Hard to believe a coach does this in this day and age

I’m hearing reports that kids playing little league football is WAY down, largely attributed to parents who just don’t want to expose their kids to a lifetime of consequences due to the related injuries.

As much as you hate to say it… if football is to survive in the long-term they are going to need to address these types of issues and either modify the game or develop better equipment to prevent traumatic brain injuries.

When my twin boys (6) expressed some mild interest in playing football, Mrs. Skinypupy shut it down almost immediately. Said that she’s fine with them playing flag football, but full contact is a non-starter for her.

I’m still on the fence because I see the benefits (and I enjoy the game), but the health risks are real and I can’t really blame her for not wanting them to get involved.

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You wife is far from alone and honestly I don’t think she is wrong. I knew a former Ute football great from even before my time. Heck of a nice guy and heck of a smart guy too. He passed away maybe 5-8 years ago now, but spent the last 5 years of his life introducing himself to people about every 15 minutes. He’d come and give you a big handshake and say, “Hi my name is Rob, nice to meet you!” 15 minutes later the same thing. You’d just smile and introduce yourself again and think how sad it was that you’d know him for about 20 years and not only did he not have recollection of that, but not even of the last 15 minutes.

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My two sons played basketball and volleyball. They are big and certainly could have played football, but we did not encourage it. I played football myself in high school, and got away with only one concussion and no long-term injuries that I know of.

I do believe in competitive sports for boys and girls. We all learn self-discipline, how to win, how to lose, how to work in a team, and other life lessons extremely useful later on. I’ve always thought the most important thing I learned in sports was that I could press forward when in my mind I thought I was exhausted and couldn’t give anymore. There are other ways to learn that, outside of sports, but it made a difference for me, and for my sons.

Obviously football is not the only way to learn those things. Soccer, baseball, softball, lacrosse, basketball, wrestling, gymnastics, cross country, you name it. There are plenty of ways to benefit from youthful participation in sports.

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I absolutely LOVE football, especially CFB. But the damage the players suffer is not acceptable and will eventually damage the sport all together. The players are basically used and thrown away, like modern-day gladiators. Cheered while they are on top, then forgotten afterward.

This podcast is an exceptional discussion of the risks of CTE surrounding football. Highly recommended.

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Then this was on CNN.com today:

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I coached youth football for several years. This is the advice I give to parents. Let them play when they are 8 years old. The chances of getting a serious injury at 8 is far less than waiting “until they are older”. 8 year olds for the most part hit like marshmellows. If you wait until your kid is in junior high, then he (or she) is going to be way behind and the chance of injury is increased. Just my two cents based on experience.

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I got more concussions from baseball than I did from football. Soccer is also high on head trauma.

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I was surprised to see girls’ soccer as #2. I can see soccer itself as #2, but I wonder why the data are worse for girls?

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 Just last night my 9 year old was hit by a ball as a catcher. It stunned her for a bit. She also played boys tackle football two years ago, and no traumatic injuries. 

I dont have boys but if I did I would absolutely encourage them to play football. My girls both play competitive softball, and have inherent risks of getting hit in the head constantly. They are also both avid skiers, who get hit quite hard in their heads several times a year. Obviously if they showed signs of head trauma, I would not let them ski for a few weeks. My honest opinion is that college football is indeed a brutal sport that I would not encourage my children to play. Little league football and high school football is not an experience that should be missed if kids have a desire to play it. Those lessons are still with me to this day.