Youth Sports Concussions and Injury is there a link between youth sports and long term injuries seen in pro athletes?

How are head injuries in professional sports linked to youth football and other youth sports?

Many of the injuries that are commonly spoken of are known to be very physical in nature but lately there has been a spike in interest involving injuries such as concussions and even a degenerative brain disease called CTE that involve getting hit on the head to many times to hard. In may cases the athlete doesn’t know that they could possibly have a brain injury because they choose to ignore it and keep playing. For example Brie Boothby 17 was playing in a game of field-hockey and was struck in the head, “That night, the 17-year-old felt nauseous, and began losing her memory. A trip to the doctor revealed devastating news: Boothby had sustained a serious concussion that left her with permanent brain injuries”(Teens Playing Through). If injuries are ignored especially during a sporting activity it can become even more severe than if it is taken care of right away. Even if something like a concussion is caught right away the damage is already done the patient has permanent brain damage some cases are less severe than others but in any case there is still damage done to the victim. In this case Brie could remember her mentality when she first felt the headaches during the game that she got hit, ‘“The only thought in my mind was getting back in the game,’ she told TODAY's Sheinelle Jones. And despite her injury, the field-hockey player kept playing. ‘I thought I had to be tough. I thought I had to go back in because we were losing and I needed to support my team’”(Teens Playing Through). Some people believe that if they push all the pain that they are feeling at the moment to the side and focus at the task they are doing they won’t feel the pain. When in reality they are just making their injuries even worse for themselves, it can commonly be seen and hurt in movies that even if you get hurt that you had to keep going that’s what it meant to be tough youth take that to heart and follow that example and brought it through to the playing field. With injuries like concussions happening throughout sports there are many things that we don’t quite understand about them.

Elizabeth Murray. "Teens playing through pain, not taking sports injuries seriously.", 8 Nov. 2014, Accessed 26 Feb. 2017.

What is being done to figure out how CTE is linked to youth football?

In the sport of football there are many ways things such as a concussion can be caused weather it is blows to the head from another player of even someone getting hit in the head with the football without a helmet, but CTE is an even greater issue because of its psychological effect dealt to the victim, and it is not detectable until the person suffering is already dead. There are two main sides to the argument the side that agrees with the statement of CTE can potentially start at the youth level of football and the other side stating that, “the risk of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy comes from pro football players slamming into each other thousands of times over the course of years, and not from the kinds of hits that children inflict on each other”(Dr. Julian Bailes). In his statement Dr. Julian is talking about the research that his colleague Dr. Bennet Omalu did about how contact sports can cause a degenerative brain disease called CTE mainly caused by repetitive blows to the head with high levels of impact. Dr. Julian states the opposite of Dr. Bennet, which is that Bennet strongly believes that CTE can be started as early as youth football when kids are allowed to truly hit each other. In many cases things are already being done to prevent the possibility of getting things such as concussions which in hand also lowers the chance of somebody developing CTE. Dr. Julian states ‘“We don’t know the prevalence of CTE. I have said and I believe that CTE is a risk in a minority of NFL players and hopefully in a group of players who are in a now bygone era,’”(Dr. Julian Bailes). In many ways there is research being done to ensure the safety of the sport and the future of the athletes in the sport currently. The cases of CTE in the NFL currently much lower than in the past because of all the extra precautions being taken so that there is even less casualties caused by this deadly brain disease. Although there is a concern for the future of the sport there is other ways that CTE can be caused that people may not have thought of so far especially the parents that are concerned for the health of their children.

N.a. "Dr. Julian Bailes sees little risk of CTE from youth football.", 8 Dec. 2015, Accessed 26 Feb. 2017.

Why is there such an interest in youth sports now that there is new information about concussions and CTE?

