The Brain on Youth Sports
The Science, the Myths, and the Future
Julie M. Stamm
Dispels the myths surrounding head impacts in youth sports and empowers parents to make informed decisions about sports participation.
“They’re just little kids, they don’t hit that hard or that much.” “Girls soccer is the most dangerous sport.” “Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy only happens to former NFL players.” “Youth sports are safer than ever.” These are all myths propagated with the goal of maintaining the status quo in youth sports, which can subject young, rapidly maturing brains to hundreds of impacts each season. In this book, Julie Stamm dissects the issue of repetitive brain trauma in youth sports and their health consequences, explaining the science behind concussions, CTE, and subconcussive impacts written in an easy-to-understand approach, so you can be a well-informed consumer and decision maker. It’s not all about concussions. Those repetitive impacts that happen on every play in football or with every header in soccer can damage the brain, too. The consequences can be even worse for a child’s developing brain. Stamm counters the myths, bad arguments, and propaganda surrounding the youth sports industry. This book also provides guidance for those deciding whether or not their child should play sports with a high risk of repetitive brain trauma as well as for those hoping to make youth sports truly as safe as possible for young athletes.
Stamm, a former three-sport athlete herself, understands the many wonderful benefits that come from playing youth sports and believes all children should have the opportunity to play sports without the risk of long-term consequences. No athlete has to sustain hundreds of impacts and repetitive brain trauma in order to gain the benefits of sports. This work is a must-read before you suit up your child for another practice or send your team out for another game.