Welcome to week 7 of my senior project! I can’t believe that it has been almost two months since the start of the senior project! This week I started to shift my focus on the other half of my senior project. I started to research potential solutions to reduce the risk of concussions in the NFL, and in general, the whole game of football. Finding information on this topic has been tough, to say the least. So much time and money have been invested in improving helmets and other types of safety gear but at the end of the day, these new advancements will not reduce the number of concussions. There is no research geared towards finding new innovative ways to reduce the risk of concussions.
I had to dig and dig and dig for more information on this topic. I came across something interesting, and something that could go a long way in reducing the risk of concussion specifically in the NFL. This new solution has to do with altering the traditional tackling technique. Many players are naturally inclined to tackle with their head leaning first because they think that method will generate the most power in their tackles. Many players also think that tackling headfirst into the ball carrier’s football will make them fumble. While the second statement may be true, but it is not the smartest idea.
The main reason why concussions occur in the first place is because of the helmet-to-helmet contact or in any case helmet first contact. The second statement I made in the previous paragraph; if the player hits with their head first and makes contact with anything else but the ball, this will turn into a serious concussion. There is also a psychological effect when it comes to tackling and unwanted risk. The more technological advancements we insert into safety equipment; the higher the reliability will be on those equipment. Players will act more erratic because they know that they have more advanced protection. This is why I am proposing a new tackling technique that can be taught to NFL players and can be adapted to any football league. This technique has already been tested in youth leagues but has not hit its mark in the higher leagues. The simplistic idea of this new method is to hold all football team practices without the use of helmets.
Next week I am going to go more in-depth into this new method. I am also going to run some calculations to predict how many concussions can be reduced by adopting this new technique. Stay tuned!