R4H News

Welcome to the NHL Gear Fanatic’s Online Paradise

Welcome to the NHL Gear Fanatic’s Online Paradise

Hockey fans are always interested to know what sticks, gloves, helmets, pants, gloves, blockers, pads and masks NHL players are using. However, nobody likes going to the dentist — and finding out what gear players use is like pulling teeth.

No more. The recently launched website www.GearGeek.com tells you everything you want to know about NHL equipment used by every active player in the league. GearGeek is the world’s first online database of NHL equipment, with more than 3,500 items used by 700-plus NHL players.

And, site information is updated daily, so real gear fanatics can stay current as players switch equipment over the course of the season.

Player equipment choices can be viewed in a number of ways. You can sort by brands, teams, positions, stat leaders and salary cap leaders. So, if you want to know every piece of gear your favorite player/goalie is using — no problem. If you want to know which brand of stick is most popular on a certain team, for a certain position, or for the NHL as a whole — you can get the answer within a couple of seconds.

GearGeek is free to use, and requires no registration or login. Just visit the site and start getting answers to your hockey gear questions … without pulling any teeth.

AJ Lee is the Marketing Coordinator for GearGeek, the first and only online NHL player equipment database.

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Understanding and Dealing with Bullying

Understanding and Dealing with Bullying

It is difficult to deal with any problem in a way that will make it permanently go away unless you understand why the problem exists in the first place. Bullying is no exception to this rule.

Understanding the Bully
First, you have to have an idea of how a bully actually feels as well as define it properly so you can avoid identifying an experience as bullying when it is not one. If you are being bullied it is by someone who is acting aggressively toward you either in a verbal or physical manner, or both. A bully usually tries to find a victim that they feel is weaker than them in a physical way as well as mentally—someone they perceive will probably not fight back or won’t fight back. A bully will try some insulting or degrading behavior out the first time to see how the victim reacts. If the result is to their liking and they feel powerful over that person, then they will continue a pattern of activity that will elicit the same results.
Most often, a bullies behavior is a result of someone bullying them. This could be someone at home—a parent, older sibling, or extended family members—or it could be another student. Most often, their chose of who they victimize has nothing personal to actually do with the victim, but everything to do with how the victim reacts to them. Bullies will move on to someone else if you deter them properly the first time.

Ways to Deter Bullying

1. Don’t Give In
A bully will strike when it is least expected to try and find someone to bully on a regular basis. If they observe someone who is caught up in a vulnerable situation at school during an activity or during an after-school activity, they will pounce on the chance to bully. They will believe they have found someone who is weak or scared and won’t defend themselves. The person may feel weak in the moment, but the bully doesn’t know that. If a bully approaches in this manner, children need to be taught that a bully is weaker, or else he would not be resorting to bullying to feel more powerful.
So, a child should be taught that they should never show the bully any attention that will make them feel good about their actions. Don’t show that you feel hurt. If it is possible, walk away as if nothing happened. Bullies love attention; they don’t care if it happens to be negative attention. So, a bully will more than likely be confused and not follow you, and they will walk away as well. This especially works if the bully has no audience and it is just his potential victim and himself face-to-face.

2. Be Aware Of The Bully And His Cohorts In Crime
When a child is able to avoid a bully, then this will usually alleviate the pattern of bullying activity that the child faces on a regular basis. Bullies tend to get tired if they have to constantly seek out their victim. If the person they are bullying is in close circumference to them, then they will be more apt to consistently bully them. This includes people that the bully calls friends or groups that they bully seems to hand around.
The potential victim of a bully should not only avoid these groups in school if at all possible but avoid them in social activities off the school premises as well. For example, if a bully lives near you and walks home with the same group every day, there is a strong likelihood that the victim will be setting themselves up to be bullied on a daily basis after school. Parent need to be aware of these situations and talk to your child about other routes they can take home as well as other students or friends of theirs who could possibly walk with them. There is usually safety in numbers just as a bully finds safety in the attention he gets from his group of friends.

3. Don’t Use Reverse Psychology
Trying to deter a bully by putting yourself down usually backfires. It only re-enforces the bully’s belief that you have low self-esteem and won’t defend yourself. This is especially true if the bully is approached while with a group of other students. This will only egg the bully on to victimize even more and with an observant audience watching. It is also a way of acting just like them that may garner you a reputation at a bully, too.
But, if a bully approaches a victim and begins a barrage of insults or physical threats, the best thing is to stand up for yourself. Whatever insults the bully is eliciting, give them right back and do it with confidence. This works especially well if there is a crowd watching. Most bullies will back down at this point and look for someone else to bother. Saying this, going too far with a bully who is known for physical violence is not the answer. If this is the case, then walk away and don’t use this technique that may lead to physical harm.

