SPORTS by Brad Weisman: Athletic Caution
As a kid and teenager taking a jolt to the head meant nothing. You got back up and played the game. If you could see stars you were in fact excited and if you saw fireworks it was a treat. Perhaps there is nothing comical about seeing either. In fact, who knows what little damage may have occurred during those moments of trying to be tough. There is nothing manly about ignoring the signs of possible concussion. In fact, back then we all were idiots from the kids playing the sports to the coaches coaching on the side lines. We all just ignored the start of something far more serious today.
“Concussions” are no longer something to ignore and have become a very hot topic in leagues across the board. From scholastic level education all the way up to NFL, NHL, etc. it is now being reviewed. I mean – how could you not look at proceeding with caution when an athlete takes a shot to the head….digger on the ice etc.???? Shame on all of us for placing more emphasis on winning the game rather than creating longevity to ones quality of life. Life is delicate and we are guilty of ignoring the value a highly functional life presents to each of us.
Well, this hot topic is now steaming as the movie “Concussion” gets released this month. Companies like ImPACT and XLNTBRAIN www.xlntbrain.com are focused on base line testing. Baseline testing is allowing institutions to have their coaches etc. do some level of testing to an athlete who may have taken a hit to their head during activity. However, XLNTBRAIN is not just providing Neuro-cognitive baseline testing, but also an emotional reactivity component. This is key as past history supports levels of depression from head injuries. Sadly, we often hear about retired athletes who take their life and were also the very same athletes who suffered severe head trauma during their career. Is there an emotional link beyond all of that impact? Good question, and thankfully one company has built emotional data capture for us all to learn. Additionally, the results to an XLNTBRAIN test gets disseminated to the important people once a diagnosis has been scored. This mean medical staff….mom & dad…and anyone else important will receive the report through email instantly. EVERYONE gets to understand the status of the injured player quickly allowing for quick response time. Time is of the essence for even the most minor of head injuries.
As a parent I sure hope other parents are thinking about the importance of these diagnostic tools being in place on the sidelines their kids reside on. It is simply a “first aid kit” to prevent further damage. If we have defibrillators in every school in the country why don’t we have a concussion diagnostic tool on every coaches tablet? I ask this with venom and can only hope school administrators and coaches close the loop on this. We should all be fiercely loyal to the safety of every athlete.
By Brad Weisman