Sports concussions have personally happened to me twice. Once in the batting cage and the other in a freak accident playing two hand touch football. The second was not a bright idea on my part with previous brain injuries. However I was young and wanting to fit in during my college years in Saskatchewan.
I now have a nephew and have my concerns that he could get concussed in a practice or game. However the measures that Hockey Canada has instituted that there will be no body checking to the age 12-13 bracket is a good move. There are no guarantees in sports that the athlete won’t get hurt but the rules to prohibit body checks and hits to the head is long overdue.
These young men and women will face body checks and can defend themselves better with the rules Hockey Canada has implemented. When these players are young it should be about skill development. Shooting, passing, blocking shots, playing the man or puck, skating and most of all having fun!
Football, wrestling, boxing, rugby, soccer and M.M.A. are other sports were there is a risk to brain injury and concussions. Do we stop these sports all together and the answer is no. Athletes men and women have devoted large parts of their lives to these sports. What I am saying when there is a head trauma or concussion they should have the adequate recovery time and not rushed back into play.
The symptoms of concussion I have personally had confusion, disorientation, headache, dizziness, vomiting and nausea have been apart of my sports concussion journey. Fatigue, irritability, sleep disturbance and poor concentration were also apart of my later concussion symptoms.The last issue I dealt with and other athletes with concussions may deal with is depression in the frustration their routine and goals have altered while in recovery from the head injury.
Their is now a system to test for concussions called IMPACT or immediate post Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing System for high school, college, N.F.L. and N.H.L. players. Concussions are in the amateur and pro sport lexicon and such tests will help athletes from doing more harm to their brain and body.
I am not a expert in the educational sense. However I have had experience as a survivor of sports concussions. Being an advocate through openly writing about the subject is important to me. Being involved in organizations that help athletes be educated on concussions is also a passion of mine. So lets have our athletes protect themselves with knowledge to keep their brains safe, rest it when necessary from injury and be a positive example to other athletes.
By Ty Stingel
July 12, 2013