Football season is upon us and I would be lying if I said I was excited. I was able to keep the sport out of my house for years but as my son grew bigger everyone would ask “Does he play Football?” Coaches would watch him play Lacrosse and remind me just how great he would be at football. The conditioning would be great for the off-season and he would remain in-game mode. So here we are today, a football family…
So when it comes to my children I stay in mommy mode. Whether I am giving hugs and high fives for great grades, yelling encouraging words during a game or handing out punishments for bad behavior. It is a constant of who I am and I love it. That love also comes with a protective side where I ensure they are not exposed to certain things.
Two years ago I saw the movie Concussion starring Will Smith. The movie drove me to learn more about the long-term impacts of concussions and its prevalence in the sport of football. I have to say I was completely against my son playing the sport. Then at the end of middle school, my son repeatedly said he wanted to play football in high school. I had to take a deep breath, gather my thoughts, and find a way to be supportive because he said it with such enthusiasm. I got through the initial movement, but realized I needed more information.
I started hearing about “Smarter Football.” Learning to play smarter football significantly reduces the risk of serious injuries including concussions. But, how could I find out if my son's school actually applied these principles. I know coaches can sometimes say encouraging words when they want your above average height teenager to play for them, so I randomly show up at pre-season practice instead. I was pleasantly surprised. Before they even had contact drills, they were practicing keeping their head up on the football pads and dummies. The coach even chastised players when their head went down when hitting the pads. I do not like anyone yelling at my children, but if it will keep him safe, I'm ok with it.
It’s clear that the game of football is no longer about being the fastest or strongest on the field; it’s about being the smartest, on and off the field. The game is relying more on science and technology to help evolve players into elite athletes with the implementation of sensor, cooling/heating and grip technologies. Smarter Football can embody many forms including:
Maintaining good grades
At Riddell, Smarter Football manifests itself in the way the brand integrates engineering expertise with new data and cutting-edge materials to develop protective equipment. Over the years, Riddell has:
Collected over 10 years of head impact data and research with biomarkers through a partnership with TGen and the University of Arizona
Developed and introduced the first flexible football helmet with the Riddell SpeedFlex in 2014
Launched Riddell’s InSite Impact Response System, which helps thousands of football programs improve their playing techniques and acts as an extra set of eyes for coaches and training staff
Launched Precision-Fit, a process that utilizes 3D scanning techniques to build a completely custom-fitting helmet for the individual player.
Join Riddell and share the story of how you want to help your community and/or school play Smarter Football. Riddell has pledged to donate up to 100,000 in equipment grants to deserving programs that will show how upgraded gear will strengthen the team's commitment to Smarter Football. Entries will be accepted from August 1 through August 31, 2017 via the website at Riddell.com/SmarterFootball. Winners announced during the 2017 football season.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Riddell but all opinions belong to Life in Pumps.