Coach's Corner: Tim Crone 11/24

Tim Crone

By Tim Crone former Blue Springs Head Coach
Posted: November 24, 2010 - 5:13 PM



The topic of concussions has been up for discussion at all levels of sports. As old coaches, we definitely did not handle an injury involving a concussion with the seriousness it deserves.

 

The NFL is doing a good job of bringing the issue to the forefront. I overheard an old timer make a remark at the Chiefs game that players always used to play after receiving a concussion. It doesn't make you tough to play with a concussion and in fact may very well threaten an athlete’s ability to function for the rest of their life.

 

Education and dissemination of information should begin at the little league level. The basic symptoms should be known by everyone. These are: 1. Headache, 2. Nausea or vomiting, 3. Balance problems or dizziness, 4. Sensitivity to light or noise, 5. Double or fuzzy vision, 6. Concentration/memory problems, and 7. Feeling sluggish or groggy. Not only should everyone understand these symptoms, but they should treat the symptoms very seriously.

 

The September 2010 Missouri edition of ESPN Magazine contains an article which addresses the concussion issue. The article points out how to spot a possible concussion in a teammate:


  • He appears dazed

  • He is confused about his assignment

  • He forgets plays

  • He is unsure of surroundings/game/score/opponent

  • He answers questions slowly


If anyone sees any of these conditions, medical attention should be requested immediately. The only treatment for a concussion is rest, both physically and mentally.

 

The next step is to address at what point it is once again safe for a player to resume play. The National Federation of State High School Associations has a six step program known as its return-to-play protocol. An athlete must stay symptom free in order to advance to the next step. If symptoms recur, they MUST go back to the previous step.


  1. Be symptom free

  2. Start low-impact activity such as riding a stationary bike and/or walking

  3. Aerobic activity such as running, skating, and strength training.

  4. Non-contact sport such as dribbling or batting practice

  5. Full-contact practice

  6. If symptom free through all of these steps, return to game action.


The days of just putting a band aid on an injury involving a concussion are over. Please take the issue seriously.


  • According to the Brain Injury Association of America 3,800,000 concussions occur in sports and recreation activities. It also states that 41% of athletes with concussions return too early. Sixteen percent of football players who lost consciousness during a concussion returned to action later the same day.

  • My quote of the day is from college coach, Frank Kush, "Being in peak physical condition is just as important as throwing and kicking the ball. In fact, it's probably more important than some techniques. If you're not in shape, you can't respond physically or mentally."