As security guards, you are in tune with methods to defend yourself and to ward off intruders as well. You know what conks someone out and how to do it safely to avoid permanent injury. I am interested not only in precarious situations, but in everyday life as well. Recently a friend who plays soccer got a concussion which prompted me to research how to properly perform a header with the ball, when I found an article in Top Corner Magazine. It was meant to help him, but I thought I would pass the information on. We have all seen those incredible head butts in movies, and the stand-in stunt man knows how to do it realistically even during an action fight scene, but with care. You can imagine the damage you could do in a game like soccer which employs the technique of a header.
The issue of concussions and contusions has caused some rule changes in soccer and some banning of these moves. I can understand the concern behind these decisions. I read on Twitter that players who head a lot of balls, say more than 124 in two weeks, were three times more likely to get injured than those who rarely practice headers. If you are going to do it, it pays to understand this fundamental game skill. It is a dynamic way to score, but is it worth the price of headaches, confusion, and perhaps unconsciousness? Sometimes you can’t avoid collisions making any player that much more vulnerable around head-happy team members. A big security issue in the athletic world is traumatic brain injury and soccer is not exempt. It is known for a high rate of concussions. It is not just the intense impact of a few headers but also the smaller frequent ones that slip under the radar.
It is said to be critical to reduce player-to-player contact. Even slight, but repeated low-level head impact can affect the brain. You can simply limit heading in a league or learn how to do it more safely. There is some debate on whether it can be done. Would soccer be the same without headers? Perhaps not. Players are not asking themselves about the risks. Sure, not every soccer player has health problems, but the statistics tell a different tale. So new rules and bans are happening around the globe for youth teams. The question is how much it will affect the experience of playing and watching the game. People enjoy the aerial challenges that include heat to head, head to ground, or elbow to head. Not all of them involve contact with the ball, and this may be the key to the future safety of the game. It may be that concussions are not caused for the most part by the actual heading, but even the attempt to head the ball.
I have not yet drawn final conclusions and I am weighting the pros and cons. I want to know whether performing a header can be done in a protective manner, or if that is a fantasy sports professionals want to believe to leave the technique in the game.