February 10, 2015
ESPN reported yesterday on Tony Dorsett battling signs off chronic traumatic encephalopathy. As explained in the article, CTE is a degenerative condition many scientists say is caused by head trauma and is linked to depression and dementia. It is indicated by a buildup of tau, an abnormal protein that strangles brain cells in areas that control memory, emotions and other functions.
Dorsett’s battle needs to be something that we learn from. His quote on playing football and how it has caused this is poignant:
“I signed up for this when, I guess, I started playing football so many years ago,” Dorsett told 1310 The Ticket in Dallas. “But, obviously, not knowing that the end was going to be like this. But I love the game. The game was good to me. It’s just unfortunate that I’m going through what I’m going through.”
I believe that we, as coaches can find a way to decrease the amount of concussions in our game through better coaching. There should not be a conscientious decision being made by football participants that they are potentially signing up for future brain problems.
I am still working on a study on tackling and concussions in football. During the season, I asked for coaches to send in video clips where concussions have occurred.
I am looking for plays like the above. My theory is that with a set of video of plays where a concussion occurred, we will be able to categorize how the concussion happened and together work on solutions to teaching proper technique and form. Practice or game film from youth through college levels will be useful in this study.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I would like to compile a playlist of video clips from either practice or game in which a concussion occurred. This video will be shared with coaches and doctors so that we can work together to identify what we can do to help solve what has become a concern in football and has the media spotlight. It threatens the future of the game. The equipment manufacturers are doing a great job to create products that protect our players and even alert coaching and training staff through sensors and devices if a hit is a concern.
As coaches, we need to take a role in this too. Please share your video clips via hudl or email. firstname.lastname@example.org is my email. My Hudl account for this is under the name Coaches Edge Technologies. You can do a one-way exchange to share your video. Please pass this along to coaches you know. The level you coach at is irrelevant to the study. Film can be from youth through college.
Pete Carroll has done a great job putting together video of their techniques. Here is a post on the Seahawks “Heads Out” Tackling.
Our great game of football is under attack. It is our duty as coaches to become better teachers of the game, and strive to coach the best and safest techniques. Carroll’s tackling video is a great starting point.
My company, Coaches Edge Technologies is dedicated to providing in-depth coaching materials so that we can help build a better coach, a better, player, and a better team. Check out our website for cutting edge materials that can help you right now.