HITS OVER TIME
February 13, 2020
The problem is, preventing all concussions is impossible, especially in contact sports where daily hits are a routine part of the game.
Coach Elder says it is hard to put a number on how many hits soccer players are taking per week.
“Honestly the incidents that worry me as a coach most are the freak ones such as a wayward shot, a player catching an elbow to the head, or a goalie so zoned in and focused on the play that they dive into the goal post,” said Coach Elder.
It’s hard to deny the danger of football, where every practice can result in hits dangerous to the head. Considering the sheer amount of hits football players take in a season, it is no surprise that football is the leading sport for concussions. A study done in 2010 done by the National Athletic Trainer Association total found that in a single college football season, the number of impacts players received was very high. The maximum number of head impacts for a single player on each team was an average 1,292 throughout the course of a season. Impacts per practice was an average of 14.3 and slightly higher in games at 16.2. Linemen and linebackers had the largest number of impacts per practice and per game.
And if a player sustains 1,000-plus hits in a collegiate season, what about the other hits to the body or impact from falls? These are major contributors to the research, because you don’t have to always hit your head to receive a TBI. Body hits or hits that result in falling on the ground could apply enough force to cause a concussion either on minor or major scales.
“It is no different to someone who has an ankle injury or a shoulder injury,” said B-A trainer Jesse Glass. “If you don’t have that fully healed you will continue to damage yourself more throughout practice and games. The brain is the same thing; it is an organ and if you continue to cause trauma to it day after day, even though you have a break between seasons, if you go back and practice again and cause more trauma you are going to see the effects. I think we are going to see the effects more and more as the game progresses. Athletes are bigger, stronger, and faster now. We will absolutely see the effects.”
As a result, hitting at practice isn’t as constant and physical as it once was.