BELLEVUE, Wash., Nov. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the Chicago Tribune, the nation's largest youth football organization is banning some common drills and telling coaches to spend two-thirds of their practice time on non-contact activities, part of a wider crusade to reduce the risk of head injuries that can reverberate for a lifetime. Sports Reaction Center (SRC), a sports physical therapy center with a cutting-edge concussion management program, comments on other ways to prevent and stay safe from injury.
Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc., has over 120 teams in the Chicago metro area, with over 2,500—athletes both elementary and middle-school aged—and is the nation's largest youth organization. The new national practice restrictions are based on the fact that most concussions happen in practice. They are (1):
- Coaches will only be allowed to have full-speed hitting—including one-on-one blocking and tackling, contact between linemen and scrimmages—for one-third of their weekly practice time. (Previously, there were no restrictions on contact time.)
- Also barred are any head-to-head, full-speed blocking or tackling drills in which players start more than three yards apart.
Neil Chasan, owner of the Sports Reaction Center, believes that while changing rules to prevent football injuries is essential and important, players, parents and coaches need to understand the steps to take in case a concussion does occur, and how to prevent concussions in the first place.
"Football players are tough—but individual players may not be aware that they have suffered a concussion. This is exactly why the Lysted Law requires that kids are pulled out of a game when a concussion is suspected, returning only after being cleared by a suitable professional. For this reason it's imperative to get screened so that return to the sport decisions can be made intelligently, safely and when appropriate," Chasan said.
The Sports Reaction Center offers a range of sophisticated methods of concussion testing for local amateur and professional athletes.
Baseline testing is valuable in the management of concussions, and should be the first precaution taken by athletes competing in a contact sport. A battery of baseline tests gathers information on an athlete's normal brain function, which can then be compared to post-concussion testing in order to determine when they can safely return to action.
ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) and BESS (Balance Error Scoring Testing) help to understand multiple measures of cognitive function. The clinic also performs tests using its OptoJump technology to measure dual functions of the brain while active.
To measure reaction time, SRC uses a technology called D2 by Dynavision, which is an evaluation tool for head injuries, concussions and visual field deficits. The Dynavision D2 Visuomotor with a Tachistoscope is widely used by athletes for reactive/cognitive training and testing.
With advanced technology and proven training results, SRC takes measures to screen young athletes, just like Pop Warner participants, to prevent concussions and keep athletes safe and healthy.
(1) Smith, Mitch. ChicagoTribune.com, June 13, 2012. "Pop Warner issues new rules in hopes of reducing youth football concussions," http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-06-13/sports/ct-met-pop-warner-concussion-20120614_1_concussions-youth-football-pop-warner-little-scholars
About Sports Reaction Center
Based in Bellevue, Washington and attracting athletes of all levels from the Bellevue, Seattle, Kirkland and Redmond areas—as well as around the United States—Sports Reaction Center (SRC) was founded by Neil Chasan in 1997. SRC performs sports physical therapy services that incorporate innovative technology such as Dynavision, OptoJump and the NASA-developed Alter-G. The clinic additionally offers concussion management and biomechanical assessment. SRC's clients also include multiple athletes who have qualified for the Olympic Trials in Track and Field, as well as marathoner Mike Sayenko, Olympic hurdler Virginia Powell, and NFL, NBA and MLB players. The clinic also works with area organizations like Club Northwest, VO2 Multisports and the Seattle Rugby Club. A graduate of the University of Washington's physical therapy program in 1982, Chasan is a consultant to the U.S. Olympic Training Center, U.S. Rugby Sports Medicine, and Alter G. Neil is the author of the book Total Conditioning for Golfers, and the creator of the video "The Swing Reaction System". Neil also published "Pain Free Back," an iPhone application. Neil serves on the Bree Collaborative Spine and Back Pain work group. A clinical faculty member of the University of Washington's physical therapy program since 1990, Chasan teaches and consults with physical therapists around the world.
Karla Jo Helms
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SOURCE Sports Reaction Center