Tackling System Aims To Cut Down On Concussions In Practice
Reducing concussions in sports, particularly in football, is a prime area of concern today. As a result, a market has been created to address the problem.
One talented entrepreneur who is looking to take advantage of the need is JP Hartigan, CEO of Shadowman Sports, the first patented, mobile tackling system. The company recently reached a three-year agreement with USA Football to help youth, college and pro levels tackle better and smarter without player-to-player contact.
The technology involves three interwoven parts: a tackling dummy, an inflatable sled and a harness that is worn to simulate tackling in order to teach proper techniques and to get repetitions without the chances of injury. It is estimated that 33 percent of all sports concussions occur at practice so Shadowman enables players and coaches to learn while minimalizing the risk. It’s set up so that no contact can be made at the shoulder level or above.
Hartigan, only 28, developed two versions – Shadowman Pro and Shadowman Junior – and it’s priced at $950 although discounts exist if ordered in bundles. Approximately 40 to 50 Division I colleges, including Nebraska, Notre Dame, California, Oregon, Texas and Texas A&M, have ordered it.
“Coaches told me we have been trying to create something like this. They are excited because they say it’s going to open up a new world for opportunities to do more reps and drills,” said Hartigan, who was educated and played rugby at Ireland’s University of Limerick, which is when he first started developing the product in writing his thesis as an engineering student.
Although it can be used for rugby, soccer or any collision activity, Hartigan is “really focusing on the (American) football market.” He claims it’s a “first-of-its-kind product” but you can be sure that, if it’s successful, there will be a slew of imitators that follow.