Editor’s note: Lasting Impact, an eBook from NESN.com, explores the controversy surrounding concussions and CTE. Each chapter examines a different part of issue, including youth-specific concerns, what’s behind CTE, the NFL’s involvement in the concussion crisis, how youth sports have responded and what the future of sports could hold. Today: Chapters 4 and 5.
The final chapters of Lasting Impact dig into what youth sports have done to address growing concerns about concussions and other head injuries. From improving the basic understanding of concussions for players, parents, coaches and teachers all the way to adjusting practices, games and equipment, youth sports are drastically changing to try to keep up with what’s being learned about head injuries. A grassroots movement among coaches and parents, coupled with legislative action and attention from concussion experts, has led to many changes that are making sports safer.
But even as awareness about concussions and head injury care continues to grow, the alarming possibilities of how bad the damage to young players could be has caused some to wonder if the current efforts are enough. Even the safest approaches can’t keep players from getting hurt, and those injuries could have farther-ranging effects than those involved previously suspected.
Lasting Impact draws from a wide range of people involved in youth sports, including local coaches, athletic directors, players, parents, teachers, concussion experts and equipment innovators. Their stories show the complexity and concerns facing those who want to navigate concussion worries while still preserving sports as they’re played today — but also how some solutions have caught hold.
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