November 1 marked the final game of the 2019 football season for St. Michael Archangel High School. The Guardians, who left the Friday match-up with a 3-7 record, were a better team after re-committing to player protection in 2019.
At season’s start, the team was gifted five Riddell SpeedFlex helmets with InSite technology. The smart helmets enable coaching staff to analyze on-field impacts experienced by players during practice and in games.
For the Guardians’ staff and players, the system proved to have various benefits: “Overall, I think that the InSite analytics do a great job showing the types of hits our athletes sustain, as well the location of those impacts. This is great to bring to coaches and make individual player corrections. It also provides another set of eyes, to let us know if an atypical impact occurred and we just didn’t see it,” stated a member of the athletic training staff.
The implementation of new technologies was key in the Guardians’ player development. InSite allows coaching and athletic training staffs to monitor impact severity and location. By determining how these impacts are occurring, the players can adapt.
“The impact location chart allows us to see multiple training opportunities to avoid head down tackling and ball carrying to protect our players,” stated a member of the training staff. “With the numbers to actually show athletes what’s happening on the field, they’re much more receptive to changing how they practice and play.”
In 2020, Guardians’ football will continue to build on 2019 momentum, while emphasizing player safety.