Former NFL All-Pro CB Shawn Springs now defends troops' brains

Jake Hughes
July 23, 2018 - 11:24 am

(Image courtesy of Shawn Springs)


There is a large amount of overlap between the football field and the field of battle. Both require expert planning, flexibility of movement, and a high athleticism from their respective participants. There is also the fact that in both professions, there is a serious issue witj Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). The issue of brain injury in the professional football world, and in the military, have been known for quite some time, but until recently not much was being done to find a way to prevent such injuries. Now, a retired NFL All-Pro is aiming to change that.

Football fans will know Shawn Springs from his time shutting down opposing receivers as a member of the Seattle Seahawks, Washington Redskins, and New England Patriots. They might not know that before his decorated military career, he was a military brat with his mother serving in the Army throughout his childhood.

With both the NFL, and shining his mother's boots for an allowance, in the past Springs has moved into the business world serving as CEO of Windpact, a company looking to change the game when it comes to TBIs and concussions both on the gridiron and the battlefield. 

“[Windpact> is an advanced impact protection company that is using our patented methods to improve the performance of safety equipment on the professional sports field, the battle field, as well as the automotive field,” Springs says of the company. “We believe if there is an impact, we can solve it.”

For proof of the possibility of solving the problems presented by high-impact collisions, Springs says one only need to look to the past of Football. He points out that the concept of head protection has evolved greatly in the past century.

“Back in the day, it was just hard plastic helmets, to not crack your skull open,” he says. “These days, we have a new problem. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), Traumatic Brain Injury, this concussion issue.”

Similarly, on the battlefield military headgear has improved. Still, while ballistic protection is better than in the past the diagnosis of TBI, CTE and other brain trauma has increased among veterans in recent years. Windpact is hoping to change that and is working with the best minds in trauma prevention and safety gear to improve helmets for both military and professional athletes.

(Image courtesy of Shawn Springs)

They are doing this through their breakthrough technology called Crash Cloud. In tests and in practical applications, it have been shown to absorb and disperse impact energy far more effectively than the traditional absorption approach. Inspired by the science used to protect infants during car crashes, each Crash Cloud automatically adjusts to manage a wide range of impact rates, from soft bumps that only need minimal energy transfer to hard impacts requiring maximum energy transfer. Windpact has entered into the first phase of testing with the military, a process which Springs tells is expected to last two years. At that point, he has high hopes their technology will be making an impact, by reducing impacts, for our nations warfighters. 

In the end, Springs says, it's all about improving safety, and thus improving quality of life for those who are involved in dangerous, high-impact pursuits on the professional, or recreational levels. 

“When I was growing up, [football> was all about the discipline, the teamwork, the friendship and comradery. It’s the same with the military, you want to protect those who you serve the country with and you want to be protected as well. At Windpact, that’s what we try to do. We get the best equipment possible to keep our soldiers safer, to make the athletes safer, so people can go out there and do their job, or have fun, and not have to worry about effects later in life.”

To learn more about what Windpact is doing, visit their website.

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