Quick Tips to Follow When Buying Football Protective Equipment

With summer in full swing now, summer football practices are starting to heat up with an eye towards the fall football season. Conditioning is underway and we know you are committed to using the very best football protective equipment. Now is the time to start thinking about how you will protect your football players for the season.

Choosing which football gear is right for your players can sometimes be a long process. Players definitely want to avoid equipment that is heavy, hot, or uncomfortable. Here are a few tips when choosing the 4 basic pieces of football protective equipment: helmets, mouthguards, shoulder pads, and pant pads

Football Helmets

The biggest factor with purchasing the right football helmet is trying to get one that fits properly.Different brands will have different helmet padding systems. When comparing the helmet padding systems, you should consider the material and design of the padding. To help with fit, many players choose a helmet that has a bladder instead of no bladder.

There are not different helmets for different positions, but there are different face masks for different positions based on what kind of protection a player wants. Some masks are more open for running positions, and some are made for linemen for keeping hands out of the face.

Polycarbonate and ABS are the two dominate materials used to produce football helmet shells. Most youth helmets are made with ABS. Most varsity/adult helmets are made with polycarbonate because they can withstand a higher impact.

Mouthguards

Mouthguards are important to protect your mouth and reduce the impact from a hit that could cause a possible brain injury. Basic mouthguards are your standard “boil and bite” mouthguard made from standard dental vinyl. These can come with a strap, no strap, or lip protection. The next level of mouthguard would be one with an added shock absorbing feature.Gel mouthguards have a gel insert within the mouthguard itself whichhelps absorb more energy from an impact compared to basic mouthguards. The more advanced mouthguardsinclude additional shock absorbing features and come with dual arch technology. Dual arch technology better positions the jaw creating a safety space at the base of the skull and jaw.The most important aspect of any of them are that they fit properly and conform to the player’s mouth. It is important to follow the fitting instructions by each manufacturer to obtain the intended protection.

Football Shoulder Pads

Football shoulder pads may make the biggest difference in helping to protect your football players. They need to fit your football player properly to optimize their range of motion while still maximizing their on-field protection. Gear Pro-Tec makes a popular line of youth shoulder pads and andadult shoulder pads. The Gear Pro-Tec Z-Cool shoulder pads are light and cool becausethey have a moisture management design. This design is especially popular with customers who play in hot outdoor weather. Just ask the professional football players, top D1 colleges, and high school state champions who use them.

Football Pant Padding

What a customer should know about football pant padding is that there is a shift in the way players are protecting the lower half of their body.

Traditionally, a youth football player will purchase football pants and then a 7-piece pad set to insert within the pant pad pockets. A growing trend amongst youth football players is choosing football pants with integrated pads. Football pants with integrated pads are becoming more popular mostly because of a convenience factor (easy to launder & easy to manage because they do not have all the separate pads to keep up with).

Traditionally,adult/varsity football players will purchase football pants and they will purchase the pads separately (not in a 7-piece set). The adult/varsity players prefer choosing separate hip pads, thigh pads, and knee pads because they can choose pads that are designed for their position. A growing trend, however, is choosing football pants with football girdles. The football girdle is anundergarment that has pads and is worn underneath the football pant. Football girdles are popular with adult/varsity football players because girdles tend to be more comfortable than individually inserted pant pads.

Choosing football protective gear is important to your players, your team, and your overall performance. Don’t forget the extras either, like back plates or neck rolls. Talk to your BSN SPORTS Football Equipment Specialist today to outfit your team for victory or visit BSN SPORTS @ http://www.bsnsports.com to learn more about new trends that will give your team an edge from practice to playoffs.

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Top Questions to Ask When Purchasing Benches & Bleachers

You have purchased all the field equipment & player equipment you need for your sports program, but what will people sit on while they watch the game? After reading the guide below, you will be able to effectively choose the most appropriate benches and bleachers for your sports program.Since 1972, BSN SPORTS has successfully guided tens of thousands of customers, which includes universities, high schools, elementary schools, youth leagues, camps, and parks & recreation sport programs across the United States, in buying benches & bleachers. First, we will cover the top questions you need to ask yourself when looking to purchase benches. Then we will cover the top questions to ask yourselfwhen buying bleachers. Lastly we will cover some of the differences to spot when competitors say their benches & bleachers are comparable to the benches & bleachers offered by BSN SPORTS.

What are the top questions you should ask yourself when buying benches?

