Segments in this Video

A Mother's Worry (02:33)


Kerali Davis recalls her son getting a concussion during a high school football game. Robin Gibson recalls the hard hits her son experienced in football; he has long term effects from multiple concussions.

Newcastle, Oklahoma (02:13)

In 2012, a team of experts helps Newcastle implement the Six Pillars, a concussion risk management program. Football players discuss their concussion experiences.

Education (04:11)

Studies reveal that 65-80%of initial concussions are missed. Approximately 50% of concussions are indirect. Concussion symptoms resolve at different rates for different people; kids die every year from secondary impact syndrome. Robin and Noah Gibson discuss Noah's collapse on the field.

Protection (04:48)

See practice footage from 1928 and 2011. From 1931-2011, 678 high school football players die; two-thirds from helmet to helmet contact. Bobby Hosea's approach to tackling is used on all levels of football. He discusses educating coaches and players.

Protection II (04:19)

Kaleb Ogle discusses receiving two concussions during one game. Most concussions occur when the athlete does not see the hit coming. Strong neck muscles can help lower concussion risk. Physical therapist Keith Cronin demonstrates how proper condition can provide protection.

Protection III (04:14)

Maintaining good physical condition reduces the risk of injury. Bobby Hosea states that players become most vulnerable to concussions late in the game. Players discuss using their helmets as a weapon. Helmets are designed to protect the skull, not the brain; it is important that they fit properly.

Identification (04:56)

Concussion is the most common neurological injury in sports but can sometimes be hard to diagnose. Justin Leder discusses his multiple concussions. Neuropsychologist Rosemarie Moser and high school coaching staff discuss players refusing to report an injury.

Concerned Parents (02:24)

Jarod Missey recalls a brutal hit on the football field. Several mothers reflect on the attitudes of young football players and their coaches; many players do not want to leave a game.

Impact Sensors (02:04)

Kids are often unwilling to report their symptoms. Football players and their mothers learn about an impact sensing mouth guard under development. The mouth guard identifies what happens in the head when a football player is hit.

Helmet Technology (03:13)

Head injury trauma is a sociological issue. See several helmet impact tests. Danny Crossman explains and demonstrates the Shockbox sensor. Players reflect on accountability as a result of the sensor.

Concussion Evaluation (03:43)

The King Devick Test and the Balance Error Scoring System helps identify the likelihood of a concussion. Several adults reflect on the athletic trainer and coaches' responsibility to their players. Experts discuss the cumulative effects of low-grade hits to the head.

Concussive Effects (02:12)

The average high school football player is hit 1,000 times a season. The cumulative effects of low grade hits can lead to concussive problems. Experts discuss chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Treatment (01:18)

Experts discuss the components of treating a concussion.

Return to Play (06:17)

Experts discuss returning athletes to sports and baseline testing. Approximately 20-30% of athletes will report being symptom free before the brain has returned to baseline functioning. Justin Coryell recalls a player shoving his helmet off during a game and getting hit in the head.

Retirement (02:39)

A young man discusses retiring from football because of repeat concussions. An expert discusses important factors to contemplate when considering retirement.

Importance of Education (03:17)

Education is a key component to making football safer. Experts discuss the importance of resting the brain, properly treating a concussion, and educating everyone involved with sports.

Diagnosed Concussion (01:47)

The number of diagnosed concussions at Newcastle dramatically declined. High schools with athletic trainers diagnose eight times as many concussions as high schools without medical staff; less than 50% of US high schools have a certified athletic trainer.

Credits: The Smartest Team: Making High School Football Safer (02:18)

Credits: The Smartest Team: Making High School Football Safer

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The Smartest Team: Making High School Football Safer

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Head injuries in youth and high school football pose daunting challenges that sensational media coverage has many parents believing are insurmountable. Factor in a sport culture resistant to change, too many coaches still teaching players to block and tackle using their heads, players unwilling to report concussions, and a game in which concussion identification and management remains haphazard and poorly understood, and it’s no surprise that concerned parents are left wondering what, if anything, can be done to improve safety. In this program, Brooke de Lench—an acknowledged expert in youth sports health and safety and the founder and editor-in-chief of, an online publication for mothers parenting children active in youth sports—enlists her own team of doctors and coaches to show how football programs and athletes can reduce concussions by playing smarter. The Smartest Team begins where other concussion documentaries leave off; instead of simply identifying the risks of long-term brain injury in football, it offers specific solutions and steps that can be taken right now to minimize those risks through a focus on what de Lench calls The Six Pillars of concussion risk management. Viewable/printable educational resources are available online. (59 minutes)

Length: 59 minutes

Item#: BVL55330

ISBN: 978-0-81608-717-4

Copyright date: ©2013

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