If you’re concerned about your child’s well-being every time he takes his position on the football field, you are not alone. As many as 87% of parents are worried about injuries in youth sports. A total of 36 million kids play sports each year, and 60% play for teams outside of school. How do you know your child is fully protected?
Like all types of youth football gear, the right shoulder pads are essential to a child’s safety. Here are a few things to think about when looking at types of youth football shoulder pads.
What to Consider When Selecting Football Shoulder Pads
- Weight: Football is an extremely aerobic sport. The heavier the shoulder pads, the sooner they will tire the player out. You want the pads to be strong, but too much weight will hinder the player’s stamina.
- Rigidity: Certain parts of the shoulder pads need to be rigid for maximum protection. Football involves a lot of heavy physical contact and protective gear needs to be able to hold up against impact. However, there needs to be enough flexibility in the shoulder pads to allow the player to move with ease.
- Contact Dispersion: Shoulder pads are designed to absorb the shock of impact during a tackle and they must be able to disperse the energy without hindering the movement of the player.
- Range of motion: This is particularly important in terms of moving the arms. Without sacrificing protection, shoulder pads must allow the player to be able to throw, catch, and tackle.
How to Get Fitted for Youth Shoulder Pads
Different types of youth football shoulder pads fit differently, but some just fit incorrectly. Follow the tips below for selecting the best fit:
- The pads should cover the player’s collarbone.
- The neck opening to allow sufficient room
- The deltoid padding must extend to the outside edge of the shoulder
- The scapula must be covered
- Anterior deltoids need to be completely covered
- Pads must not slip when the straps are tightened
- The player’s should joints need to be fully covered
- When the player raises his hands, there must be adequate clearance on both sides of the neck roll
Nothing is more important in youth sports than the safety of the players. If you have any questions regarding youth football equipment, please feel free to comment below.