Soccer players and athletes in other sports are experiencing an increase in concussions. You have probably watched more than your fair share of news reports about traumatic head injuries and the tragic tales of athletes who have suffered them. Concerned soccer parents, coaches, and players alike are questioning how to prevent soccer concussions in light of the media’s constant concussion coverage.
Although concussions in soccer cannot always be avoided, taking the necessary precautions can reduce the risk of suffering to almost nothing. Here we bring some ultimate tips for soccer players of all ages and skill levels to avoid soccer concussions:
Learn Proper Heading Method:
Let’s start with an unnoticeable yet essential aspect of concussion avoidance, the heading technique. You’ve probably seen striking heads during the match when two soccer players jump in the air for a header but lose sight of the soccer ball or shut down their eyes. What happens? Their heads hit each other. Even if they made contact with the soccer ball, there was still a severe skull-to-skull hit.
Headers are hence among the riskiest moves in soccer to execute. To avoid soccer concussions, you must develop your ability to track the ball’s trajectory from the time it is launched until you make contact with it. You also need to take the correct posture for a header. This posture may change depending on your current activity, but assuming you are standing, you should:
- Fix your neck.
- Press your chin on your chest.
- Jump forward with your body.
- You must be struck by the ball at the proper moment, not too much in front or behind the upper body.
- Hit the soccer ball with your whole forehead.
- Change the upper part of your body in the desired direction before heading if you wish to change the soccer ball’s direction.
The stance indicated above is optimal, but there are different positions or circumstances when the technique may vary. This leads you to your next point.
Developing Peripheral Awareness through Vision:
According to research, soccer players who receive inadequate visual training are more likely to sustain soccer concussions. Elite soccer players require a variety of visual abilities, but an unnoticed skill is a peripheral awareness.
Peripheral awareness, as its name suggests, is the capacity to see activity or objects that are not exactly in front of you. Soccer players frequently sustain soccer concussions when they crash with opponents who appear out of nowhere. Players that have good peripheral awareness can notice their opponents without turning their heads. A player with good peripheral awareness will ultimately be able to move away from an opponent and prevent head-on clashes.
Of course, peripheral awareness is an ability, and it needs practice. There are a variety of methods to help players develop their peripheral vision skills. They range from vision training programs to soccer-specific drills that can expand a player’s field of vision.
Wear Protective Helmet:
Sometimes soccer concussions and their impacts are unavoidable. However, that does not necessarily imply that athletes are helpless against head traumas. Wearing the proper protective helmet may lower a player’s chance of suffering head injuries or, at the very least, reduces the force of an impact, lowering the risk of unpleasant cuts and bruises.
Even though a wide range of protective soccer concussion headband variety is available on the market made of various materials, they all essentially work the same manner: they offer protective padding that can lessen the force of a head hit. In some circumstances, the impact reduction provided by headgear may be sufficient to minimise the brain’s movement within the skull and so lessen the chance of soccer concussions.
Coaches Must Teach their Athletes a Balanced Feel of Aggression:
Last but not least, the coaches must teach their players a healthy feeling of aggression. Too hesitant of a player who won’t attack the ball and make plays. However, a soccer player who is very aggressive will likely hurt other players and themselves, which could subsequently increase the chances of brain injuries.
Therefore, coaches must assist their players in attaining a balance in this area. The best player is self-assured enough to execute a play yet will go out of their way to hurt other players.