It hardly matters whether you’re eight or eighteen years-old, it will be tough to adjust to your first football helmet. More often than not, players will complain about the tight fit and lack of peripheral vision. Even a properly fitted helmet can cause discomfort for athletes, thanks to its unusual feel and extra weight you’re carrying around. CoachUp has compiled a list of handy tips that can go a long way towards transitioning into your new helmet a little bit smoother.
Helmets at Home
After you get your helmet fitted, don’t toss it in your bag and wait until the first practice. Instead, start wearing it right away. Start with thirty minutes at a time and wear it while you’re reading, watching television or getting ready for school. Make sure you buckle your chinstrap and use your mouth piece, too! Breaking in your helmet can go a long ways towards increasing your comfort level on the field. Football workouts in the heat are hard enough, so don’t make things harder on yourself by jumping into the action with a stiff helmet. If you still have trouble during the first couple of weeks of practice, wear the helmet on off days until you can wear it with little or no discomfort.
Before you get fitted for your helmet, be sure to get a haircut and keep the same hair length and thickness throughout the season. Don’t get fitted with shoulder length hair, only to get an above-the-ear buzz the next week. It may not seem like much, but those inches of space make a big difference during the game!
Lock It In
Although it’s particularly trendy right now to play without proper protection, don’t skimp out on the chinstrap! This will help protect your chin from the inevitable bumps, scratches and bruises from opponent’s pads and helmets. Any possible breaks and scars will stay with you forever!
A well-fitted mouthpiece is just as important as a well-fitted helmet. A blow to the head will hurt in any context, so stay protected. In addition, you don’t want to start accruing concussions from a very young age. The more you get, the easier they are to sustain again. The right mouthpiece will go a far way towards protecting you from a number of jarring head injuries.
(Related: Read about some important tryout tips here.)
Treat your new helmet like a haircut! At first, you may be unsure of it, but the longer you wear and get used to it, the less you’ll notice it. From wearing it around to house, to being properly outfitted, these are few of the way you can adapt to a new helmet. Soon enough, the helmet will just be an extension of your body, unnoticed while on the field. That way, you can focus on dominating your opponents on the field instead feeling uncomfortable in your own skin.
Be prepared for the biggest moments by mastering the small ones off the field.