Are Contact Sports Worth The Brain Busting?


Matt Warner , Writer

Football is not only America’s favorite game but also its favorite pain game. Is it a coincidence that when someone gets hit hard, they don’t always get back up? When does a blow to the head not become just a blow to the head? It becomes a concussion when that very hit ends a person’s season, even their entire career, no matter high school, college, or pro.


We all know that coaches care about the kids on their team, the ones who will do anything to protect them from big injuries that could follow them to adulthood; what if that wasn’t the case. Some coaches care more about winning than safety of the kids playing for them.


In 2014, the first season of TLC show “Friday Night Tykes” aired. Coach Chavarria, the  head coach for a TYFA team, exclaimed during a pre-game speech where he wanted his team to hit the opponents. He pointed to his own head, right above the ear. This is an example of a coach who only cares about winning.


Where there are bad coaches, there will always be the great ones, who put in initiatives to protect the kids on their team, one particular head coach is Oakdale’s own, Kurt Stein. In the past 4 years or so, he has implemented a number of things to help prevent concussions.


One initiative is tackling, putting the head behind (putting head through side without the ball), this gets the head out of the major contact. The most significant initiative was “practice has become less full contact”, said Coach Stein.


Every position in football requires some form of contact; but they don’t need to hit everyday.  He thinks the initiatives are working: “Well look at how many concussions we’ve had on this team in the last 3 years, there have been 1; 1 and 0 concussions so far this year.”


The main dangers of concussions are how vigorous the brain ricochets in the skull. When a person feels they have concussion it is so hard to actually tell they do have one. Everyone is different and it is not an external injury; it’s internal and hard for doctors and trainers alike to diagnose.


One person who knows a great deal about injuries in sports is our very own athletic trainer Mrs. JoAnn James. “Well, I believe kids should start playing contact sports whenever they feel ready, but it just matters which ones, and how the parents feel the coaches are”.


As stated concussions can be prevented in many different ways through coaching initiatives, medical professionals watching practice, or just straight up not hitting with your head. Concussions are dangerous, more so if left untreated.