On our first date fifteen years ago, my husband and I were hanging out in his apartment getting ready to watch a movie. He didn’t offer me any choices rather he just popped one right into the VCR (I know, I’m totally dating myself right now.) But this movie had no credits rather it was two teams playing football under the lights of a small stadium field. As I looked closer, I realized it was a local high school team playing against their rival. I glanced at him with a puzzled look because I had no idea what we were watching. And then it hit me – he is trying to impress me with his high school football highlights tape.
Now fast forward fifteen years and some change later. Football continues to play such an important part of our lives. My husband has now passed down the game to our son, who lights up the moment he puts on those pads and equipment. As a mother, it has been an exciting experience to partake in with him too. Watching him grow confidence, score touchdowns and cheer on his teammates as they make big plays gives me all the feels. The relationships he’s creating with his teammates both on and off the field has been an unbelievable experience as he continues to play with these boys year after year. Our team seems as if we are one big family – players, coaches, parents, guardians, siblings and all. It’s more than a game in our house. It’s a memorable experience that we are all creating together.
But as our time with the game continues, it seems that the technology of the sport continues to get better. As a mother I am grateful for these technological innovations and advancements that are happening because let’s be honest, no one in my house is planning on giving up this game anytime soon!
So what is changing to make the game of football better?
One of the most important pieces of equipment is the helmet, that’s for sure! The reliability and performance of the helmet is becoming increasingly popular to study. Different tech companies are creating new helmets to help make this game better. For example, the NFL helmet safety rankings named Vicis ZERO the top helmet for reducing head impact severity that is experienced by the players on the field. Right now, 74% of all NFL players are using advanced helmets when compared to just 41% in 2017. Also, after various tests completed at the youth, high school and collegiate level, this helmet was ranked the very best. Neurologists believe that this new helmet concept is indeed going to make a large impact on the future of high school football.
Did you know that some tech companies have turned this piece of equipment into something more than just protecting a player’s mouth? Three specific companies have created a smart mouthguard that can collect data and track the force of impact on a player. The data is then used to look at the force of impact on a player which helps determine their risk of a concussion after being hit.
The “Beast” Shoe Testing
So how about those cleats! The NFL is now using a shoe-testing machine called The Beast which focuses on different cleat patterns on a turf surface. The information and testing not only helps decrease injuries but can provide athletes important information that will help them make informative decisions about their cleats and personal safety.
It is clear that football will continue to be an integral part of our lives. As we continue to grow with the games, it’s important that we see the technology around the game is growing with us too. And as it gets better, we will all benefit from it too.