Can We Tackle the Concussion Battle?
Can We Tackle the Concussion Battle Within Football?
The National Football League (NFL) or as some people may say, “Not for long” is responsible for some of the greatest athletes. Excellence appears to be their one goal, which is to win Super Bowl championships. Some players perform at a high level for a while, whereas others don’t have a chance at experiencing actual playing time on the field at all. NFL players are less and less likely to have a definitive long-term career in the NFL. On average their career may span for about 3 ½ years (Stradley, 2011). (Workman Pub Co, 2002) The NFL has added several new teams, provided ...view middle of the document...
Concussions and Head Trauma in Sports
Each organization, whether it is Pop Warner’s youth football program, High School programs, or the NFL, are trying other options to prevent head injuries in this sport. A concussion, as defined by the Mayo Clinic (2013) is a traumatic injury that alters the way the brain functions. Effects are usually temporary, but can include headaches, concentration problems, and trouble with memory, judgment, balance, and coordination. For a short amount of time, a concussion can affect brain function, which could lead to bleeding in or around the brain and can be fatal. Symptoms of a concussion range from mild to severe and can last for hours, days, weeks, or even months. Return to play guidelines explains that if you’re having trouble thinking and remembering, loss of balance, easily upset or angered, furthermore having a hard time falling asleep you most likely have a concussion (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011)
Over the past decade concussion rates in sports have doubled, there are between an estimated 1.6 and 3.8 million sports-related concussions in the United States every year. Consistently (47.1%) of those sports-related concussions that were just listed are from football players and is said that they are most at risk (Barton, 2013). Once an athlete has suffered an initial concussion, his chances of a second one are 3 to 6 times greater than an athlete who hasn’t sustained one. This is a serious problem, that needs to be solved and former players and fans deserve an explanation for why these enormous rates are increasing. In the next segment I will describe the current state of football and why concussions have been increasing within the sport from a hitting (tackling) standpoint.
Current State of Football
As physical as a sport football is, a huge part of why concussion rates are increasing is because of the violent hitting. Tackling is worse than ever, since players are becoming stronger and faster. Most players don’t understand the fundamentals of tackling either, tacklers are way too eager to make a highlight reel play and create a turnover (when an offensive player loses possession of the football because of a fumble, interception, or on downs) (Wikipedia, 2013). In which a case like this happens, you’ll most likely see the tackler injured or the opposing player being tackled hurt. The most penalized players don’t truly understand the proper ways of tackling and more often then not these are athletes who lead with the crown of their helmet. Tackling in this instance is referred to as spearing. Spearing, for example is essentially using the helmet as a weapon against a player (at2727, 2010).
As a football player, you are taught how to tackle at a pretty young age (pop warner football); you must always keep your head up and lead with your facemask. You are also told to run through the ball carrier, wrapping your arms around his waist. To finish the tackle, you must drive him to the...