Tag Archives: headers
Not buying it.
A study recently published by JAMA Pediatrics concluded that “although heading is the most common activity associated with concussions, the most frequent mechanism was athlete-athlete contact. Such information is needed to drive evidence-based, targeted prevention efforts to effectively reduce soccer-related concussions. Although banning heading from youth soccer would likely prevent some concussions, reducing athlete-athlete contact across all phases of play would likely be a more effective way to prevent concussions as well as other injuries.”
Contact is part of the game in soccer, and much of it is anticipated. You don’t have to have a PhD to know that its the unanticipated contact in sports that leads to the most significant head injuries — the wide receiver blind-sided on a crossing route, the basketball player who doesn’t see the hard pick, OR the soccer players that bang heads in mid-air in an attempt to head the ball.
This isn’t the time to ban all headers in soccer, but perhaps restrict their use in practice and in youth soccer. Soccer already has a mechanism for dealing with excessive “”athlete-athlete contact.” The simple growing awareness of the risk of concussion will color how referees call the game. Leave it alone.
The bigger issue is recognizing concussion and following conservative return-to-play protocol.
The most viewed story from the New York Times sports section this morning wasn’t about golfer Jordan Spieth winning the U.S. Open, or baseball, or even the Women’s World Cup.
It was about concussions, and the story of Curtis Baushke, a twenty-something former soccer player, who died from a prescription drug overdose associated with the symptoms he suffered from CTE. The theme was that concussion remain a problem for soccer, one that should be addressed.
To read the story, click here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/22/sports/an-athlete-felled-by-concussions-despite-playing-a-safer-sport.html?src=me&_r=0
Safersoccer.org got a boost this week when former soccer star Brandi Chastain lent her support behind a movement to ban headers among soccer players under 14.
Chastain told the media that coaches can lessen the risk of concussions by concentrating on footwork and better awareness, instead of headers, which can lead to a traumatic brain injury or add up as a sub-concussive impacts over time.
“Now that I’m off the field and I’m stepping back I still feel the need to do something for the game. And I thought the best thing I could do is help make the game safer. As a mom, that’s an extra push. I want my son to go to the soccer field and be safe,” she told the media.