July 30, 2014 - Getting your 'bell rung' is far too often a reoccurring part of sports.
The violent hit to the head is just one of several concussion-causing occurrences that's commonplace in sports.
"In soccer it may not be a nasty collision, rather, a player could just fall awkwardly during the game or practice," said Evan Huizenga, varsity soccer coach at Goodrich High School. "There's always an opportunity for concussion in any sport. It can be a tennis player on the court or a runner that just trips and falls."
As the fall sports season approaches, Goodrich High School is offering future athletes some early medical attention to help address the concussion issue.
From 8:30-11:30 a.m., Aug. 4, the McLaren Health Care Corporation, Dr. Stacy Frye, Goodrich Athletic Trainer Gai Clemmer and Goodrich Area Schools will offer sports physicals and ImPact Concussion Testing at Goodrich High School. The cost is $20 per physical and $25 for the concussion testing. Forms will be available at event and must be signed by a guardian if under 18-years-old.
"We are excited to host this event," said Dave Davis, GHS athletic director. "The discount prices really gives our student-athletes an affordable opportunity to utilize these services."
The ImPact Concussion Testing will help establish a 'baseline' for student-athletes. This is very important in the diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up should a student-athlete experience a concussion.
"Concussions are extremely transparent in sports and have been in the media a lot over the past few years," said Clemmer. "The ImPact Concussion Testing will serve as a comparison as it tests a normal brain of the student. Then when an injury occurs, that data, from his or her test, will give the medical professional an indication of when the brain is back to normal during recovery. Every brain is different—a return to competition too early can be extremely damaging. The ImPact Concussion Testing is a straight forward test that can't be lied about by the athlete."
Davis said the first of its kind event in Genesee County is vital for athletes.
"Concussion awareness is obviously a hot-button topic right now, and for good reason," he added. "Many of the studies that have recently been published point to the long term effects of concussions sustained over a number of years. When you think about student-athletes who begin playing soccer or football at a young age, sometimes 4- or 5-years-old and then they continue to play sports for another 10-15 years, the number of hits, bumps, and bruises add up. Sometimes one of those little bumps could actually be a concussion and it is important that it is treated properly."
Goodrich Football Coach Tom Alward said concussion prevention is key.
"It's all in the technique when tackling or blocking," said Alward, starting his 22nd year of coaching.
"We preach just keep your head out of the hit—your head goes to the side. We've been very lucky at Goodrich and had few head injuries. Once a player has a concussion they are far more susceptible. Today our equipment is far better and the regulations are more stringent."
Davis emphasises the need for physicals before the season begins.
"All student athletes in grades 7-12 must have a sports physical for the upcoming school year in order to tryout, practice, or participate," he said. "This physical must be dated after April 15, 2014 to meet the MHSAA required guidelines. Sometimes this is very confusing for parents until they are accustomed to the April 15 date. Most parents, and some doctors, are on their insurance calendar for physicals and that doesn't always coincide with the April 15 date. We try hard to get the message out starting in the spring of the year, but we think that hosting an event like this so close to the start of fall practices will be convenient."
Contact GHS Athletic Department, 810-591-2230.