My partner forwarded to me the link to the article featuring the interview with Bo Jackson. You'll find it below, where Bo Jackson shares a startling hindsight that he: “I would have never played football. Never. I wish I had known about all of those head injuries, but no one knew that. And the people that did know that, they wouldn’t tell anybody.”
With all due respect for Mr. Jackson’s opinion, I would have to respectfully disagree and below I will be happy to present my considerations.
All that I am going to say is based on my personal experience and the familiarity with a so-called “uniform way” of feeling and thinking of Olympians and professional athletes.
This group of people is quite a bit different from an average person when it comes to their physiological potentials. Our individual physiological potentials have limits. No matter how hard an average person would work out he or she cannot become an Olympian or a professional athlete. Not many of us can sustain a workload that will compel a heart to beat 220 times per minute when at rest it beats 45 times per minute. Can you imagine a physical load and a psychological pressure that such a person must undertake? Professional athletes are born with this superhuman physical potential to withstand huge physical and psychological overload.
And what about a psychological state of mind? Without a special super strong state of mind, one cannot survive the environment of professional sports, including sustaining constant various multiple physical traumas, and not only to the head. In addition to the already mentioned superior physiological potential and a state of mind, in order to succeed one has to have a gift for a particular sport, including individual body constitution. Being an exception from this rule Bo Jackson only confirms this rule. This array of qualities is necessary in order to survive and succeed in professional or Olympic sports.
Today, in retrospect, being a victim of brain trauma and having a better judgment that came with age, Bo Jackson truly believes that, had he known back then the same information that he knows today, he would withdraw from football.
Yet, in his 17 or 18, experiencing his power and uniqueness of his physiological potential, Bo would probably sign any document, acknowledging all risks including, but not limited to brain trauma. He would play, would sacrifice, for the name of his ambitions, physical and mental power.
As an evidence of it, today public is much more aware of contact sports, football, lacrosse, soccer, boxing, etc., and dangerous side effects of these competitive sports, including concussion. Did this change anything?
On that thought, my partner wrote an interesting piece on concussion awareness "A contemplation about "Concussion"". Although I would like to take a credit, that's probably a year prior to this movie I wrote an article on concussion for Massage Magazine. I was inspired when saw an interview of Ray Rice.
Personally, I wasn't aware on pandemics of brain trauma in the US until the incidents with Ray Rice.
I'm discussing my position in my blog sighted below
With all this public awareness, is there any decrease in participation for these sports? Do parents stop taking kids for football, lacrosse or soccer practice? Especially teenagers involved in these sports.
To summarize, I would like to stress that despite public awareness of the danger of contact sports, American football will continue to be popular as it always was. It is a big part of an American culture. Participation of kids in competitive contact sports will never decrease. This phenomenon is also a big part of an American culture, just like a number of car accidents steadily increasing proportionally to the number of car on streets and freeways. While whiplash resulted from a car accident is as significant cause of concussion as contact sports.
However, we don’t need to despair, even when speaking of the most dangerous detrimental effect of contact sports - “the silent killer” known as asymptomatic concussions. It assaults people without obvious symptoms and brain dysfunction develops little by little.
The preventive measures do exist! In the late 1960s, professor Dembo developed and initiated a preventive program that, by order of the Soviet government, was implemented in all youth sports organizations, as well as in adult competitive teams. Lately, I invested much time learning the details of this programs. Amazingly, this prevention program has a quite simple implementation, based on the original concussion protocol. For many years this program clinically proved itself, including its effect on the improved longevity of the Soviet Olympians, compared to the Western teams.
Don’t take me wrong. I'm not missing Soviet government dictatorship, and don’t believe that in this country, in order to implement concussion prevention and management programs we need the help of Vladimir Putin LOL.
All that needs to be done is to establish, the real clinical approach to a rehabilitation from a concussion, prevention of encephalopathies developments, as well as to prevention of concussions. The prevention is implemented with neuromuscular re-education and correction of biomechanics. In such a case, an athlete’s neck and body will be able to absorb and withstand forces applied against the head, and, possibly, can prevent brain trauma.
Also, it is quite easy to address and prevent the complications of an asymptomatic concussion. In order to accomplish this task, one must routinely to perform these concussion preventive techniques. Even parents can do it if properly trained.
Please post questions, comments, agreements or disagreements.
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