Dick's Sporting Goods has announced a FREE baseline concussion screening program called PACE (Protecting Athletes through Concussion Education). Dick's is providing FREE access to ImPACT, the most widely used and independently verified neurocognitive evaluation system, at www.impacttest.com.
The ImPACT evaluation begins with a 20-minute baseline test, administered pre-season. If a concussion is suspected later, a post-injury test is administered by trained clinicians to determine when or whether it is appropriate for the athlete to return to play.
Youth Elite Soccer encourages all of our partner clubs and their players to sign up for free baseline testing through Dick's free PACE program.
And also to seek greater understanding of how to prevent concussions in soccer.
Ashley Goodsell, one of our outstanding female coaches at YES, points to a surprising 2007 study showing that women's soccer leads all other college sports - even college football - in terms of the number of concussions recorded per exposure.
The most frequent causes of concussion, according to the study, were headers and contact with the ground. And while the study also shows concussion regularity among boys that play soccer, it points out that girls are at greater risk for concussions because they have a smaller head-to-ball ratio and weaker necks than boys.
Ashley experienced five concussions in her high school career: four playing soccer, one playing softball. As a result, she knows the importance of teaching young players proper header technique to discourage concussions. And the importance of common-sense:
"Concussion-free for 6 years, I am still cautious with my head! Listen to your mothers, girls! Wear a helmet when you ride your bike, snowboard or ski, (even if it doesn't look that cool), and check out the head gear (photo, above right)! It's trending..."
You can read the concussion study at: