Football in the south is sacred. College football, in particular, can lead to divided households particularly a battle between Florida State and the University of Florida. Whether you’re a Gator fan or die-hard Seminole fan, the love for the game runs deep.
My husband started out playing pee-wee football, followed by flag football and all the way through high school. The skills he learned and developed while playing he still uses today, teamwork, perseverance and sportsmanship. While these traditions continue on the game continues to change for the better. Just like our smart homes, phones, cars etc., football is also evolving to be more tech-savvy. Smart equipment in football is here and it’s advancing the game for the better.
Technology developments are continuously improving the sports equipment for professional athletes and amateur athletes as well. “74% of NFL players now use advanced helmets, as opposed to 41% in 2017.” NFL players don’t get all of the fun, there have also been advancements in youth helmets as well.
Football helmets go through dozen of tests to ensure safety. Virginia Tech has an entire lab where they run dozens of tests on equipment to ensure safety. In 2018, Virginia Tech’s helmet lab ranked the Vicis ZERO1 as the best helmet for youth, high school,
and college football players.
In addition to helmets, there are also smart mouthguards. These mouthguards can provide data on the force of impact on a player from a hit during the game. Three companies that make these smart mouthguards are Force Impact Technologies (FITGuard), Akervall Technologies (SISU Sense), and Catapult. The smart mouthguard from Force Impact Technologies has color-coded lights to indicate the level of impact on the player.
Footloose isn’t necessarily a term you want to hear when it comes to your football cleats. The NFL is taking their shoe choice seriously by using a cleat-testing machine called The Beast. The machine measures the amount of force needed to release different cleat patterns from a turf surface. Doing this gives players the information they need to determine the right footwear for their game. Thereby, decreasing the number of lower limb injuries and keeping players healthy.
While my husband reminisces about the good ole days of playing amateur football and the friendships he made along the way, we are excited to pass on that tradition to our children. Along with the values, it can teach our children that will last them a lifetime, it’s also reassuring to know that this new smart equipment in football will also keep them healthy and happy too.