Triax Technologies Inc has teamed with Abby Wambach, U.S. Women’s National Team and all-time high-goal scorer known for her spectacular headers, to launch the SIM-P (Smart Impact Monitor) to support long-term player health and safety.
As the first device of its kind to earn the Hit Count certification in all sports categories as defined by the Sport Legacy Institute, the SIM-P headbands and skullcaps count and score each impact while a player is on the field. Through monitoring, parents, trainers and coaches can identify if a player is sustaining increased impacts and use the findings to evaluate, teach and train techniques to help minimize the potential of head trauma. The SIM-P devices along with an extensive Head On educational platform on head injury risk and assessment are available at www.TriaxTec.com.
“When I started playing soccer as a kid, no one talked to me about the risk of head injury. It simply was not an issue. Back then, if you didnt have a headache or feel nauseous, youd convince yourself that you were fine,” said Wambach, who is encouraging players to be aware that good technique and safety are critical to not only improving their game but keeping them on the field. “As we know more and continue to learn, I want today’s players to take steps to avoid head injury so they are able to advance their game-this is what monitoring is all about.”
To spread the word, Wambach will be engaging in a multi-year effort with a series of educational initiatives focused on the importance of monitoring head impacts. While concussion threshold is unpredictable, researchers agree that significant and repetitive impacts may increase risks to players, making monitoring an important part of training. Through a monitor that rests below the nuchal line at the back of the head, the SIM records each impact scoring G-force of linear impacts as well as rotational acceleration. When taken into account, these critical measures can reveal events and training opportunities that players and coaches may not otherwise have been aware of.
“Weve hit a time that conversations about long-term impact of head injury are beginning to truly resonate. Parents and athletes are starting to realize that head injury not only impacts player performance, but can also have long-term impact on cognitive ability,” said Chris Nowinski, co-founder and executive director of the Sports Legacy Institute (SLI), a leading organization in advancing the study, treatment and prevention of the effects of brain trauma in athletes and other at-risk groups. “But this is just the start of the work that needs to be done. With the concussion conversation underway, we are now able to initiate a better dialogue about potential risks of repetitive and sub-concussive impacts. At the end of the day, the more you know the better you can protect your child.”
This concept of knowing more to be better prepared is one that Wambach is putting into action. During her intensive trainings leading into a World Cup year, she will be wearing the SIM-P and tracking her scores. “When you have a goal and youre striving to be your best, you want to push yourself. But at the same time, working to achieve your peak performance means tracking your performance, listening to your body and knowing your limits. Wearing the SIM-P is helping me to monitor and adjust my training to ensure Im at the top of my game when I hit the field.”
Although awareness of head injury risk has become a hot topic, it still has not hit home for all athletes. In fact, when asked 56 percent of athletes reported that they would hide a concussion to stay in the game. To help change this, the Triax HeadOn educational program at TriaxTec.com offers a series of tips, tools and videos to increase understanding of head impact. Through an easy to navigate series of resources, parents and players can learn more about risk, myths and safety surrounding head impact, and importantly how to respond. If there is any sign of concussion, immediate medical attention should be sought; the SIM is not a diagnostic tool.
Through monitoring, recurrent, sustained or sudden impacts can be identified. And the SIM tracking retains impact scores for longer term tracking and identification of trends. If significant changes or scores are monitored, this can be an indicator for parents, players, coaches and trainers to consider what steps should be taken to mitigate and decrease numbers going forward.
While threshold for injury varies from person-to-person, and can be unpredictable from one hit to another, tracking head impacts against a general monitoring scale serves as a guide to signify potential risk and provides an opportunity to evaluate the player and improve technique. Beyond the impact scores, all involved with athletes should be aware of concussion signs and symptoms.
Triax Technologies, Inc is a U.S.-based product development company committed to setting new standards in the health and wellbeing of athletes. Working together with leading research institutions, we innovate, develop, manufacture and market new products that are designed specifically to meet emerging needs of athletes and those who are involved in ensuring their health and safety. Our goal is to put players first and support their development starting at the youth level by developing technology to address their needs.