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Safety tips for football players

Our partners at USA Football have a dedicated mission to make sure that players are as safe as possible during training and the big game. From football gear to training tools, their site has a wealth of knowledge and safety tips that parents and players should be aware of.

Here’s some links to get you started:

USA Football also has a collection of rule books for youth football, and a blog that goes beyond safety to talk about other concerns parents, coaches, and players might have.

Here’s a quick safety overview:

  • Sun and Hydration: Sunscreen and water/electrolytes breaks, often. All of those layers and layers of gear can be sweltering in the summer and fall. Those layers may keep the player safe from contact, but it also causes severe dehydration and heat exhaustion or cramps. It can even get to the dangerous point where a player faints. Players on the offense and defense should rest and drink as often as they can when benched. They should also be able to remove their helmets easily to get a bit of air.

  • Prevent injuries through proper training and prioritization. Many of the injuries youth athletes get follow them through their entire life. By teaching kids that staying healthy is more important than winning, they may actually be able to get beyond their thirties with working, pain-free knees, backs, and bodies.

  • Make sure all football equipment fits properly. A proper fit means that the equipment can work like it’s supposed to. A sliding pad or a too-tight helmet can make a game situation dangerous. If a player is distracted by their gear they’ll be off-guard and open to injury.

  • Know how to recognize injury signs, and get the player treatment in a safe, swift manner. Don’t ever send an injured player out on the field. Don’t exacerbate old injuries by overtraining recovering players.

Awareness and knowledge are the keys to keeping players active and healthy. Before going on the field, arm yourself with all the info you need to stay safe!

Though the leather helmets of the early 1900s were undeniably cool, they left something to be desired regarding the security of players. Now, more than 100 years after the Helmets first graced the gridiron, football is a sport as dedicated to safety as they are touchdowns and field goals.

Starting with the most important, use this checklist to carefully select what safety equipment you’ll need for the upcoming season. Hike!

First String

Like the front 5 of an offensive line, this fist string checklist will keep you protected for the whole game.

Helmet. Back to school clothes should fit perfectly—and so should a football helmet. Investing in the right helmet for your age and weight will go a long way in preventing harmful injuries like concussions all season long.

Mouth Guard. Do you like your smile? So do we. Get a mouth guard so you look on point for class pictures and intimidating the other team.

Shoulder Pads. Your shoulders might not fill out like Kim Kardashian, but a proper pair of pads is essential during high-contact plays on the field.

Girdle. A girdle might not be tops on a list of football protective gear, just like nobody thought a 6th round pick named Tom Brady would actually start for the Patriots. A girdle offers extra protection by holding athletic cups and pads beneath your pants.

Pants. Every player should have 2 pairs of pants—one for casual use, and one for formal occasions like awards shows. Just kidding—but not about the two pants part.

It’s recommended to have a pair to rough up for practices and and another for live games. Learn more about choosing the right pair of pants here.

Thigh & Knee Pads. These usually come in a package deal with pants, but that doesn’t take away from their essential inclusion to the list.

Cleats. Your position on the field dictates the type of cleats you should wear.

For example, a lineman might go for a pair of supportive high-tops to keep their ankles protected in the trenches, while a defensive back would go for a low-cut pair with extra traction to increase speed and agility while covering receivers.

Second String

Neck/Collar Roll. Whiplash. It’s a good thing if you’re referring to the 2014 film starring J.K. Simmons. But if you’re pairing the term with a high-contact sport like football, things tend to get a bit more painful.

Besides riding the bench for all four quarters, the best defense against whiplash is a proper-fitting neck or collar roll. When fitted properly, neck and collar rolls provide extra protection without restricting any movement.

Gloves. Like cleats and grizzly bears, the right pair of gloves offers extra protection while taking your game to the next level. Note that grizzly bears technically aren’t allowed on the field of play at any level of football.

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