Entries in General (137)

June 11, 2014 - "We Got Ice"

Eighteen months ago we did a review of Pro Ice, a product we loved so much it made our 2012 Product of the Year list. With four athletic kids who are always getting dinged up, we use it in our personal lives all the time.


What makes Pro Ice so special and unique is that there is no water melting, no mess; all of the cold comes from the dozens of small pockets nestled inside a cozy, comfortable, compression wrap that maintains a constant temperature and creates a more thorough, longer-lasting cold experience.


When my soccer-playing daughter came up hobbling from a bad ankle, I noticed that the larger wraps we had did not fit perfectly around her foot. The good folks at Pro Ice wanted us to fall in love with the product all over again so they kindly sent not only ankle wraps (pictured), but another full cooler with wraps to take care of backs, knees, elbows – you name it. She loves the ankle ice and uses it if she's having pain, but also therapeutically after practices and games, even if it doesn't hurt.


What I don't understand is why every high school and college doesn't have these cooler packs on hand for each sport. My son just finished his high school baseball season. On their team and, on nearly every high school and travel team anywhere, whenever a kid at bat jumps out of the way of a pitched ball instead of “taking one for the team," the guys in the dugout yell out with derisive humor, “We got ice.”


Well, no they didn't. There was no cooler of ice in the dugout. What this means is that if someone were to twist an ankle, get hit by a ball, anything that would call for immediate ice treatment, there was nothing available. I guess in an emergency they could try to trek to the school, find a container and an ice machine and lug it back, but that never happened. And pitchers? Shouldn't all of them ice their arms after every outing? Our pitchers didn't have access.


All a team would need is a Pro Ice Cooler, two or three of their pitchers shoulder wraps and 2-3 of the basic wraps that work on elbows, knees, backs, and even rap around those ribs that get plunked by a fastball. Simply put it in a freezer a few hours before a game and then bring it to the field each game and practice. No need to waste gallons of water, lug a huge cooler filled with heavy, wet ice. Pro Ice is the obvious solution not only for baseball but for football, soccer, lacrosse, - you name it.


We love spreading the Pro Ice gospel, because we love the product. If you're skeptical, just start with one of their wraps. Stick it in the freezer for a few hours then take it out and wrap it around what hurts. You'll be sold within minutes of feeling that cooling relief.


Source: Pro Ice


May 20, 2014 - Low Maintenance, High Performance

So the news came recently that the most storied college football program in history, The University of Notre Dame, was switching its playing surface from natural grass to synthetic turf. Purists were and are outraged at the seeming loss of tradition. But times change. And listening to Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick explain the reasoning, it makes some sense:

“The reality is that in two of the last three seasons since we moved Commencement to the Stadium, we have been unable to produce an acceptable playing surface," Swarbrick said. “That, combined with the likely impacts of future construction at the Stadium, led me to conclude that we would continue to struggle to maintain a grass field that meets the expectations of our student-athletes and fans as it relates to appearance, performance and safety.

"Synthetic turf will assist our game preparation because our team will be able to play and practice on the same surface. We will also be able to utilize the Notre Dame Stadium field for practices on home football Fridays and other occasions, whereas that is currently unrealistic.”

We don't know who will be putting this new turf in, but the folks at On Deck Sports seem to have it wired. The offer Carpet-Like Colored Turf (did you know Boise State has a trademark on the color blue?), grass-like colored turf, strength and conditioning grass-like turf, agility training turf, soccer turf, and turf for baseball, golf, indoor facilities, Park & Rec/Phys Ed departments, softball and more. But they don't stop there, also providing full indoor facility design including rubber flooring, sports netting as well as goals, barrier nets, training aids, cages.

On Deck Sports works with organizations at all levels from professional teams to youth leagues. When you decide to put away the mower, fertilizer and sprinklers they'll be ready for you, once you've weeded everybody else out.

Source: On Deck Sports

April 11, 2014 - Tale of the Tape

The coolest thing about doing the reviews we do is learning about new products and their unique qualities. Often, something that might not seem to have much significance at first glance turns out to have tremendous value and usefulness. Our latest such experience comes courtesy of Dynamic Tape.


