Hard hits, harder facts

It is safety first as football season approaches


Tre Redeemar

Proper hitting techniques are the key to eliminating concussions in football.

Football is a major component in American culture.

We spend months in the fall crowded around television sets and even cell phones to keep track of our favorite NFL franchises and players. The game continues to evolve on how it’s conducted and played on the field every year.

Almost annually there are updates on how hard hits and numerous concussions have declined the mental functions of retirees and aging players. But concussions to football players don’t just start at the professional level, concussions in football are more likely to happen in high school than they are at the collegiate level and professional level.

A concussion is a “brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall , or another injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull (WebMD).”

Football is the most common sport in high school to see an athlete receive a concussion due to its physical nature. Recent discussions have brought up the true safety and value of football helmets since numerous athletes still go down with injuries although there are advances in football helmets and neuroscience.

To clarify all discrepancies and common misconceptions, football helmets were in fact not created to protect football players from concussions but instead a football helmets’ purpose is to protect against skull fractures, brain hemorrhaging and bruising on the brain.

“It doesn’t matter if you have a one star helmet, five star helmet or a no star helmet a concussion will happen whether you’re playing football ,soccer, baseball or basketball if you get hit in the head,” football coach Mike Kirschner said.

Ben Davis does its best to protect its athletes by having controlled practices. The football team’s practices are never full contact. Each drill is stopped by quick whistles and monitored closely by numerous coaches.

“We also tailor our practices so that the amount of collisions are very very rare. We don’t do full contact practice,” Kirschner said.

Unfortunately, concussions are just a part of the game just like sprains and soreness but there are plenty of tactics to use to prevent them.

Proper hitting plays a major role in concussion prevention. Teaching the right technique and proper moves to use when hitting could potentially help cut down on a large portion of brain injuries.

“If you want to be successful and have them play at a high level, but also be injury free, you’ve got to teach it the right way,” Kirschner said.

And although concussions occur no matter what helmet you are in, it is best and strongly recommended that athletes compete in at least a four or five star helmet.