Safety is the hot topic for everyone involved in the game of football. With kids getting bigger, faster and stronger every year; it is very important to have yourself prepared with the proper protective equipment. Your equipment must fit correctly but also suit you as a player. For example, you wouldn’t want to play offensive line wearing receiver gloves.
- Shoulder Pads
- Football Pants
- Padded Compression Shirt
- Padded Compression girdle
- Receiving/Lineman Gloves
- Sweat Bands
- Protective Cup
- Elbow Pads
- Knee Pads
- Dri-Fit Socks
One piece of equipment that often gets overlooked is the mouthguard. Aside from your helmet, the right mouthguard is the most important piece of protective equipment. There are so many options out there, how do you find the right one? There are a couple of things to take into consideration when deciding which mouthguard is right for you.
For those of you wearing braces, my favorite is the Shock Doctor Ultra Braces. The Ultra Braces gives you the ability to mold the mouthguard up to three times. As your teeth change, you can still have the most comfortable fit.
A lot of skill position players, such as running backs and receivers, are wearing the “lip protector” style mouth guards. These styles give you more protection than traditional mouth guards, plus they have a unique look to them! My go-to lip protecting mouth guard is the Battle Oxygen – it provides optimal protection and comfort.
As a Quarterback, I need something low profile with the ability to communicate with ease. If I were to purchase a mouth guard for myself, I would go with the Shock Doctor GelMax Power. It has the best combination of protection and comfort for my style of play.
Another essential piece of protective equipment is padded compression shirts and girdles. Both of these categories have gotten much better in the last few years. The material is now lighter, but also provides more protection than ever. When I played, I was very conscious of how the compression shirts felt. If the padding overlapped my shoulder in the wrong way, there was no way I was wearing it. The Nike Hyperstrong series solves that issue and is fit for almost every player. The way the pads form to your body makes the comfort of the compression shirt and girdle second to none.
Most people look at football gloves as an accessory and want something that looks cool. While that is true to a certain degree, there are a few different styles that would benefit different positions.
Receivers/Cornerbacks: Lightweight, breathability and extreme grip are a few things to look for in a skill position football glove. The Under Armour Spotlight gives you all of those features in one glove. Plus, they look really cool!
Linebackers/Tight Ends: The best glove is the Nike Superbad 4. Best of all, it has worlds of support and protection where you need it most, while still providing grip for ball handling.
Offensive/Defensive Lineman: While it is cool to see a big guy upfront wearing some bright colored receiving style gloves, it won’t benefit their game. The Cutters Force Lineman glove provides extra support. These gloves have compressed foam padding and double wrapped wrists for more support when they are engaged in the trenches.