You can never have too much information when it comes to your brain. You as a coach, have all the information you need to understand concussions.
Here is some very basic information about concussions that you as a COACH should know to understand fully the impact of the fastest growing injury in sport. It is one thing to break a bone, or tear a ligament; it is another to break your brain. The mind is the most precious gift!
In the North America, over 350,000 sports-related concussions occur annually. The likelihood of an athlete suffering a concussion while playing a contact/collision sport is estimated to be as high as 19% per year. More than 62,000 concussions occur each year in high-school contact sports, and among college football players, 34% have had one concussion and 20%, multiple concussions. The numbers are very similar for hockey players.
Sports-related concussion estimates vary across studies. Earlier research estimated that about 6% of athletes incurred a concussion each season.
However, as results from more studies on concussion began to appear in the popular media, there was also an increase in the reporting of concussions and concussion-like conditions. Recent studies of high school sports involving contact or collision estimate 15% to 20% of participating athletes will suffer a concussion.
That is a rate of about 1 in every 5 athletes.
Concussions are common and often unrecognized by most people – most athletes won’t know that they have had one. This is why it is important, as a coach, to assess the player’s condition after an injury has occurred.
“When in doubt, sit them out”
No player should be allowed to play if symptomatic; brain injuries can last a lifetime, playing the game does not.
Please note: The above list is not exhaustive nor does having one or more of these symptoms mean that someone has a concussion. It is merely a guide to possible concussive symptoms. It is important to seek medical attention immediately to receive a diagnosis.
*The symptoms that an athlete experiences after a concussion are often unique to the individual. It is important to consider that every injury is different (symptoms and time to recovery).