American tackle Football has been known for years to be a violent sport and cause many injuries. Many parents are becoming more and more cautious to sign up their children for this highly competitive and intense sport from all the recent issue of concussions being an even more prevalent occurrence or at least more recently being looked at kind of injury. Also if left uncared for it can possibly develop into CTE and eventually death. There was a ‘“pee wee’ league game in 2012 where five boys got concussions in a single game”(Is This The End). Many argue that youth football is almost the safest sport out there to play because of all the precautions taken to make it as safe as possible, yet the sport is still being taught by some in an incorrect manner that makes it an unsafe sport. In many cases of a concussion happening there is only one at a time but in this instance there were multiple dealt to the children because they were taught how to hit incorrectly. Children used to be taught how to hit with their heads sometimes causing something called a, ‘“bobblehead effect’ in which ‘their brains crash back and forth in their skulls”’(Is This The End). In many cases children hit their heads and at this point of their life they haven’t developed enough for their brain to stay in one place and when they get hit their brain can actually bounce around within their skull and can cause brain damage that way. There hasn’t been that much of a problem in past years with the “bobblehead” effect but with more talk about concussions and CTE there have been more and more concern with the idea that someone’s child could end up with both of them in the distant future. There are many cases of concussions each year involving young children of many different sports not just football, but there are also cases in adults that are even more serious than the cases that happen in the youth football setting.

N.a. "Forbes Welcome.", 21 Mar. 2016, Accessed 26 Feb. 2017.

Is it possible for there to be a link between injuries and parents pressuring their child to perform in a sport like football?

At almost any youth football game you can normally hear at least one parent either cheering their kids team on or yelling because they want their kid to play out of their own competitiveness. The same can be said about other sports that are known to have a high level of intensity and aggression. Parents can almost always get just as into the game as the children or even the coaches. Many times the child isn’t in the sport because they want to but because his or her parents are competitive and want them to play it, “parents who live through their child’s accomplishments can fall into that dark pit and put excessive stress on the child to continue to perform without allowing any room for second place”(Pressure to Perform). The parent feeding off the child's accomplishments only feels accomplished when they have what they want from their child which in most cases is the satisfaction of winning the game or activity. They may also try and push their child to work even harder then they are supposed to in order to get what they want. Many youth football and sport need to focus on doing what they want to do in their free time “instead of participating to please everyone else. Thinking they can never fail does not give youngsters the chance to reach their full potential because they will always be intimidated or hold back just to be safe”(Pressure to Perform). Many parents when they force their child to play sports don’t think about what the child wants or what is best for the child and are trying to fill a void their memory where they missed out on something that they wished they did when they were younger and want to right their mistakes and want to live it through their children. They also don’t think of the physical health of the child at the moment, the children can possibly actually get hurt because they aren’t trying to do well in the sport because it is something they don’t want to do. Injuries in youth sports can be caused as a result of a chain of events involving pressure to perform, improper coaching, and even the child’s own decisions in the activity. "Pressure to Perform.", Accessed 26 Feb. 2017.

Is there any connections between youth ignoring injuries, parents pressuring their kids to perform in their sports, and injuries within youth sports?

There are many things that go into the damage of the youth of this era of sports. They are being pressured into playing the sport because they have friends in the sport or because their parents want them to play it for their own gain or to relive their glory days. One of the long term effects is that the, “large majority of children who are involved in sports do not suffer from excessive stress. However, there are important psychological bruises for the youngster who is placed in a sport that she is not interested in or ready for or is pushed too hard”(Pressure to Perform). Many times the child isn’t interested enough in the sport that they are involved with and don’t do the things they are supposed to in order not to play. Not doing some of those things can actually result in them getting hurt and can be really bad for them in the long run especially as they get older. Other times they don’t pay attention to what they are doing and they are more hurt than they think that they are. In the past there has always been that mentality that if you are hurt and you don’t get back into the game then you aren’t tough or even if you don’t hear a ringing at the end of practice or a game then you really didn’t do anything that day. The type of head injuries we see today are, “comes from pro football players slamming into each other thousands of times over the course of years,” (Dr. Julian Bailes). There have been throughout the past couple of years there have been more and more reports of concussions in sports and other activities because parents are just starting to see that there are safety problems in many sports even with all the things being done to make it a safer activity than it ever started out to be. It has become more common for parents not to sign up their children to play the sports because of the dreaded horrifying word which is concussion, now a day the word is used to often when describing a sport it can be caused by almost any activity imaginable if someone can get hit in the head. There are many things that are being done to make sports and activities safer for the youth programs so that parents don’t feel the need to keep them out or force them into sports.


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