Football equipment like shoulder pad runs the whole gamut, from relatively inexpensive to quite pricey, and from safety to style and everywhere in between. Basically, however, most equipment used for this sport falls into one of two broad categories: safety and training. Each of these types has multiple subgroups, so here is a brief overview of the different types of football equipment and the purposes they serve.
Safety equipment is the first and most important type of gear you should get for football, and for other sports as well. Football protective equipment is worn on the body to protect players both during a game and during practice. Safety equipment generally performs one of three functions:
- Head protection (helmet, facemask, mouth guard, etc.)
- Mid-body/torso protection (shoulder pads, rib pads, neck rolls, etc.)
- Leg/lower body protection (athletic cups, tailbone pads, thigh pads, hip pads, etc.)
Training equipment is used, of course, during training. Football training equipment is a lot more than just playing practice games over and over. There is a considerable amount of football practice equipment, exercises, drills, and strategy studying that go into training for a single football game. As equipment goes, the gear that a typical football team (or an individual player practicing outside of team practice) will use can generally be divided into two categories: gear for physical strength, and gear for physical skill.
- Strength-based football equipment helps players get the physical control of their muscles for certain movements (like outrunning the other team, avoiding getting tackled, throwing or kicking a long and accurate down, etc.). Many of these practice tools are based on providing resistance to the player’s exercise, which means that when they play without the resistance, it will seem much easier. Resistance practice is often done with resistance chutes and resistance sleds.
- Skill-based football equipment hones specific skills and techniques. They are less fitness-based and more about details of the game. A great example is the “dummy” lineman bag, which is propped up to take the place of the opposing team’s line. During drills, players will practice their approach and technique to these ‘linemen’ so that scrimmage in a real game is second nature.