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Weeks 8 and 9: The End is Near

May 10, 2021

Welcome back to my blog everyone! The past two weeks have been extremely busy for me with the senior project and APs. But, through it all, I have managed to make progress on my project.

I made it clear in my last blog post that we should incorporate new tackling techniques to minimize the usage of helmets when tackling another player. For example, the new tackling technique should be fully engaging shoulders to tackle the ball carrier and tuck their head to the side while tackling. While incorporating new tackling methods may seem hindsight, then why aren’t concussion rates lowering at a significant amount? Rugby leagues have a lower concussion rate than the NFL. This is problematic because rugby players use way less safety equipment to protect themselves than NFL players do.

Some NFL teams have already been incorporating these new tackling methods, but it is no making that much of a difference. NFL teams are hosting team practices without the use any of safety equipment, and this is also not reducing concussions at a significant amount. So, the question shouldn’t be what we should minimize risk, because there have already been ample number ways developed. The question should be how can we implement these new methods into different programs?

The reason why the current NFL generation is struggling to reduce concussions is because of the fact that change was implemented too late. Current NFL players have at least nine years of football experience, and they have been using the same technique and methods for those nine-plus years. Now, when current tackling methods are taught to their players it is harder for them to change their habits that they have been using for so long.

This is why I propose the idea of starting earlier. All youth football leagues should be forced to implement these new safe tackling techniques. They should also be enforced to hold practices with limited safety gear. Younger kids are less likely to get injured because they have less inertia, they are shorter, and they are not as athletic as professional players. When all these safety habits are taught to these kids at a younger age, it will all be second hand to them by the time they reach high school or college level football.

In the past two weeks, I have also started working on my research paper. The outline of my paper includes an Intro (Why I got into this topic), a Literature review (I dig deeper into the current research already been done), My Proposal, and a conclusion. I am making very good progress on my paper, and my goal is to be done with it by the end of this week.

If you have made it this far, you are a real one. Thanks, and I will see you again next week!

 

2 Replies to “Weeks 8 and 9: The End is Near”

  1. Neel D. says:

    I agree with you; tackling is purely psychological. It seems that hitting players with fines or penalties during the game doesn’t stop them from leading with their helmet, because that’s the way they were taught to do it. Since you’re proposing a good long-term solution, what do you think is the best way to fix this problem in the short-term? I don’t think you can just teach an NFL player to stop their current method, but it seems the negative reinforcement isn’t working that well either.

    1. Milan M. says:

      I think short-term solutions might be trying to find new ways to bring more awareness to how serious helmet-to-helmet contact hits can be. When teams hold practices, trainers should also inform players on the major effects of concussions and how they can prevent them during a game. Many players give their 200 percent into the game, and this sometimes can lead to neck and head injuries which can be career-ending. Players should be taught the medicine behind concussions so they can truly understand how serious these head injuries can be.

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