#22 – Concussions in Soccer

Concussions may as well be called "the invisible injury." They happen to an organ which is completely enclosed by bone and usually covered by hair. It's hard to see a concussion - and consequently, it is often underestimated. 

In this episode, we describe concussive injuries, put them in context of soccer related activities, explain how to recognize them, how to respond to them, how the sport is working to minimize them, and some specific things (and equipment) that you can do or buy to help protect the young athletes in your life. 

Concussions Overview


  • A concussion is like a bruise to the brain
  • Typically invisible to the lay person
  • Caused by impact of the brain organ with the inside of the cranium
  • Classified as Major, Minor, and Sub-Concussive
  • Can accumulate over time
  • Can be seen by microscope even when not found by an MRI or CT scan


  • Signs vs Symptoms
  • Witnessed event
  • Dazed or stunned
  • Clumsy movement
  • Answers slowly
  • Loses consciousness
  • Mood, behavior or personality changes
  • Nausea Vomiting
  • Headache or pressure
  • Bothered by light or noise
  • Sluggish, lazy, foggy, or groggy
  • Confusion, concentration or memory problems


  • Remove child from the field
  • Keep child or teen out of play the day of the game
  • Have child or teen seen my a health professional experienced in concussion evaluation
  • Ask health care provider for written instructions for returning to school and returning to play
  • 1
    “Cumulative Brain Injury Develops From a Variety of Sources.” Autonomic Advantage, www.autonomicrecovery.com/brain-injury-accumulates-from-a-variety-of-sources/.
  • 2
    “Is Soccer Really Safer Than Football? Concussion Experts Aren't So Sure.” Traumatic Brain Injury, www.traumaticbraininjury.net/is-soccer-really-safer-than-football-concussion-experts-arent-so-sure/.
  • 3
    “Female Soccer Players Suffer the Most Concussions in High School Sports.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 14 Mar. 2017, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170314081533.htm.
  • 4
    Boddy, Jessica. “With Concussion Risk In Soccer, Headers May Kick It Up A Notch.” NPR, NPR, 1 Feb. 2017, www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/02/01/512848122/with-concussion-risk-in-soccer-headers-may-kick-it-up-a-notch.
  • 5
    Purchase a HALO 3 Protective Headband (Use code "Damascus" for 10% discount at checkout) http://unbouncepages.com/damascus_combo/

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The Soccer Sidelines

Soccer Dad, Coach, and Club President who is devoted to developing kids and their families. With a diverse background in leadership in other settings, David is focused on empowering parents, players, and coaches to focus on the stuff that really matters in youth sports.