(BPT) – The NFL receives the highest television ratings of all pro sports, and football continues to have the highest rates of participation for high school boys in the country (compared to other sports), yet the dangers of playing the game have never been more visible. As a result, parents are hesitant to give their kids permission to play. The irony of this safety ‘enlightenment’ for the game of football is that coaches, community leaders and companies are stepping up to plate to deliver solutions that make the game safer than ever before.
One solution that is possibly the most well-known yet most difficult to implement is a properly fitted football helmet.
No one knows this better than Mike Weatherby, who suffered a serious concussion while playing college football. “My concussion was pretty bad,” says Weatherby. “After the injury while inspecting my equipment with the equipment manager, we determined I was playing with a poorly fitted helmet. I became very interested in football safety and have wanted to make a difference ever since.”
A proper fit is essential
A proper-fitting helmet is essential to the safety of football players of all ages. However, this is easier said than done. Filling helmet liners to the right levels can be cumbersome and time-consuming, not to mention it’s difficult to know deflation rates or when an air liner is faulty.
That’s why Weatherby developed HelmetFit, an app-based technology compatible with all Schutt and Riddell helmets. You can use the hardware and app to automatically capture and save a player’s custom fit at the start of the season. Then you can use the system to refit a helmet without the player actually being there in about 20 seconds, streamlining the process. This makes a proper fit easier than ever to maintain, ensuring more consistent and proactive helmet fitting checks.
Further, the accompanying app provides records of fit history, including the date and time of each helmet inflation. This makes for easy reference and supports ongoing safety of programs.
Having a baseline setting not only saves time, but helps ensure a proper fitting helmet every time a player steps foot on the field. A collection of programs from across the country like Princeton University, The United States Naval Academy, University of Pennsylvania, Ohio State, the Miami Dolphins and high school programs from New Jersey to California are using HelmetFit with great results.
Naval Academy Associate Athletic Director & Director of Equipment Greg Morgenthaler states, ‘HelmetFit was a game changer for us. The product gives our guys the flexibility to air up our guys for a safe and effective fit throughout the season.’
‘We owe it to football players of all ages to make the game as safe as possible,’ says former executive of the top two helmet manufacturers, Riddell Sports and Schutt Sports, JC Wingo. ‘The technology has finally caught up with the sport, and it’s critical for every youth league, high school, and college team to equip their players with the solutions available to improve their safety overall.’
Even the highest-end football helmet won’t do its intended job if it’s not fit properly to a player. While no helmet is concussion-proof, a properly fitted helmet can help make a difference in the safety of a player. Learn more at helmetfit.com.