Baseball is known as America's pastime, but the truth is that football is the most popular sport in America. Millions of fans tune in to watch college and professional football games every Saturday and Sunday, and thousands more clamor inside stadiums across the nation to experience the action in person. The popularity of football as a spectator sport has resulted in a spike in participation at all levels. More kids than ever before are playing football, and many of these kids are moving on to play at the high school and college levels.
If your child is interested in playing football, you'll want to make sure that he (or she, because girls can play football, too) is outfitted in the best possible football equipment. After all, football is a full-contact sport, so bumps and bruises are to be expected. Wearing high-quality equipment that fits snugly can greatly reduce the risk of injury.
Football Pads: The Basics
Many football teams provide their players with team uniforms and a set of essential pads. This usually includes a football helmet, shoulder pads and thigh pads. It's often up to the players (or, in most cases, their parents) to provide everything else. Everything else can include football gloves, football cleats, knee pads, elbow pads and mouthguards.
Depending on what position you play, you may want to look for specific qualities in your pads. Quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and defensive backs (known as the skill positions) need to be flexible and fast, so they often opt for lightweight pads. Linemen and linebackers, on the other hand, are involved in the dirty work (hitting and blocking), so they often require more padding, such as rib vests and neck rolls.
Buying Pads Online
It's possible to shop for football pads online, often for a steep discount compared to what they sell for in sporting goods stores. Apart from shoulder pads and football shoes, which you may want to try on to see how they feel, there's no reason why you shouldn't save some money by ordering your football gloves and miscellaneous padding online.
Since brand-new football equipment can be quite expensive, you might also consider looking into the possibility of buying used football equipment, especially if you're not sure that your child will want to play for more than a season or two.