Archive for the ‘Football’ Category


Head-to-Toe (and Mouth) Protection for your Football Player

Mouth Guards and Gloves Go High Tech!
 
Back in the days (when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and TV was black and white), we didn’t wear gloves to help us catch the tight spirals or mouth guards to prevent repeated visits to the orthodontist. Luckily – for athletes and parents – times have changed.
 
Flavorful Protection
 
Speaking of evolution, plain mouth guards are as passé as landlines and portable CD players. Extremely popular with today’s athletes are flavored mouth guards.
 
“We see players wearing mouth guards even in non-contact sports because they help prevent injuries,” said Tom Hoey of MoGo Sport. “We have developed technology that allows us to take natural flavors, embed them in the polymer and have the flavor last for the life of the product.”
 
Mogo Sport mouth guards are available in six flavors: blue raspberry, fruit punch, lemon, mint, orange and bubble gum.
 
“With other mouth guards, you see athletes removing them to take in water. Our flavor technology helps generate saliva, pre-venting dry mouth. This ensures kids wear their mouth guard properly and longer,” Hoey said.
 
Mogo Sport mouth guards are available in junior (11 and younger) and adult (12 and older) sizes. The company also makes special mouth guards for kids with orthodontics or braces.
 
Tacky in a Good Way
 
Yep, football gloves are tacky … meaning they can help junior (or senior) make more catches.
 
“All of our football gloves feature Armour Grabtack, providing the best tack in the industry. They give any player a slight edge,” said Ryan McGrath of Under Armour.
 
Extremely popular for summer football are the company’s gloves with HeatGear technology in back. It wicks moisture away from the hands, keeping the player cooler. New for 2013 is Under Armour’s Highlight glove. It features a long cuff that extends approximately three inches from the wrist.
 
“The Highlight glove delivers enhanced performance and unique styling,” McGrath explained.
 
Under Armour gloves are available at your local Dunham’s in four men’s styles and one youth style and in a variety of colors. Under Armour’s most popular style, the F3, can be found at all Dunham’s stores in both adult and youth sizes. The Renegade and Highlight adult gloves are available in limited stores.
 
If you’re considering football gloves, McGrath offers the following advice: “The glove shouldn’t be too loose. The fingers should comfortably go to the edge of the fingertips. I hate to say it, but it should fit like a glove.”
 
Protect Your Quarterback
and the Rest of Your Team with the Proper Equipment

 
Let’s face it, modern athletes are much bigger than yesterday’s counterparts. For example, today’s NFL quarterbacks, tight ends and even some wide receivers are bigger than offensive linemen from the 1960s. The average player is also faster, making full-speed impacts all the more jarring and potentially damaging. That evolution in size and speed is also evident at lower levels, including youth ranks. That’s why it’s extremely important to make sure young football players are outfitted with the proper pro-tective equipment.
 
High-Tech Protection
 
Just as players have evolved, so has protective equipment. It’s lighter, more comfortable and provides better protection.
 
“Protective performance apparel has come a long way,” said Steve Arensdorf of Stromgren Athletics. “Today, girdles, padded arm sleeves and padded compression shirts are made of closed-cell EVA foam. They can be laundered daily and the pads don’t need to be removed prior to washing.”
 
Here’s something else that’s sure to make any parent – and any sibling riding home with the athlete – much happier: the mate-rials used in the protective equipment are antimicrobial and moisture-wicking. That should cut down somewhat on the need to ride home with windows down and noses out the windows.In addition to ensuring the protective equipment is appropriate for the child’s age and size, Arensdorf offers the following advice when shopping for your child: “Make sure it’s a quality product; it should have antimicrobial and moisture-wicking properties. Check out the quality of the pad; squeeze it to see how it feels. Our pads are also perforated to help them breath, making them more comfortable,” he said.
 
However, just as your child is likely to outgrow his or her shoes in the span of a season, protective equipment is not meant to last forever. In addition to needing a larger size, there are limitations to how long the antimicrobial properties will last.
 
Choosing the Right Equipment
 
“Typically, football equipment will last through the fall and spring football seasons and should be replaced the following sea-son. We also don’t encourage that schools hand down garments from one child to another. We recommend new ones for each athlete,” Arensdorf explained.
 
A team’s best chances of winning any game is to have the best 22 kids on the field. That takes the best protective equipment.
“If it prevents an injury, protective equipment more than pays for itself,” Arensdorf concluded.
 
For the best in football protection, visit your local Dunham’s where you will find a range of products in a variety of sizes to help protect yourself and your teammates this championship season.
 
-Laces Out
 
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PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

There’s no off season for elite athletes. Year round training is now the norm, allowing time to perfect technique, enhance skills, and work on conditioning. For football players the summer months are the right time to develop that extra edge leading into fall practice.
 
If your idea of a summer workout is some weight training, wind sprints and some laps around the track, you’re not likely to develop specific muscles and skills that will make a difference on the field. A number of special tools have been developed that will do just that. They are simple, easy to use and highly effective. And it’s not just football players who will benefit. Soccer, basketball, baseball — athletes in any sport that requires agility, power and speed can use these devices.
 
Speed Chutes
(leg strength, stride length and frequency)
 
With most resistance training you are standing or sitting still. Speed chutes bring running into the mix because you are pulling an open parachute behind you. Not only does it build leg strength, but it helps develop explosive speed — just what a running back wants when he hits the hole. The chute itself attaches to an adjustable belt. Run with resistance, then flip the Velcro® patch to release the chute and get that “shot-out-of-a-cannon” feel. Speed chute training is easy to do by yourself and the device is simple to use and store — just fold it up and take it with you.
 
