Shake Your Money Maker: Helmets Protect Your Greatest Asset
Go ahead everyone, shake your money maker. I’ll wait……
Everyone should be shaking your 3-pound brain that’s protected in a 2.5-pound skull. THAT is your money maker. Very few things in sport are as protected as our brains. The NFL equips all their players with reasonably protective helmets and layers that with an entire series of rules meant to keep players more safe from a concussion. Auto racing uses a Hans Restraint Device in conjunction with a substantial helmet and we’d be silly to ever get on the ice of a hockey game without a helmet. Cycling is the same in that the only protective equipment worn is for our brains.
However, cycling is unique in that fashion and style play a pivotal role on consumer purchases. Fashion and style don’t always correlate with what’s best for our brains’ safety. After some Source Endurance clients met the ground in rather unceremonious ways, we had a quick discussion about brain safety at our weekly staff meeting.
I always like these meetings and discussions because as coaches we look at science based evidence which isn’t bound by sponsor obligations and we talk honestly and bluntly at times. During this helmet talk we simply reviewed academic crash test studies which quickly led us to one key feature that stood out as significant protection to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). That feature was the inclusion of Mips (multi-directional impact protection system). Mips seems to be the most widely available and effective feature in modern helmets to protect your brain. It also requires no additional setup or assembly. Easy.
As helmet science evolves it’s becoming increasing obvious that the current USA helmet testing standards are both obsolete and outdated (last updated in 1999- 4 years before MySpace started). There’s more than enough real-world helmet impact research to easily choose a safe helmet. In particular….
We like this guide as a go-to because: They’ve done a great job of keeping the ratings updated. The study design is public. The rating process is easy to understand. They also have a large number of test subject helmets so you can search for yours.
Other studies looking at helmet safety can be found here and here with a comprehensive recent listing HERE.
The next time you as a consumer, athlete, or a team make a decision about what helmet to wear do yourself and your loved ones a favor and check out the Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings first. It very well may save your money maker.
Thanks for reading.
About the Author:
Adam Mills has raced at the elite level since 2002 and graduated with a Masters Degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kansas in 2005. His true talent comes with his ability to combine his vast experience with his knowledge of sport. He is indeed a student of science, sport, athletic performance, strategy, and tactics. He continuously educates himself by keeping up to date with current research trends and methods in sport and his clients have reaped the benefits from this work with over 24 national championships in 11 disciplines on two continents. Adam is able to incorporate these attributes on a daily basis to help his clients reach and exceed their goals whether they are a beginner or a seasoned professional. Learn more about Adam and Source Endurance here.