Images of male baseball players getting hit in the testicles with the caption "If you want to have children some day, wear a cup."

Protect Your Balls and Brain!

Your Balls

One of the leading causes of infertility in young men is athletic injuries. Fortunately, there’s a new generation of cups you can try, in addition to compression shorts to hold them in place. Plus, wearing a cup will make you look really well hung. From baseball and lacrosse to MMA, wrestling, football, and paintball, you CAN find a cup that is comfortable and works well for you. However, you probably won’t find the coolest of cups at your local Target, Walmart, or sporting goods store chain, so spend some time on the following websites and find a cup that will work best for you, your sport, and the position you play.

And yes, it’s important to take into consideration the position you play. For instance, a baseball shortstop will want a cup that offers lots of mobility, while a catcher needs a cup built like Fort Knox that can withstand a 90 mile an hour fastball.

The Nutty Buddy is probably the most comfortable cup. It comes in two styles: Classic and Flex, and each style is available in different sizes.

Shock Doctor’s  AirCore Soft Cup and AirCore Hard Cup are pretty cool, unless you are playing catcher or goalie, in which case you’ll want nothing short of their Titan Alloy Cup.

The lobloo Aerofit Cup has a very interesting design and is highly rated for a number of different sports.

The Diamond MMA Cup is a compression short and athletic supporter combo. It is very expensive (about $99 USD) and if you are into MMA, then you sweat like a hog and would want at least a couple of these unless you have OCD and would actually wash it every night. However, the MMA people speak highly of it because it is constructed in a way that prevents lateral and vertical shifting of the cup. This makes it ideal for both striking and grappling. The Diamond MMA Jock Strap and Cup doesn’t include the compression shorts and will only set you back The Venum Challenger Groinguard is way cheaper than the The Diamond Cup and is a very decent lower price option. You might also check out the lobloo Thai Cup 2.0. An excellent review of MMA cups along with a very helpful Q&A can be found at The Sweet Science of Fighting.

For boys, Youper Boys Youth Padded Sliding Shorts and Cup could be a good option. The Comfy Cup is another cup to consider, and the McDavid Flexcup Protective Cup gets good reviews from boys and coaches. It comes in a number of colors and sizes, from little dudes to teens. McDavid also makes a brief/cup combo that might work better for a boy who thinks a jock strap is an alien invention meant to torture young males. The EliteTek replacement cup seems to get decent reviews. WezenBall has a very helpful summary of cups for boys and young men, including information about how the sizes of the different cups run.

Urologist Rena Malik, who has about a billion YouTube subscribers, posted the following video: Protecting your BALLS | EVERYTHING you need to know about buying an ATHLETIC cup.

Your Brain

A much bigger part of being a dad than what you do with your balls is what you do with your heart and brain, so take heed: The research is coming in loud and clear that concussions AND head banging that doesn’t meet formal concussion diagnostic criteria can lead to cognitive impairment. From Medscape Medical News:

“Our results suggest that cognitive impacts of football-related concussion can be really long-lasting and these impacts may be coming from both concussive and subconcussive injury — that is, even head injuries that aren’t severe enough to lead to a concussion diagnosis,” study investigator Laura Germine, PhD, director of the Laboratory for Brain and Cognitive Health Technology, McLean Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, told Medscape Medical News. “When thinking about the risk of long-term cognitive impacts of concussion, it’s important [for clinicians] to evaluate concussion symptom history and not just the number of formally diagnosed concussions,” she said.

This is why head-butting the ball in soccer should be outlawed, and why, if you have a choice between football and rugby or baseball and basketball, the latter two might be the better choice.