High Concussion Rates Found During Football Practice
According to a recent study published in the Journal of American Medical Association Pediatrics (02/2015),concussion rates in football athletes at the youth, high school, and collegiate levels were found to be highest during a game situation; BUT, practice sessions also posed a major concussion risk for these same groups of athletes.
During practice, athletes at the high school level had a concussion rate of 0.8 per 1,000 exposures and 0.53 per 1,000 exposures at the collegiate level. According to the study’s author “The rates of concussion are always higher in games…[but] because there are more practices overall, generally practices will either contribute as many or sometimes more concussions over the course of the season.” (Dompier, 2015).
The researchers suggest that it might be too difficult for coaches to reduce concussion risk during games. But, in practice, coaches, parents and and trainers can do certain things to try and help reduce the number of concussions and overall injuries. Teaching and using proper tackling technique and using drills that teach tackling technique that doesn’t involve children colliding into each other will help address this issue. Bottom line is: it’s harder to change game conditions. Strategies to figure out how to reduce concussions during practice is a good starting point.