Just Do It, Safely

Unusual stuff invented by ordinary people: Calvin Williams wants kids to play soccer without crunching their skulls.

Illustration by Jameson Simpson

Illustration by Jameson Simpson

Calvin Williams was tired of seeing kids suffer head Injuries while playing soccer. "I had so many friends who made their children quit the game," says the Houston real estate developer who has coached children's sports for years. Soccer players can get serious concussions from directing balls with their heads, colliding with other players, or falling. So about four years ago, Williams decided to do something about it. After scrutinizing numerous studies on head injuries, he came up with a soft helmet for kids.

The helmet is made from a foam material that absorbs impacts. Right now, it's available only on the Web (www.soccerheadgear.com). But Williams thinks it's just a matter of time before soccer agencies mandate its use. According to Williams, studies of retired soccer players have shown them "more likely to have brain disorders, such as early dementia and Alzheimer's."