  1. What length of bench do I want?
    1. 5’ (great for 2-3 people)
    2. 7-1/2” (great for 5 people)
    3. 15’ (great for 10 people)
    4. 21’ (great for 14 people)
    5. 27’ (great for 18 people)

     

  2. What typeof legs do I want for mybenches?
    1. In-Ground (generally for new construction because you are cementing the legs into the ground)
    2. Portable (is if you want the bench to be used in multiple locations)
    3. Surface-Mount (when you want a permanent bench placement on an existing foundation)

    mybenches

  3. Do you want a back or no back for your sports benches?sports_banches
    Benches with backs are more popular, however, many customers choose benches without backs generally for cost-savings reasons.
  4. What options do I have to protect the planks?
    1. Anodized (an electrochemical process that converts the metal surface into a durable, corrosion-resistant finish)
    2. Powder-coated (a finish that goes on as a powder and is then baked so the finish is even and smooth. It is used to create a hard finish that is tougher than a conventional finish. If you choose powder coated, then you have several color options for the finish. Color options: red, navy, royal, forest green)

     

  5. How long is the warranty?
    1. Most of our benches come with a 5-year limited warranty

What are the top questions you should ask when buying bleachers?

  1. How many people do I want to sit in my bleachers? See the chart below for some general guidelines.
    bleachers
  2. Do I want this bleacher to be portable?

    i. If you want portable bleachers, then you should consider looking at our Tip N’ Roll Models. These units easily tip up on high grade, non-marring swivel casters for convenient transport & storage. Tip N’ Roll Models only go up to 4 Rows, so if you are looking to seat more than roughly 56 people, then consider purchasing 2 or more Tip N’ Rolls or moving to a surface-mount bleacher.

  3. Do I want fencing for my bleachers?
    i. If you choose “no”, then consider any 2- or 3-row standard bleacher, any low rise bleacher or any of our Tip N’ Roll models. Note: Industry safety standards state that no bleachers can have seats over 30” tall without fencing.
    ii. If you choose “yes”, then consider our standard or preferred bleachers with fencing. You can opt for standard chain-link or vertical picket fencing.
    Panel-Fence_Picket Fence
  4. Should I choose standard foot planks or preferred (wide) foot planks?
    i. Standard foot planks are 10” in width
    ii. Preferred planks are 20” in width. Having a wider area allows more room for your feet and your belongings.
    footplanks
  5. What options do I have to protect the planks?
    1. Anodized (an electrochemical process that converts the metal surface into a durable, corrosion-resistant finish)
    2. Powder-coated (a finish that goes on as a powder and is then baked so the finish is even and smooth. It is used to create a hard finish that is tougher than a conventional finish. If you choose powder coated, then you have several color options for the finish. Color options: red, navy, royal, forest green)
  6. How long is the warranty?
    1. Most of our benches come with a 5-year limited warranty

Differences to spot when competitors say their benches & bleachers are comparable to the benches & bleachers offered by BSN SPORTS

We build our benches & bleachers to the highest standards. Listed below are some of the differences by others who may be listing their benches & bleachers as comparable to ours.

  1. Frames – Ours is 100% aluminum angle. Be careful of those quoting “galvanized, steel angle” as equal
  2. Seat Planks – Ours is 100% anodized aluminum with a minimum wall thickness of .078. A thinner walled unit does not have the strength or support.
  3. Foot Planks – Ours is 100% Mill Finish Aluminum. Be careful of those quoting steel foot planks. They could rust out & will need to be replaced
  4. End Caps – Ours are constructed of fiber reinforced polypropylene. No sharp edges to snag clothing or skin.
  5. Indoor Use – Our Tip N’ Roll units come with rubber feet so they can be used indoors or out. Be careful of those units using steel vs aluminum. In a “tip-over” fashion, steel could damage your gym floor or cause personal injuries.
  6. Back & Side Chain Link Fencing – We use 9 gauge wire and heavy duty fence pipe that is attached to the bleacher using heavy duty aluminum angle and channel. Anything less is asking for mechanical and safety problems.

Do not be fooled by a low price. Our manufacturing team has been in this business for 30 years. If you see bids or quotes that “seem too good to be true” – they are. Respectable manufacturers purchase aluminum at the roughly the same prices. Anyone offering to deliver product at 30% less is not matching specs.

To find the best seating for your sport program, talk with a BSN SPORTS Bleacher Specialist today by calling 1-800-527-7510 or visit our website @ http://www.bsnsports.com.

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Football Training Equipment – Insiders Guide, June 2014

Football Training Equipment for Coaches

As the time for summer football camps quickly approaches, youth football coaches everywhere turn their attention to preparing young athletes for the coming football season. As a coach or athletic director, you know that both pre-season physical conditioning and proper football equipment are key to an injury free, winning season.