4.If Bullying Becomes Dangerous, Seek Out An Authority Figure You Trust
This leads to the most important thing to remember and that is if a bully threatens physical harm to a victim, then that person needs to seek help as soon as possible. First, the child needs to tell their parents. Parents will usually seek out an authority figure at the school, or if it is an after-school activity, a coach or other type of instructor. They should then ask for a private meeting in another location away so that others on the team or other parents will not be involved. This will alleviate any issues with gossip and keep the problem between the parents, the victim, and the authority figure.
Some bullying victims don’t feel comfortable initially telling their parents; they feel ashamed at being victimized. So, they can seek out a school counselor or teacher that they trust to keep their secret about the bullying, but also be able to help them to stop it. In more severe cases, victims can seek help from a police officer either on the school campus they attend or go directly to the local police station and file a police report. Many schools today have officers in the school to help with this.

So, it is important to remember that a bully is usually being bullied as well, so the first choice should always be to stand up for yourself and never allow anyone to turn you into a victim of bullying. And if you see someone else being bullied, stand up for them as well.

Jessica Kane is a writer for SteelLocker Sports, a leading retailer of brand name hockey equipment at great discount prices.

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Brandon Capaletti of Cisco Athletic Gets Into Importance of Hydration

The importance of hydration for good health and properly functioning body systems cannot be overstated, especially for the young athlete. According to researcher Dr. Susan Yeargin from the University of South Carolina, up to 75 percent of young athletes aged eight to 18 are dehydrated before they even arrive at practice. And because most athletes are only replenishing 2/3 of the water they lose after competition, they are in danger of consequences that include heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Hydration plays a major role in the health of the young athlete, which is why Cisco Athletic created this guide on how much of a sports drink or water the youth athlete should consume. Click here to view the complete guide!

 

Brandon Capaletti is Vice President of Cisco Athletic, an athletic apparel manufacturer of adult and youth custom uniforms. Cisco makes jerseys for 18 different sports, including volleyball, basketball and baseball.

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Winning Tips To Beat Hockey Smell by AJ Lee of Pro Stock Hockey

Hockey is a sport that can be quite demanding on an athlete. With water accounting for about 73 percent of lean body mass, there is plenty of sweating done over the course of three periods. Players give it their all from the drop of the puck to the final horn.

This effort brings with it an unwanted odor, plus sometimes harmful side effects from sweating. It is important to know how to counter those dreaded smells of the game. With the following tips, it will be much easier to hip check stench into the boards.

Wash & Dry

Taking care of yourself starts with taking care of your gear. Washing gear decreases the risk of a skin infection. Gloves, in particular, should be washed every few days. While some might think that aeration is the hardest part of equipment maintenance, drying gear is simpler than you think. Simply hang gear on a clothesline. Just like old times!

Infection

Another trick to proper drying is removing the soles of hockey skates. This is another way to decrease the chance of infection. Compression products are also recommended for bacteria prevention as they help soak up moisture during the game.

New Gear

The best way to control stench is by purchasing brand-new gear. All gear has a lifespan, and you don’t want to keep gear too long. If you start seeing mold or mildew forming on your pads, it’s time for a change. Sticks break (and therefore are replaced) frequently, but the need to upgrade other equipment tends to be overlooked. Hockey is a very expensive sport, so it can be quite easy to put this off, but do your best to not make this mistake. Put some money aside for upgrades, as equipment impacts your safety — and thus your personal well-being.

Personal Hygiene

Whether your gear is now clean or brand new, it is time to clean yourself. Make sure you clean extensively to re-hydrate your skin and stay smelling fresh.

Players of all shapes and sizes across the globe are fighting hockey smells. Never underestimate the power or hockey odor. It can be tricky. Luckily, there are many ways to beat it! But don’t take my word for it. Check out a complete guide by Pro Stock Hockey – with information from NHL trainers and staff – on how hockey players can defend against stench right here!

 

AJ Lee is a Marketing Specialist at Pro Stock Hockey, an online resource for pro stock hockey equipment. AJ picked up his first hockey stick at age 3 and hasn’t put it down yet. He’s an avid Blackhawks fan and is an expert in all things hockey equipment.
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Movement Deficiencies Among Ice Hockey Players And How To Fix Them

Jake Biondi, NSCA-CSCS, USAW L1-SP weighs on correcting movement deficiencies.

