Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Why your kids should play football

From page A8 | February 27, 2014 |

As someone who calls Davis home, as a former Davis High football coach and as someone who was fortunate enough to go through the football and baseball program as a player, I am extremely saddened to see the lack of interest in football in Davis.

Concussions seem to be a major factor in parents not wanting their kids to play football, and I will tell you why you should allow your children to participate in football, without having to worry about concussions.

Technique, technique, technique! Too many young people today watch the NFL and see week-to-week NFL players demonstrate poor tackling technique because they want to make the “big hit.” You must trust in your child and the coaching staff to implement the correct techniques in form tackling, where from day one players are taught to hit with their head up (see what you are hitting), as well as hitting and creating force with their shoulders and hips. The head is merely there to complement the rest of your body; use it to think, not hit!

Yes, getting hit the in the head is going to happen, but it can be avoided. The football world is also doing everything it can to improve the game and the equipment used in preventing injuries, especially concussions.

Football is an amazing sport to be a part of. It will build character as well as teach your child the meaning of sacrifice, teamwork, dedication and commitment to something bigger than oneself.

Yes, there is a risk of injuries while playing football. But where in life is there not a risk for injury? Walking across the street is a risk, playing other sports is a risk, driving a car is a risk. My playing career ended my junior year of college because of a tear in my rotator cuff, and I would not trade my 13 years of playing football for anything.

Of course, football is not the only sport around. I encourage young men and women to play multiple sports while in high school. But football provides such a unique opportunity for young people, don’t let your children miss out on it!

Scott Malinoff
Nashville, Tenn.

Letters to the Editor


Discussion | 4 comments

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  • SteveFebruary 27, 2014 - 7:39 am

    I think this is an irresponsible letter given the research emerging in the field on juvenile head trauma that the coach doesn't adequately address by saying there is a risk of injuries.

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  • Martin LutherFebruary 27, 2014 - 10:41 am

    Steve your so ridiculous. I'm willing to bet you didn't know that cycling actually causing more head injuries per year then football. In fact while riding a bike your two times more likely to sustain a head injure then on a football field. Time to stop kids from biking to school, in Davis, the bike capitol of the US? Do some research before you let out that mouth diarrhea.

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  • Rich RifkinFebruary 27, 2014 - 3:38 pm

    "In fact while riding a bike your two times more likely to sustain a head injure then on a football field." ........... I'm not sure of the numbers for people on the whole. However, I know that in all the years I played Pop Warner Football and high school football, I never was concussed. I also played college rugby and, while I did bang heads a few times in scrums (I played #1 Prop), I never had concussion symptoms. On the other hand, in 2012, when a car ran into my bicycle while I was riding on Road 29, I was severely concussed and sent to the Trauma Center at Kaiser Vacaville. My helmet, which was trashed from impact, saved my life. I had positional vertigo--meaning I felt dizzy any time I moved from a reclined position to an upright position--for about 2.5 months after the accident. ............ One thing I credit football with in my life is toughening me up. There is pain in football. You learn to manage it and overcome challenges. I later worked as a deckhand on fishing boats (not crabbers, though) and I think I handled that more easily than most greenhorns because I was tougher, due to football. ......... I think most people who work their way through hard physical challenges as teens are then able to handle challenges that hit them later in life. Football is not for everyone. However, it's a mistake for parents to be overly protective of their children such that they avoid risks and some suffering. Eventually, life catches up with all of us. And those whose childhoods were too soft are never prepared to overcome the rough patches.

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  • LeonFebruary 27, 2014 - 11:12 am

    I played football alongside Scott for five years, and baseball for seven years. I agree with everything he said but of course have some additional comments. In a very brief review of some articles on head trauma in youth sports it would seem the majority of problems come when youth undergo multiple concussions in a short period of time and do not report it to a coach or trainer. From this standpoint I would say encouraging good form and rescinding the tough-guy persona we indoctrinate in youth players is a better path. I had my bell rung several times over my years of playing football, but in my view never suffered a concussion. I would never trade my years playing football for anything, and surely hope my children will enjoy the same team camaraderie and level of sport I had during my time as a DHS football player. Every case is going to be different, some children may have concussions and have to be pulled out early, others won't and will love it. Personally I believe all sports have some inherent risk but that risk is worth it. Speaking as a former football player and current medical student, I think my brain is working just fine.

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