Quick Ladders (foot speed, agility, coordination, overall quickness)
 
This device doesn’t strengthen your muscles, it helps you use them better. The 10-yard ladder with 18-inch squares allows for a variety of agility drills (backward, forward, sideways, in-out, hop scotch, etc.) that promotes a wide range of foot movements. Do them at the beginning of a workout, after warming up, because fresh muscles will help mobility.
 
Reaction Belts (reaction time, lateral movement)
 
In these drills two athletes face each other, wearing waist belts with a Velcro strap that attaches to the other person. One player then moves and fakes, trying to detach the strap, while the other player must be quick enough to follow so the strap stays in place. It quickens reflexes and improves stop-start ability — ideal for a defensive back.
 
Shoe Weights (Knee lift, jump height, speed and agility)
 
Here’s another device that combines resistance with speed. Unlike old fashioned ankle weights, modern designs wrap and distribute the weight around your foot, providing more balanced strength training. You can use them during training, or build strength as you walk around in your daily routine.
 
Speed Hurdles (feet placement, quickness, speed, running mechanics)
 
These small hurdles can be adjusted to 6- or 12-inch heights, allowing for a variety of exercises. All of them put a premium on quick movement of the feet and knees — a critical athletic skill. Football, basketball, baseball, soccer players and more can benefit from speed hurdle drills.
 
Lateral Resistor (lateral movement, change of direction, first step quickness)
 
This device is as simple as it is effective. A cord stretches horizontally on the inside of each ankle, making it harder to move side to side. By maintaining proper body position as you move side to side you will strengthen the muscles for rapid foot movement in any direction. It’s especially effective in improving hip flexibility and strengthening groin muscles.
 
COMFORTABLE WORKOUTS
 
We’ve all heard the adage “no pain, no gain.” Still, you can improve comfort during a workout with Under Armour compression clothing. This tight knit material offers several advantages:
 
The compressed design helps keep muscles relaxed.
It also helps your muscles recover after the workout.
You stay drier because the knit technology and microfiber design helps wick sweat away from your skin.
Some designs feature anti-microbial properties to help reduce odor.
 
High compression clothes aren’t just about comfort. There is significant academic research that shows performance benefits from wearing high compression clothing compared to looser fitting garments. In one study volleyball players were tested on a series of vertical jumps. While high compression shorts didn’t influence their jumping power, they were able to better maintain power during repeated efforts because their muscles didn’t get as tired.
 
-Laces Out
 
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Reebok and the NFL: Think Pink

You may have seen the NFL and the American Cancer Society’s involvement in the fight against breast cancer on the field since its inception in 2008. Players, coaches, and officials have worn the pink cleats, gloves, wristbands, and hats on the sidelines during games in October to help promote breast cancer awareness and prevention. The wearing of pink gear will be on the field yet again in 2011.
 
The NFL and the American Cancer Society have been widely successful in raising awareness and money for research since they paired up prior to the 2009 season. The NFL has launched post-game auctions where fans can purchase authentic game-worn Pink items from their favorite players and other items in the line of Pink merchandise.  In fact, NFL fans can get their schools involved, schedule a mammogram, and learn more about the disease in general all from the NFL.com Pink page at NFL.com/pink.
 
With so many women affected every year, the NFL and Reebok have taken the lead in promoting awareness by providing athletic gear to not only the NFL, but to football enthusiasts looking to make a statement against breast cancer.
 
“Reebok and Reebok Performance gloves initially went to the NFL with a request to put Pink gloves on [the] field to support breast cancer research and those affected by the disease, in 2008,” said JR Fabry of Saranac Glove Company.  “Knowing this issue touches almost everyone in some way, Reebok and Reebok Performance Glove choose to make a difference with the NFL.”
 
Wearing Pink products not only helps raise awareness in the fight against breast cancer, but it also makes a tremendous statement to others. Consumers can know that they’re helping because Reebok donates a portion of the profit from Pink sales in support of finding a cure.
 
“Wearing pink products offers the wearer the ability to outwardly show support for those affected by breast cancer and also at the same time know their purchase is supporting a great cause,” Fabry explained.  “Reebok will donate a portion of each sale to the American Cancer Society, to help find a cure for this disease.”
 
If you’ve been surprised with the widespread amount of Pink gear on NFL sidelines in 2010, there’s even more in store for the 2011 season. Reebok will now be offering several different types of gloves that the players will also be wearing between the lines.
 
“Reebok Performance Gloves will introduce the official pink glove of the NFL for 2011 The Fuel,” Fabry said.  “Players will wear the gloves as well as other Reebok glove styles in the Pink color way during the entire month of October, in support of finding a cure for breast cancer. More pink product will be on the field this season than any season to date, thanks in part to the NFL and Reebok’s partnership.”
 
Dunham’s Sports will be a full supporter of the fight against breast cancer along with the NFL and Reebok by supplying fans with two types of Pink gloves, the Fuel and Mayhem.
 
“Dunham’s has chosen to fully support the pink initiative and carry both pink style gloves worn by the Top NFL players,” Fabry said. “The styles include the NFL Equipment Fuel and the NFL Equipment Mayhem.”
 
For the NFL fan looking to make a statement against breast cancer while helping the American Cancer Society research this deadly disease, Dunham’s is the place to go. For your new pair of Reebok Pink football gloves or questions regarding the Pink program, visit your local Dunham’s.
 
In 2010, more than 207,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer were projected to develop in American women.  If breast cancer hasn’t touched you personally, it likely has touched someone close to you or someone you love.
 
But thanks in part to the efforts of walks, advocacy programs and the like, there were more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors living in the United States in 2010.
 
-Laces Out
 
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