When it comes to preventing concussion, player honesty is at the top of our list.
Player honesty is vital
We welcome the latest articles in the Irish Independent and The Irish Times featuring Donegal GAA star Ryan McHugh as he talks openly about concussion. It’s important that more players like Ryan feel that they can talk about any symptoms they experience after a hard knock on the field.
Encouraging player honesty is crucial to reduce the risk of second impact syndrome among players of contact sports, a condition which can result in serious symptoms or even kill.
If you have concussion symptoms – speak out
The reality is that players are often their own worst enemies. Many will always play on with an injury if they can get away with it. That’s why it’s important that players have the support of the coaches, their families and the team around them so they are not afraid to speak up about concussion symptoms.
Ryan Mc Hugh knows all too well how difficult it is, not to play. He told the Irish Times: “I think the hardest thing to do as any sports person, well for me, as a Gaelic footballer, is to sit on the bench, or sit on the line and watch your team-mates playing when there’s nothing you can do to help them. I would have given anything to be out in the middle of it but unfortunately from my point of view I had to take the medical advice and sit it out.”
Don’t ignore the signs
Ignoring the signs of concussion as an alternative is just too high risk. Studies have shown that a player who has been concussed is at greater risk of experiencing another concussion.
Saying nothing because you want to play on is not worth a lifetime of serious symptoms after an impact that causes torn blood vessels or nerve damage in the brain.
The good news
Positively, concussion is a manageable injury. You can recover from it. That’s why it’s important that more players know the signs and speak up if they experience any symptoms. Read our handy wallet card on concussion for players.