When you are watching a college football game with your six your old and you see a player have to have his helmet cut off, concussion injuries become a real and scary thing. There is no debate about how serious and debilitating a head or brain injury can be. Head and brain injuries can bring life long and life-threatening consequences. Watching the entire stadium hold their breath to see how they will take the injured off the field can be suspenseful. Watching both teams, opposing and very often rivals, take a knee, silently praying that the injury is not serious, brings up so much emotion. Fear and pride to name a few.
As I watch the 11 players on my sons flag football team, I see them start to become a family. They all have heart. They learn things on the field that aren't learned at home. These kids are learning sacrifice, loyalty, and dedication. They are learning how to support and encourage their teammates and to hold themselves accountable when need be. Football teaches you to win and to lose. They are learning this while having fun. No matter how rough the practice is, my son always wants to go back. Nothing makes me happier.
Do I fear a head injury? I do. But my faith is stronger than my fear. Faith in the coaches, faith in the trainers, and faith in myself as a parent. I think the Heads Up program is a great start for coaches to ensure a good training and education on the matter. I hope that with proper training and good equipment, one day we will see fewer injuries, and kids can continue to grow up playing the sport they love.