Ice hockey has evolved to the point where most athletes who participate in the sport are on the ice year round.  That means players are wearing skates more frequently and for longer periods of time.  The boot of the skate covers up the foot and ankle complex and restricts mobility in the ankle joint.  When the ankle joint cannot move freely it puts more stress on the knee and hip joints during skating.  Coaches teach players to maintain a low center of gravity by lowering their hips and knees and to forcefully extend the two joints when pushing off with each leg.  Over time, this position and restricted ankle mobility can weaken and tighten supporting muscle groups throughout the lower extremity.  If athletes don’t take the time to condition themselves properly in the off-season, their muscle weaknesses and imbalances could lead to serious injuries.

In order to restore strength and mobility, players must adhere to a proper program that combines corrective exercise strategies with a good sound strength and conditioning plan.  Athletes must first work to lengthen their tight muscle groups through flexibility techniques such as foam rolling and static stretching, than progress to muscle activation techniques in order to get the weak muscles to fire properly.  From there, they should receive proper coaching from a certified strength and conditioning professional on how to correctly perform strength training exercises.  It is important that athletes perform exercises with quality form and technique in order to prevent injury and ensure good movement at their joint capsules.

In conclusion, your body molds along the lines of the stress that you put it through.  Here at The Lab Training Center we make sure to stress the athlete’s muscle groups correctly in order to maximize their performance and prevent injury.  Every athlete is evaluated in order to correct dysfunctional movement and to strengthen weak muscle groups.  Being consistent with proper training programs will help ensure a successful and injury free sports career.

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How to Break in Skates – As Told By Erin Wozniak of Pro Stock Hockey

Step into a pair of skates fresh off the factory line and you’ll feel like you just put on a pair of hiking boots. The tough leather of a pair of skates will keep your feet well protected from slapshots, but skates need to be broken in so that you do not end up with blisters or twist an ankle halfway through a big match. While breaking in skates doesn’t require some of the eccentricities of baseball players, who famously microwave their gloves to make them more supple, it’s important to mold the leather of skates properly in order to get a perfect fit.

Get The Best Size

When buying skates for younger kids, it’s tempting to get a size or two larger than their feet so that they can grow into their pair of skates. That’s a good strategy for buying shoes, but never for buying skates. Even though skates are usually the most important piece of gear in an equipment bag, Pittsburgh Penguins equipment manager Dana Heinze suggests buying used skates that fit well rather than new skates that are too large — as the latter will keep a developing player from achieving the right stride, acceleration and stopping capability. Skates that are too large and have too much room around the feet, furthermore, won’t support the ankles properly and seriously increase the risk of injury.

Heat and Bake

Just as many stores offer the first skate sharpening for free, many will offer the chance to bake brand-new skates in order to provide the perfect fit for your heels. Baking skates is exactly what it sounds like: Applying heat so that when you put on the skates for the first time, they adjust to the contours of your feet. While we think of hockey skates as being made of leather, there’s a lot of protective foam and plastic that can be molded into a better shape for your foot. All you need to bake a skate is a hairdryer, but a pro shop will professionally bake the skates if you’re nervous about heating your newest hockey purchase. You only need to apply heat for a few minutes to a skate for it to adjust — so if you use a full oven to bake skates, make sure to set it on a lower temperature (no more than 200 degrees Fahrenheit) and pay careful attention to the temperature and time. Once the baking is done, keep your skates on for 20 to 30 minutes in order to adjust their fit.

Skate and Skate Again

While proper fitting and baking will go a long way toward breaking in a new pair of hockey skates, there’s only one way to make certain that the skates perform come crunch time. Make certain that you have ample time to skate on the ice prior to an important match-up so that your skates hold up when you’re playing an intense game. Try to skate at an open ice or stick-and-puck skate several times before wearing them for a real contest. By the third skate, you should be able to feel the leather flex to the motion of your stride. If there’s still not enough flex in the skate, apply shoe polish or shoe oil in order to make your gear more pliable, or consider re-baking your skates at a higher temperature or a longer duration.

About the author:

Erin Wozniak is the Director of Marketing at Pro Stock Hockey, an online supplier of pro stock hockey equipment. Erin is an expert in web strategy and digital marketing and is a devoted hockey fan. Some of Pro Stock Hockey’s products include sticks, protective equipment, hockey skates and more.

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