JP Hartigan had to retire his rugby career at the young age of 22 due to lingering injuries. He went to study in Limerick and has created an innovative product named Shadowman.
This product is a three part tackling dummy that can simulate real game situations. The bottom portion gets filled with water and the top portion gets filled with air. The Shadowman then sits in an inflatable ring that is dragged by a harness in order to simulate a ball carrier. The water gives the dummy a low center of gravity and the inflatable ring allows the players to complete the tackle by taking the dummy all the way down to the ground. This type of dummy is less draining on the players because it consists of air and water and so this allows for more practice. With the increased repetitions the Shadowman still decreases the chances for injuries that the players will sustain during their practices.
500 colleges and high school programs are currently using the Shadowman with 50 of the colleges being NCAA schools. The growth of this patented dummy is about 250-300% per year. The popularity of this product will only continue to grow due to the attention being placed on concussions right now. Hartigan created the product because the rugby tackling aides that he had encountered were either poor tackling bags, padded suits, or nothing at all. He saw only two options from here. Tackle a dummy or tackle your teammate. Which one makes more sense?