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Your Voice from Coach and Athletic Director

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Page 2 of 2 November/December 2014 3 Have you ever had a player on your team who suffered a concussion? 4 Is your program/school adequately prepared to identify or diagnose potential concussions? 5 What is your opinion on the heightened awareness of concussions and head injuries? "As a coach and a parent, I sometimes think that the word concussion is overused in some cases where a student says that they have a headache after a game and the first thing out of anyone's mouth is they must have a concussion. This statement is all too often used, even when a medical professional has not seen the athlete. But we all know that doctors cover their backside for fear of legal action." "The biggest issue comes down to players playing the way they see their position played at the next level. The coaches from peewee to the pros need to stress the importance of strength development and proper tackling and hitting." "There needs to be an increase in athlete education. Not all concussions are caught by trained adults because of the smaller hidden symptoms. Teammates, roommates, friends and the athletes themselves should be aware of the symptoms and severity of the situation to help in the diagnosis since they are around the athletes more." "We should do everything possible to protect our athletes, keeping in mind that things do happen, and when they do, be strong enough to stand by the plan in place." 6 In your opinion, what's the best way to combat head injuries like concussions? (check all that apply) "Rules that protect defenseless players, penalties for leading with the head (spearing-like effect). I personally do not want anyone to get hurt. Concussions must be monitored, doctors involved and athletic trainers receiving a high degree of training. When in doubt, error on the side of safety." "Eliminate concussion-causing activities in those sports where they occur most frequently, like no longer allowing a header in soccer, no longer allowing a football player to lead with their head and enforcing the rule when they do, etc." "Better athlete awareness and education. Most athletes are more honest with their friends about symptoms than to their coaches and medical professionals. Also, there are a lot of symptoms that might be presented around friends and teammates that they may pick up on when an athlete is unguarded. A majority of athletes lie and guard themselves to medical professionals, making it difficult to diagnose." "Better knowledge by physicians on how to treat concussions. Especially at the high school and kid sport levels, where there is no team physician who has specific knowledge of concussion protocols. Some primary care physicians are not up on concussion guidelines and don't know how to treat them properly." Yes 91.5% Not sure 1.9% No 6.6% Yes 90.0% Not sure 4.8% No 5.2% We're doing everything we can 62.8% Too much is made of it 15.3% We should be doing more to protect athletes 21.9% Improved equipment (e.g. helmets) New rules/ regulations (e.g. penalties) Reinforce proper fundamentals Strength training (e.g. neck) None of these will help 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% 59.9% 51.6% 84.2% 53.6% 5.1%

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