17 November 2000

An Alternative Way to Get Dressed

When I first started playing hockey, I followed the extremely helpful "how to get dressed" steps that Ann Wilson provides on her website, the Hockey Diaries. Since I took a slapshot to the shin on October 9 that hit right below my pads but above my skate—and which has left what I fear is a permanent brownish and fairly tender lump on my leg—I've had to change the way I get dressed in an effort to better protect my shins and ankles. The first thing I did, of course, was to buy longer shin guards; it turns out that the ones I was using were at least 2" too short (not surprising, seeing as how I bought them used from another woman, and not too many women are my height, 5'9 1/2"). The second step was to put the shin guards over my skate tongues instead of under them. According to Jason at East West, this provides more padding for your shins, and it helps stabilize your skates. (He's certainly right about the latter: I don't have to re-lace my skates mid-game anymore.) The shorter guards didn't really offer the option of going over the skate tongues, but the new 14" ones do. So anyway, here's my new way of getting dressed; as Ann noted, there's no one way to do it, but this way works for me.

  1. Make sure you have your water bottle with you in the locker room (not in the stands or out in the car). If you discover you're missing your water after you've got your skates on, you'll have to bribe the Zamboni driver to go get it for you.
  2. Change into sports bra.
  3. Put on hockey-jock (I use the kind with the velcro patches to hold up the socks).
  4. Put on socks, but don't attach them to the jock.
  5. Pull on pants, but don't buckle/tie them.
  6. Lace up skates (once they're on your feet, of course).
  7. Stretch bottom of socks over the top of the skate boot and then scootch the socks down around your ankles, so that the skate tongues are poking up through the socks.
  8. Put on shin/knee pads so that pads are over skate tongues but under socks.
  9. Pull up socks over pads.
  10. Pull down pants partway and attach the socks to the jock.
  11. Pull up pants and buckle/tie them.
  12. Wrap clear tape around socks just below knee and again at the lower shin.
  13. Put on shoulder pads.
  14. Put on elbow pads. Use little bits of clear tape to hold down the velcro straps and keep them from snagging on your jersey.
  15. Put bandana on head to soak up sweat (or in my case, to keep my hair out of my face; I don't sweat that much during the winter season).
  16. Don jersey.
  17. Put on helmet and tighten chin strap.
  18. Don one glove, wedge your water bottle into the grip, and tuck the other glove under your arm.
  19. Grab your stick(s) with your ungloved hand and then use the fingers of that same hand to pull the locker room door open.
  20. Get out on the ice.

When you come off the ice, perform the steps essentially in reverse order. Resist the urge to pull off your skates first—you'll just tangle yourself up. Likewise, if you try to pull your pants off before you've removed your skates, you'll get the skates caught. Try this instead: After removing your helmet, jersey, and shoulder and elbow pads, pull your pants partway down, detach the socks, pull the pants up again, remove the shin guards, socks, and skates, and then remove the pants.

hockey blog home