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Comments made by Idadho

Should Soccer Players Wear Head Protection?

This program is a bunch of hogwash. The neuropsychs are out to lunch. Have they done a full neuro-psychological assessment of soccer players before and after a season of heading the ball. No.
The worst head injury in soccer is caused by heading drills. They are worst because they are very common. They are ignored because the symptoms do not show up until a few days or even weeks later. The head to head or head to goal post concussions are expected to be symptomatic.
The repeated heading of the ball during a heading drill causes the microscopic damage that takes forever to heal, if it ever does. The tugs on the axons and the synapse connections to the dendrites have a cumulative effect.
Neuro-psychs are the last professionals to ask about concussion. Their knowledge is from the dark ages. Even most neurologists are not up to date on concussion research. Sports physicians are no better.
There needs to be a study with a high Tesla MRI after a round of header drills. A six Tesla MRI will show the damage. It might need to be done on the third day to allow the injured tissue to finish dying. Earlier, and the tissue is still struggling to survive. Later, and the dead tissue will have been absorbed.
I have followed and studied the research for over 30 years when I suffered a life changing concussion from header drills and other ball heading events. There is no proper way to head the ball that is safe for the brain. God gave us two feet and one brain. Use feet to move the ball. Heading the ball should be outlawed until 18 years old, and then only with proper informed consent.
The rise in concussions in soccer is due to the aggressive play being taught. Heading the ball is considered to be the elite way of contacting the ball. Only corner kick headers and the like have any valid purpose. The rest can be a foot trap and pass or chest trap. I will fight to prevent my grandchildren from ever touching a soccer ball with their head.
If heading is removed from soccer for minors, then good helmets will be effective at preventing or reducing the concussions from head to ground and head to foot impacts. Make soccer the non-contact sport that is used to be. It is not ice hockey. Body checks should draw a red card.

February 25, 2010 at 10:23 p.m. ( | suggest removal )