NFL, USA Football Emphasize Trainers with Past NFL Experience

The NFL has announced that more than 140 former NFL players will serve as Master Trainers and Ambassadors to teach and reinforce USA Football’s Heads Up Football program to youth leagues and high schools nationwide during the 2014 season.

Elaborating on that point, the league noted that of USA Football’s 78 Master Trainers, 17 played in the NFL, “bringing knowledge and insight gained from competing at the sport’s highest level. Master Trainers lead full-day instructional sessions for high school and youth programs nationwide, teaching Heads Up Football’s curriculum to high school- and youth league-appointed Player Safety Coaches.”

The NFL also noted that another 127 former NFL players serve as Heads Up Football Ambassadors, “visiting practices and games of teams that participate within the program. Ambassadors strengthen awareness and reinforce Heads Up Football’s messages and standards.”

To Master Trainer Ruben Brown, a nine-time Pro Bowl selection at guard for the Buffalo Bills and Chicago Bears (1995-2007), the responsibility seems personal.

“I’m a father – nothing is more important to me than the health of our kids,” he said. “Heads Up Football is changing for the better how coaches are prepared, players are taught and safety is addressed, and it’s exciting to see so many other former players share this commitment.”

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Professor’s Post Looks at ‘the Ethics of Headers’

A blog post on the Santa Clara University Law Website, written by philosophy professor Jack Bowen, examined the “ethics of headers” on the soccer field.

Bowen’s post notes that “children depend on us for some paternalistic rationality” and looks at “whether youth soccer players should be allowed to head the ball.”

The author points to the fact that “two heavy hitters have taken on this project.  First, providing the science behind the issue, the Sports Legacy Institute (SLI)—this is the group that has brought the dangers of football concussions to the forefront of sporting consciousness.  And the second, the Institute of Sports Law and Ethics (ISLE), led by board member Brandi Chastain, who may be most responsible for popularizing women’s soccer in the United States.”

Bowen notes that “30 percent of concussions in soccer result from players attempting to head the ball, either by contact with the ball or in collisions with the heads of other players also attempting to head the ball.”

He goes on to dismiss the notion that a “padded helmet or headband” would help.  “(T)he headband is more like placing padding on the outside of a box containing delicate wine glasses and then tossing the box against the wall: the box may remain unscathed but the glassware—what we really care about—ends up destroyed.  When a skull collides with another object, be it a soccer ball punted from the goalie or another skull, much of the trauma results from the brain’s momentum sending it crashing into the interior of the skull.”

Bowen concludes that adults “have a moral duty to prevent harm to children when easily feasible. … (T)he initiative proposed by SLI and ISLE is not just in the best interests of children, but one of moral necessity.  To fail to do this would be to act immorally.”

To see the fully post, visit: http://law.scu.edu/sports-law/the-ethics-of-headers-in-youth-soccer-using-our-heads-correctly/

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Two Concussion Conferences — One Local, One Global

There are hundreds of concussion conferences and seminars every year. We can hardly highlight them all. But here are a couple.

On September 11, 2014, there will be a Concussion Management & ImPACT Administration and Interpretation Seminar in the Community Room at 201 Pennsylvania Parkway in northern Indianapolis.

The seminar, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., is for physicians and other qualified medical professionals interested in administering and interpreting post-injury ImPACT tests. “Those in attendance will be able to implement ImPACT into their daily practice and improve the quality of concussion management of their patients,” according to the organizer – the Indiana Sports Concussion Network. Email concussion@methodistsports.com for more info and to register.

More global in nature is the 12th Annual World Congress of the Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics (SBMT) at the Los Angeles Convention Center March 6-8, 2015

SBMT is a non-profit society organized for the purpose of encouraging basic and clinical scientists who are interested in areas of Brain Mapping, engineering, stem cell, nanotechnology, imaging and medical device to improve the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of patients afflicted with neurological disorders.

“Brain mapping,” according to the organization, “has been prominent in the world news recently, with President Obama unveiling the ‘BRAIN’ Initiative – a bold new research effort to revolutionize our understanding of the human mind and uncover new ways to treat, prevent, and cure brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease, schizophrenia, autism, epilepsy, cancer, Parkinson’s Diseases, multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injury. SBMT has been instrumental in shaping the BRAIN Initiative in the US and has advocated for similar initiative in Australia. SBMT is collaborating with the European Brain Project and will be highlighting the latest advancements in the field by bringing together leaders of industry, academia, foundations and government agencies at the 12th Annual World Brain Mapping & Therapeutics in Los Angeles, California, USA. Wide variety of topics from nanotechnology, cellular therapeutics to advance imaging and devices will be covered in this world congress.

“Congressman Chaka Fattah, who is a recipient of the Pioneer in Healthcare Policy award from SBMT, will be one of the keynote speakers. Congressman Fattah has been instrumental in formulation of President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative and he has been working closely with SBMT to advance the field through G20 World Brain Mapping & Therapeutic Initiative.

“The SBMT Congress program will include prominent local and international speakers (60+ scientific sessions with more than 500 speakers). The theme of the World Congress is: Brain Therapeutics: breaking boundaries of science, technology, medicine, art and healthcare policy, the program will highlight state-of-the-art science and technology in the field of neuroscience, engineering, neurosurgery, psychiatry, psychology, molecular biology, neurology, radiology and oncology, and will also feature emerging areas such as nanoneuroscience/nanoneurosurgery, stem cell and regenerative medicine, molecular psychiatry, nanobioelectronics, robotics, artificial intelligence and supercomputing/meta-data analysis.”

For further information about the convention contact Bryan Aroz at Bryan.Aroz@WorldBrainMapping.org

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