How Can You Choose the Right Football Shoulder Pads?
According to NATA (National Athletic Trainer’s Association), choosing shoulder pads depends on the field activity. There are two types of shoulder pads- cantilevered and non-cantilevered. Without the right football practice equipment, there is a risk of injuring your shoulders, knees, and other joints.
Players who deal with blocking and tackling can make the best use of cantilevered shoulder pads. These pads are giant-sized, and they disseminate the force into the pads rather than the shoulders. The non-cantilevered shoulder pads are the best options for quarterbacks and receivers because they allow easy mobility.
Other than these, there are several other factors that help in choosing suitable shoulder pads. Let’s have a look at them.
Check for Sturdiness
Shoulder pads have to be robust to endure rough usage. Football players run vigorously on the field, and their equipment tends to get bumped, pulled, and thumped. If the shoulder pads are not heavily built, they may not withstand the harsh blows.
Hence, you must check for the quality of the shoulder pads before buying them. Go for a better quality of a good brand so that you can use them for a longer duration. If the quality is bad, you may need to replace the pads within months. It’s best to wear and check how tough it is in terms of tolerance level.
Weight Also Matters
Football shoulder pads are built heavy, but they must not be too heavy on your shoulders. When you run on the football ground, you should not feel encumbered. Shoulder pads need to be of good quality, but they should not weigh you down. You must check whether your movement is not restricted due to the weight.
If you’re unable to run or make quick movements, then you must go for a lighter version of football shoulder pads. The design and shape of the shoulder pads must fit your body size. Hefty and loose-fit shoulder pad may slow you down and ruin your performance.
Should Not Affect the Mobility
During a match, it’s crucial to move the head, arms, neck, and shoulder with ease. If there is a slight restriction, you can miss a goal and lower the scores. This may not just affect you but your entire team as well because performance by every team player counts.
Your ease of movement and ability to run, tackle, and defend the position depends on what type of shoulder pad you are using. Shoulder pads must be compatible with your body so that you don’t feel restricted while playing on the field. Football is a physically enduring game, and all the equipment you use must support your actions.
Different Shoulder Pads for Different Positions
There are multiple positions in a football match like a wide receiver, defensive back, full-back or multi-position, and lineman. All these positions require specific requirements in terms of shoulder padding. It will help if you consider all the options that are suitable for your position.
For instance, if you’re a lineman, then you may need a heavier and secured pad. It should be a streamlined pad with vinyl buckles and elastic straps. Also, it must have a sleek profile without any extra epaulets to prevent the other linemen from dragging or pulling your shoulder pad.
Along with these features, all your football practice equipment must be certified by the National Operating Committee on Standards of Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE).
Image credits: Indian Express