We've seen athletes wearing it and, frankly thought it was probably more of a gimmick than anything with true medical benefit. We didn't see how putting a strip of tape vertically down a thigh or across a shoulder could provide any type of benefit other than one that was psychological. Now we understand.


Dynamic Tape is designed to be like a spring, acting as an external muscle. The tape creates a bungee effect, helping muscles spring back from exertion to reduce stress on tendons. Using dynamic tape can not only ease the pain of existing injuries, it can prevent them as well.


Conventional tape gives support, but restricts movement. Therefore, for instance, if one were to apply a strip of ordinary athletic tape from the back of the shoulder, down over the elbow, and to the wrist, the arm would not be able to bend. Thus, someone with tennis elbow who wanted support would be unable to swing a racquet. But Dynamic Tape flexes with movement, stretches as needed, thus creating support, not inhibition. Oh, and did we mention, its cool-looking?


My soccer daughter sometimes experiences ankle pain after long tournaments. All of my baseball-playing sons have had tendonitis in their throwing arms at various times in their careers. We understand that the best cure is rest, but that isn't always possible. Now I know that there is something out there to give them the support they need when shutting it down isn't an option. Maybe playing through pain isn't the only choice. In fact, perhaps with a little preventative taping, they won't need to feel the pain in the first place.


Source: Dynamic Tape

Posted on Friday, April 11, 2014 at 12:58PM by Registered CommenterSports Product Review in , | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference | EmailEmail

March 25, 2014 - Elite Feet

Their slogan is “What Hard Work Looks Like.” Well if you are going to do hard work on the playing field or anywhere else, your feet will enjoy it more in a pair of true athelite Highlight Elite socks.


Comfortable, stylish and with a super-snug fit, these socks are designed to provide UV protection, odor reduction and sweat wicking. They sent us a pair and we really love them. It's been a long time since we were excited about socks, but these give us happy feet.


There are a ton of other products to choose from on the true athelite site, and we hope to bring you reviews of more of them as time goes by. In the meantime slide into a pair of their fresh socks. Your feet will be saying “thank-you” all game long.


Source: true athelite

Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 11:19AM by Registered CommenterSports Product Review in , | CommentsPost a Comment | References19 References | EmailEmail

March 17, 2014 - Less (Heat) Stress

Preventing exertional heat stress in athletics has become an important responsibility of many athletic trainers, coaches and other sports-related health-care providers who rely on Kestrel Weather & Environmental Meters. At every athletic endeavor, from Little League to professional sports, lives depend on the accurate measurement of environmental conditions such as temperature, relative humidity, heat stress index, wet bulb temperature, wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT ) and several other environmental parameters.


To prevent athletes from suffering exertional heat stress, athletic trainers, coaches and sports medicine professionals can look to a Kestrel Meter for real-time and accurate weather data. Monitoring and recording these outdoor conditions are crucial steps when ensuring heat safety for athletes practicing or playing outdoors. Using a Kestrel 4400 Heat Stress Tracker, athletic trainers and coaches can record data during practices and games throughout the season. With 2300 storage points, users can wirelessly transfer the information captured to their PC or android phone for future reference via the bluetooth wireless data option in the Kestrel series.

With its tripod mountable set-up, the Kestrel Meter provides an easy and accurate hands-free option for gathering crucial weather data. Weighing just 4.5 ounces, the Kestrel 4400 is extremely portable and can also be carried around in a user’s pocket or hand.

 Unlike other WBGT-monitoring instruments, there is no time-consuming setup required. Users get accurate readings within minutes of exposure to the environment. The Kestrel 4400 has the ability to store 2300 data points in its memory allowing athletic trainers and coaches to record information throughout several practices and games to refer back to later. In addition, the data can be transferred at any time via the bluetooth wireless data transfer model option. The Kestrel 4400 automatically stores measurements even when the display is turned off.


In many parts of the country it still may seem like the dog days of summer are miles away, but we all know they'll get here eventually. Make sure your organization is ready so that those grueling practices under the baking sun can be run with lots of water and peace of mind.

Posted on Monday, March 17, 2014 at 04:57PM by Registered CommenterSports Product Review in , | CommentsPost a Comment | References7 References | EmailEmail