In recent years, the NFL has been forced to finally get serious about concussion avoidance, and for good reason. A lack of action on this subject left countless football players subject to the ravages of CTE, a devastating condition that leaves the brain with severe damage. To give an idea as to how severe this is, CTE also appears in victims of massive car accidents. That is the kind of force that is released when football players collide, and that is the safety hurdle that everyone involved in football has to contend with in our more concussion-conscious society.
That’s especially true in the youth ranks. While we tend to associate the issue of concussions and CTE in football with the NFL, the fact is that the average player can suffer one or even several concussions in their youth, amateur, and collegiate careers before they even get to the NFL. No parent wants to see their child subject to these kind of risks, which poses an existential threat to not just the NFL but football as we know it.
Thankfully for all parties involved, youth coaches are taking a more active role in protecting their youth players from concussions.
Now that we know that helmet to helmet hits, leading with the crown of the helmet, and similar styles of hits contribute to the risk of concussions, coaches are reemphasizing different ways of tackling. Instead of leading with the head, coaches tell players today to refocus on older techniques involving wrapping up players in traditional tackles and targeting the torso area rather than the head and neck.
In addition, youth coaches are making use of new materials to help their players play a safer way. In particular, they are opting for concussion-tested helmets that offer superior protection.
In addition, they are investing in medical technology that can help diagnose and treat players who display concussion warning signs.
These new tools and techniques for guarding against concussions are essential for making football safer and more sustainable in the long term.