Home / Soccer Coaches / What to do About the Danger of Concussions in Girls Youth Soccer


We all know something about concussions, many of us have had a minor one at one point in our life. For example I fell out of the top bunk when I was 8 and wanged my head off the floor. I felt sick for awhile, went to the doctor, and was fine after a week or so of rest. Unfortunately, too many concussions, even minor ones, can have a devastating effect on the development of children and young adults.

A recent article in the New York Times tells the story of Hannah Stohler, and how she has suffered through three concussions. In a nutshell, she had a pretty typical perspective on concussions, that “they were a football injury, a boy thing.” While it’s true that most reported concussions come from high school football, girls soccer is a very surprising, close second. Hannah suffered ten months of a depression, dizziness, headaches, and couldn’t even focus on the words she was reading after the injury.

According to a study in the Journal of Athletic Training, in high school soccer, girls sustained 68% more concussions than boys did. Girls also took longer to recover from symptoms and return to school and play. Hannah talked about her difficulties in the NYTimes article: “I was the freak at school who could only do half days and had to go home all the time,” said Stohler, whose reading comprehension and memory remain slightly impaired. “I didn’t feel like myself — ever. I was miserable. It takes the life out of you.”

Most of these injuries come from falling and hitting the head off the ground, or running into another player, not heading the ball or getting kicked. one of the complications of concussions is memory loss, which can be come permanent, or lead to Alzheimer’s later in life. In Hannah’s case, they tried to take her out of soccer over her objections, to protect her long term health, but once she got the OK from her neurologist she went back to playing.

So the question is, what can parents do to protect their soccer daughters? And what does this mean for the game?
Should we start requiring padded headbands for the players like the Full90 Premier Headguard worn by Petr Cech? Or only after a major head injury?
Should we do more to make sure the girls are treated properly?
Or do we need to increase awareness among parents and coaches?

What do you think?

Written by: Matthew Wall, editor, soccerprose.com


About the author: Matthew Wall


I've played soccer since I could walk thanks to my father and love keeping up on all the latest gear and gab. I'm in my twenties, and I'm lucky enough to have found work in search marketing for a leading soccer retailer after completing my M.A. at Georgetown in 2008. My team is Liverpool, and national side is Ireland, but I've also got a passion for GAA and a number of sports. Feel free to give me a shout on Google+


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