Innovation of the Month - July 2018

Every month, we highlight an outstanding example of UNH intellectual property with excellent commercial potential. Contact unh.innovation@unh.edu for more information about any of UNH's innovations.

Helmetless Tackling Training (HuTT) Program

July's Innovation of the Month is the HuTT Program, developed by UNH professor Erik Swartz. The HuTT program emphasizes proper tackling technique using closely supervised drills where players participate without their helmets and shoulder pads in place.

Visit the HuTT Website

What is HuTT?

Helmetless tackling training is the element that is inherent to HuTT and reinforces the behavior of tackling without initiating contact with the head. The goal of the contact is to execute proper technique. Drills will be supervised at all times. Feedback will be provided to confirm proper technique as well as to immediately correct improper technique. The HuTT drill is completed in two phases and takes approximately 5-10 minutes.

Why HuTT?

Football athletes can sustain as many as 2000 head impacts during a season. A majority of these impacts are to the top and front of the helmet and yield the highest magnitude of post-impact accelerations and the greatest injury risk. Emerging research suggests that individuals exposed to repetitive concussive and sub-concussive impacts may develop long term cerebral pathologies such as mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Head-first impacts increase the risk of catastrophic cervical spine injury. Proper execution of a tackling technique that avoids initiating contact with the head reduces both head impacts and injury risk. While a helmet is required for full contact practices and games, repeated tackling training without a helmet may solidify a technique which appropriately leaves the head out of the tackle.

What You Get:

  • The HuTT program manual
  • An interactive and easy-to-use app accessible from any smartphone or tablet that includes:
    • A season-long prescription of HuTT drills
    • Video demonstrations of each drill
    • An innovative customer support/expert feedback feature

  • The ability to attain the rigorous HuTT certification
    • Managed through the convenient HuTT app video upload feature