The most important piece of equipment to a keeper is their gloves and yet young keepers all too often negligent them. A decent game glove can cost $75.00 and more, so a keeper should do everything they can to get the most out of their gloves. Taking a few small steps and about ten minutes of time could save a keeper hundreds of dollars a year.
The first thing a keeper needs to do after removing their new gloves from its packaging is to put them in a glove bag. I have seen too many keepers, after a training session, just toss their gloves into their duffle bag. Then they proceed to toss in their cleats, shin guards, and jersey. After training your gloves are more vulnerable to tearing because they are wet and dirty. By taking just an extra minute of time and placing your gloves in a glove bag you will protect them from being accidentally torn by other equipment that is stored in your duffle. I always recommend to my keepers that they store their gloves in a glove bag and keep it in a separate compartment of their duffle away from other equipment.
The second, and most over looked, thing a keeper needs to do is wet their gloves before using them. With todayís advanced technologies, like SSG (Super Soft Grip) and Duo Mega Grip latex, this is extremely important. By misting your gloves with water before use it allows the latex to become tacky and grip the ball, rather then allowing the friction that is created by the ball spinning to tear into the dry latex. Even with misting the gloves with water the latex will start to flake over time, but by not doing this, it will happen much sooner than it should.
The final component to glove care is washing your gloves. During games and training tiny particles of dirt get imbedded into the latex, and if not removed, will cause the latex to flake off very quickly. Also, if you donít wash your gloves they will start to smell like stinky socks. Washing your gloves is very easy and only takes a few minutes. First, thoroughly wet the gloves (if the gloves have Ortho-Tec finger stays you do not need to remove them, but I find it easier if you do). Second, use a small amount of Reusch Glove Wash and rub it into the palm of the glove. Next put a small amount of Glove Wash on the back of the glove and rub it in. After you have applied Glove Wash to both sides of the glove rinse the glove thoroughly and wring them out. Finally, hang them up to dry in a place away from direct sunlight, and never put them in a dryer. Sunlight and high heat will destroy the latex quickly.
Those are the three simple steps to get the most value out of your gloves. Take care of your gloves and they will help take care of you.
Yours in soccer,
Rock Solid Keeping