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Head Impact Data May Hold the Key to Making Football Safer

Indiana University finds Managing Head Impact Exposure Leads to Safer and Better Performing Athletes

Earlier this month, PLOS ONE, a leading peer-reviewed open access scientific journal, published results from a study between Indiana University and Athlete Intelligence.

The study looks inside the practice drills and intensity of High School Football and aims to help Coaches and Athletic Trainers understand head-impact exposure levels of their student-athletes.  For the 2019 Football season, student-athletes form Bloomington High School wore the Athlete Intelligence VECTOR MouthGuard, which tracks the location, quantity, and severity of every head impact sustained during games and practice.  Following an event, staff members are sent automated reports or can access the Athlete Intelligence Analytics dashboard to see athlete and positional impact trends and outliers.

“This study is an excellent first step towards promoting safer football environment while keeping the fun of football intact.” says Dr. Keisuke Kawata, Assistant Professor at the School of Public Health.

Over the years, scientists, engineers, policy makers, and those involved within rule changes have come together to promote a safer football environment, but one aspect continues to be missing.  Data.

The initial findings of the study was particularly meaningful to Jesse Steinfeldt, a co-author of the paper.  “I wear a lot of Perspective Hats, if you will, as a football coach, researcher, Sport Psychologist, former football player, and perhaps most importantly, as a parent of high school and soon-to-be college football players. This study can help provide a better empirical understanding of what football is, what we need to do to make it safer and how data-driven policies can be implemented to allow America’s biggest participation sport to continue to positively influence the lives of the millions of kids who play it.” Steinfeldt adds.

Players at Bloomington High School limited the amount of high intensity drills and sustained reduced head-impact quantities compared to other high schools while still going on to become conference champions.  This study is a big identifier that player smarter, means playing safer.

For the full release, you can read it here:  https://education.indiana.edu/news-events/_news/2020/jul-dec/2020-08-17-subconcussive-paper.html

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About Athlete Intelligence

Athlete Intelligence is a leading head impact monitoring and performance tracking solution for team sports.  Through wearable devices, Coaching and Athletic Training staff take a data driven approach to improving athlete safety and performance.

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