If you have been watching the new football season, you may have noticed the expediency and automaticity of concussion checks on the sidelines. With all of the concussion and head injury discussion flying around the NFL, and inevitably, down the chain to pee wee leagues, it is a refreshing site to see the level of care each team is taking with football head protection. By doing so, it helps to ensure concussions are diagnosed immediately and treated appropriately.
While the reaction time and procedure for the NFL has definitely improved in regards to head injury, it’s still safe to say that prevention is the best treatment.
Here are some helpful tips that could spare either you from potential head injury or concussion.
Football Head Protection Tips
- Neck Strengthening Exercises — By learning certain conditioning exercises that target the strengthening of the neck, players develop strong neck muscles that will allow them to hold their head erect during contact; helping to prevent serious injury.
- Fundamentals of Football — The fundamentals of football should be correctly explained to players and drilled into their head that the head has no place in football. That way, during a block or tackle, the player instinctively knows to remove their head from the play.
- Football Rules Enforcement — Using your head in a block or tackle is prohibited in football rulebooks for all ages and levels. By using the helmet for protection, instead of a battering ram, players can spare themselves and those around them from head injury.
- Equipment Upkeep — Equipment, especially helmets, should frequently be checked for quality so that the protective components are not compromised or damaged in any way.
- Properly Fitting Helmets — Every coach or trainer should take it upon themselves to make sure that all of a player’s protective gear fits them properly, especially their helmet.
- Skull Cap Protection — The use of a skull cap or head protection cap should be a readily available and talked about as an option for added protection under a player’s helmet.
- Preparing for Injury — A trainer, concussion specialist, or physician should be present for every game and attentive to the players on the field.
- Team Awareness — Staff, including coaches and trainers, should be educated in what to do in the event of a head or neck injury during practice or a game. A plan should also be made ready in the event of an accident so that everyone is prepared and further injury can be avoided.