Football Training Equipment for Speed and Agility Drills

In the not so distant past, probably in your childhood, kids spent their free time skating, bicycling and playing basketball in the street. Sadly, most of your high school players don’t come to football camps with that foundation. Before developing your athletes’ passing, punting, and field goal kicking skills, you may need to begin with the essential skills – speed, agility, endurance, and flexibility.

Cones are a great tool for all kinds of agility drills. Additionally, cone drills build leg strength and explosive power, train joint mobility, and increase reaction speed. Cones are among the most versatile pieces of football equipment. With this one set of football equipment your team can decrease injury risk and improve performance. You add motivation and your athletes add intensity.

Running ropes will take your football conditioning drills to the next level. The one foot in each running rope drill trains your players for body position and explosive speed. High knee crossovers train your athletes for control and speed. Look for running ropes that are durable and built with safety in mind.

Summer football camps are not too early for beginning work with blocking dummies and sleds. Create drills that build on the speed, agility, endurance, power, and range of motion that you have been developing in your football players. Step over dummies are perfect for obstacle drills. Square blocking dummies are versatile enough to be used in tackling drills or obstacle drills.

Football Protective Equipment  - Shoulder Pads and Helmets

The right protective football equipment is your next line of defense for injury prevention. Your players are more prone to injury during summer football camps as they work toward becoming conditioned. Well maintained and properly fitting equipment is as essential now as it is during the football season.

Shoulder pads should serve two purposes. They absorb energy to provide protection from impact and they allow mobility. It is important to measure your players to determine the exact fit. Matching the shoulder pads to the position the athlete plays on your football team is also key, not only for range of motion, but also for proper protection.

Z-Cool shoulder pads have added benefits. They are moisture wicking, anti-microbial, lightweight. The right shoulder pads will help keep your players’ minds off their football equipment and on performing their very best.

Talk to your BSN Football Equipment Specialist today or visit BSN Sports @ http://www.bsnsports.com to learn more about new trends that will give your team an edge from practice to playoffs.

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Football Player Safety – Hydration and Cooling Systems

Athletes can become dehydrated in any season, but summer football practice always brings this to the front of our minds as we hear stories of young football players overheating and sometimes becoming severely dehydrated during intense summer football practices. Unfortunately, some of your football players may already be slightly dehydrated when they come to practice so the key to keeping your football players hydrated is to proactively focus on a comprehensive dehydration prevention program.

Make it easy for your Football Players to Stay Hydrated.

Water is the natural choice for keeping athletes hydrated and keeping an Igloo water cooler on the sidelines is a great way to make plenty of cold water accessible. Of course, there’s the added benefit of dumping water on the coach’s head to celebrate the big win!

A power drinking system is another way to make sure your players have access to plenty of cold water. A Sports Cool Power Tanker or Team Drinker is like having a portable drinking fountain on the field with you.

When your football players need an infusion of electrolytes, sports drinks like Gatorade are a perfect addition.  Even though water may arguably be the foundation of keeping your players hydrated there is no arguing with the fact that if your team prefers the taste of Gatorade over water, they will drink more. A Gatorade Sideline Kit puts everything you need at your fingertips. Kits come with a 3 gallon cooler, a case of Gatorade Thirst Quencher, cups, and squeeze bottles.

Energy drinks with caffeine increase the risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Gatorade Prime Energy Chews are a safer alternative since they are caffeine free. Gatorade also has created the Gatorade Recover Protein Shake that is the consistency of a thirst quencher so your athletes get the benefits of hydration and muscle recovery in one drink.

Keep Football Players Cool with a Portable Air Conditioner.

Cooling fans are another measure you can take to ensure the safety and performance of your athletes. A Sports Cool Mister Portable Cooling System  can drop the temperature on the sidelines between 10 to 20 degrees. Or you can keep players cooler for several hours with Portable Sideline Evaporative Coolers.

The Power Breezer®  is another option for cooling sports fans and players. With its cutting edge technology, the Power Breezer® keeps players, staff, students, and fans cool by dropping the temperature as much as 27 degrees F. It can cool 3000 square feet of outdoor space for up to 50 hours without getting equipment or people wet.

To find the best solution for your team, talk to your BSN Hydration and Cooling System Specialist today or visit BSN SPORTS @ http://www.bsnsports.com to learn more.

Football Player Safety Spotlight:  Know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Watch for signs of overheating, especially as your young athletes become acclimated to the heat during practice. Early signs of heat exhaustion include:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle cramps

Remove the athlete to a cooler place if you notice any of these symptoms. Early intervention can prevent more serious heat related illness. The next symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea

If you notice any of these symptoms, remove the player from practice to a cooler place, lay him down with his feet slightly elevated, loosen clothing and remove excess items such as a helmet or shoulder pads, give him water or a sports drink, and spray or sponge with cold water. If left unchecked, heat exhaustion leads to heat stroke. Symptoms include:

  • Fever over 104 F
  • Irrational behavior
  • Dry, red skin
  • Weak but rapid pulse
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

If you notice any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. Don’t underestimate the severity of any heat related illness. A few basic precautions can mean no one on your team will become a statistic.

