While sitting on the team bench at a university dual meet the wrestler next to me had to sit out due to concussions and miss the rest of the season. It suddenly occurred to me that our wrestlers were only wearing ear protection. As a former wrestler myself who had many concussions and required brain surgery I began to think, why are we only concerned about the ears, why do we not offer protection for the brain?
I met with Dale Evans, a corporate business man (former wrestler & coach) and presented this concern. Dale expressed this as a concern as well and said, “Let’s do something about it.”
September 2011 A meeting to provide more head protection for our kids who wrestle scheduled. We began with an “ADD On” concept. Dale sketched out several concept ideas and patterns. Dale found the foam and make the cut outs and we had it vinyl coated.
October 13, 2011 We began testing with wrestlers by attaching the foam head cover to their 4 strap head gear. They wore them in practice and with mat testing we determined we needed better ventilation. Next meeting we decided to enlarge the holes for better ventilation and make a “two piece pad” that could be worn separately.
January 2012 Several World Class Wrestling School and collegiate wrestlers with concussion history who needed more protection began wearing the add-on and they like them. Over all we had seven wrestlers with previous concussion issues wear the accessory in practice and matches.
Even though we have not promoted this product many parents were asking for this extra protection they witnessed being worn by others. Coaches were emailing and asking for more protection as many wrestlers were being diagnosed with concussions.
After 3 years of use we discovered that all seven wrestlers with previous concussions who wore the additional protection never had a re-occurrence. In April of 2013 we then revisited our project and decided to go in an entirely different direction. We would create a “new concept” head gear and LDR Headgear Inc. was formed.
This partnership with Larry Marchionda, Dale Evans and Rich Andrews has a mission of providing safe and complete head protection for our youth.