In our household, Fall means football season, growing up in South Louisiana, we are big LSU fans. Now that we call DC home, we have adopted a love for the Redskins. You can often find my husband and kids throwing the football in the front yard. You can even find me holding a baby in one hand and throwing the football to my children with the other hand.
What I love about this sport is how it brings people together no matter who you are cheering for. Football games somehow prioritize making space in our lives to hang out with others to watch games, share meals and awesome appetizers, and cheer for the team(s). Football has created many memories for generations. While football seems unchangeable, there are actually some really amazing improvements to make football better for players by implementing some of the newest technologies for protective gear. Please read the updates below.
One big development with football is how much helmets have changed. Tech companies have been involved with creating more reliable helmets that perform better. In fact, 74% of NFL players now use “advanced helmets” as opposed to 41% in 2017. These advanced helmets are even available for youth playing football. There have been numerous studies conducted to make sure helmet technology is state of the art.
Virginia Tech actually has a lab dedicated to testing helmets. For youth, high school, and college teams, they recommend the Vicis ZERO1. Virginia Tech ran 48 tests to ensure this helmet reached high standards. Find the article here. Helmet safety and performance is a top priority (as it should be) for athletes. The Vicis ZERO1 helmet is used by 28 of the 32 NFL teams, more than 120 NCAA programs, and more than 1,200 high school teams nationwide.
Data from smart mouthguards can track the force of impact on a player during plays. In fact, technologies use color-coded LEDs that change color when contact reaches or exceeds a certain threshold along with biometric user data (age, weight, gender). All of this measurable data has created mouthguards that protect players better.
Football cleats have even improved with the latest technology. The NFL takes cleats seriously because they can impact the magnitude of a lower limb injury. The NFL has even partnered with Professor Dr. Kent of Mechanical and Aerospace engineering from UVA to perform studies about cleats. The Beast, a cleat testing machine, measures how much force it takes to release a variety of cleat patterns from the turf. Dr. Kent also uses a machine called The FAST to test cleat flexion–the amount of
force a shoe generates as the toes bend backward. Both of these machines help rank the cleats so athletes can make informed decisions about cleat performance.
Football is a sport that brings entire towns and cities together. It creates camaraderie with friends, kids, co-workers, and more. It’s a great time to love and enjoy football! Comment with your favorite football team below!