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Football Equipment – Preparing Now for Next Season

As a youth or high school football coach or athletic director, you know that winning seasons begin before the players report for their first practice. While everyone else is thinking about end of the year awards and summers off, you’re already preparing for the fall football season. As Bear Bryant once said, “It’s not the will to win that matters – everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” That preparation begins with an assessment of your football equipment.

Student athletes, football coaching staff, and spectators will spend a considerable amount of time on your practice field or in your football stadium next fall. A little preparation now will ensure that nothing takes your focus off of winning football games.

Visually inspect the football field equipment.

Are the football field markings clear? This might be the time to make sure you have high quality field striping paint on hand. Look for paint that won’t wash or flake away.

Are your down markers and sideline markers showing wear? Whether you have weighted or anchored pylons, are the durable enough to withstand the elements another year?

Heavy duty aluminum football goal posts will rarely need to be replaced, but you will want to check a few things that will help keep your players injury free. Are the goal posts still securely anchored? Are the bolts and screws intact? Are any sharp edges exposed? Are the protective goal post pads in good condition and does the padding offer adequate protection for your players?

Check your football training equipment for wear.

Now is the time to see if your football practice equipment is ready to withstand another season of abuse. Even if you carefully stored your practice equipment at the end of last season, it’s a good idea to check it for excessive wear. Are your blocking shields and sleds  still able to withstand impact? While blocking sleds last a long time, you should check your tackling dummies each year to see if you need replacement dummies for your sleds.

Consider long-term investments to protect the football field and sidelines.

This is also a good time to consider some things that will be beneficial after the football season ends. Even if you don’t have the budget today, you can still plan for the future. Think about how many trips your team and football coaching staff will make across the track to get on or off the field. Prevent the need for costly track repairs by purchasing a cross-over track protector. Look for one that is durable enough to hold up under football cleats yet porous enough to allow rain to drain through. Be sure the track protector you choose can withstand the elements without the need for stakes that will damage the area.

A sideline turf protector is another investment to consider. Look for a tarp that is easy to clean and one that is durable yet breathable so it offers protection from cleats while allowing sunlight and air to penetrate and rain, water and sports drinks to drain off without being absorbed.

Your team’s success begins with you. To quote Vince Lombardi, “Success demands singleness of purpose.” When your football equipment is ready for the season you are free to devote your time to the purpose of winning football games.

Talk to your BSN Football Equipment Specialist today or visit BSN Sports @ http://www.bsnsports.com to learn more about how BSN can help give you the winning edge next season.

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Victory Grant Program Update

In September we announced our response to the critical issue our schools are facing with the decrease in funding or total elimination of athletics and team sports in our schools and recreation programs.  The BSN SPORTS Victory Grant Program was designed to reinforce our commitment to team sports by providing free sporting goods equipment and uniforms to programs in need.  We have reached a milestone that is worth sharing.  In just over three months, we have awarded $250,000 to public and private schools, YMCAs and community programs in over twenty states.  Grants have ranged from major initiatives funding start-up recreational programs to individual schools destroyed by natural disasters.  The $750,000 remaining in the program will be awarded in the coming months and years.

Through the Victory Grant Program, BSN SPORTS has committed to providing an unprecedented one million dollars of free equipment and uniforms to school athletic programs and community recreation leagues in need.  In doing so, BSN SPORTS is affirming its long-standing commitment to serve as the ‘Best Supply Network in Sports’ in both name and deed by combining our unparalleled reach with the personal service and knowledge of 250 outstanding local team sports professionals and another 70 Territory Managers at our Company’s headquarters.  It is through these personal relationships with our customers that we are able to provide game changing solutions and respond in times of economic crisis.

There are many quality programs needing funding.  We know that the Victory Grant Program is only a start in filling gaps left by funding cuts.  Our goal is simply to improve as many lives as possible.  We believe passionately in the benefits of athletics, from physical health to nurturing life skills such as teamwork, dedication, resourcefulness and fair play.

If you know of a program in need, encourage the program director to apply for Victory Grant consideration via BSN SPORTS’ 250 local field representatives or online at www.BSNSPORTS.com/sponsorme.  And click here to read my initial blog from September 15, 2011 announcing the program.

We look forward to enriching the lives of many more of our nation’s youth in 2012.

Sincerely,

Adam Blumenfeld

CEO BSN SPORTS

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