily goalkeeper-specific – but as long as it’s sports equipment, you’re good to go.
Junior Goalie Equipment
In terms of performance, gloves and footwear are the most important pieces of goalie equipment. That’s not to say, however, that jerseys and trousers are unimportant. In order to keep performing to the maximum, while ensuring that your kid is warm and safe, cut no corners when it comes to goalie equipment.