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TimJ • 3 years ago

I've coached youth sports for 7 years, specifically tackle
football for 5. I played tackle football as a youth for 6. Needless to say, I
love the sport. As a tackle football coach, beginning in third grade, I have
seen injuries ranging from concussion to broken bones. After third grade, I
embraced Heads Up Tackling for my team before my league made it mandatory last
year. My teams focused on fundamentals and proper technique. I adjusted
practices to mitigate overly aggressive contact in every drill ("saving some for Saturday"). I created
tackling groups to protect smaller kids from larger kids. You get the picture. Still,
I couldn't stop or reduce the injuries or the concussions. Point is, they are inherent in
football. But not every kid gets injured. Seasonally averaged, maybe 1-2
percent on a 25 man roster over 5 years. What I don’t know are the long term
effects of the game.

As much as I love the sport we all have to admit and
accept there is constant contact, banging, helmet to helmet collisions,
especially in the trenches. You cannot avoid this contact. That’s what makes it
football. Unfortunately, what USA Football’s study doesn't address, and
possibly can’t address for years to come, is what are the long term physical
effects on youth who play a sport that is based on sustained, repetitive collision.
This is what’s driving the headlines talking about pro players on down to 18-year-olds turning up in autopsy rooms with CTE diagnosis. If you want to hear
more about the specifics, I suggest watching Frontline’s League of Denial (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pag....
But even this documentary fails to focus on one really big question and that is
if not every football player ends up with CTE, then why do some players have
long term brain trauma while others don’t.

That said, understand I have no
desire to see the game go away or not be available for our youth; it is truly a
great game that promotes comradery, while preparing young people for the
challenges of life. It’s just that those challenges should not include having
to battle brain disease for a shortened life. I hope that science can figure
out a way to identify who’s susceptible to long term brain damage in sports and
give parents, coaches and leagues more educated options in determining which
youth should or should not play the game.

Duke Gill • 4 years ago

5% concussion rate is horrible!!!!! Add this to 1 out of 3 pro football players diagnosed with the brain disease Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (cte) leading to symptoms like depression, disorientation, forgetfulness..suicide and violence.in.as young as 25 year old men...recipe for a miserable life for them and family and friends.
play touch football when u r a kid...but a brain bruise never heals...do not play tackle!!!!

Tanner Wright • 4 years ago

I would like to respectfully disagree with your opinion, I believe there's no doubt it is a better idea to start at a young age of they are willing to proceed the sport later in life. At a young age you learn the fundamentals of the game and the proper safe ways of hitting/tackling. Therefore, you're ready for high school football as a teenager and you won't get your head bashed in by kids who has been playing the sport for years and know how to play. The longer you wait the more risk of injury when you start, I myself have seen high school freshman playing for the first time and getting seriously injured because they did not know the fundamentals of getting low and wrapping up, coaches exexpect an individual to have already learn the skill of football, youth leagues are made to educate kids, there will always be injury, but there are injuries in every sport, youth leagues are also a good way to "toughen" up before high school when they face a 6 foot 250lb kid.