Below I list 5 reasons head injuries occur among girl soccer players. Many of you already know girls soccer [ages 13-17] are some of the highest in sports-related head trauma. Some doctors say the main thing we need to do is not let them head the ball or even play soccer till they are 14 yrs old, which I disagree with. I’m not saying I know more than a doctor, I’m just saying why would you not let them head until the age that the get the injuries? Kids need to learn the right ways to head before they are allowed to do them in games. We need to teach & prepare them better & more often, play less games & educate coaches to not teach reckless play.
5 reasons head injuries occur more among girl soccer players
Here are 5 reasons head injuries occur among girl soccer players:
- Players are not taught the right way at a younger age, even top players [e.g., ECNL] at age 13+ don’t know how to do this
- Players need more fundamentals.. Practicing headers will help keep their head and neck stronger and the small range reps teach them all the correct ways. There are many ways to head the ball and most kids only know one.
- Reckless clumsy challenges & coaches teaching players to be too aggressive playing the player instead of the ball. So elbows, head to head, falling on ground wrong, getting kicked in the head & also heading the ball wrong.
- Girls can kick the ball harder compared to when they are U7-12, therefore players [for girls, mainly center mids] are taking on goal kick challenges or punts from 30-50 yards week after week
- Too many games, not enough training
Players who play down the middle of the field (Center Mids & Center Defenders) take on the most headers/challenges. Should they be forced to use the “Head Gear”? Maybe, but Head Gear doesn’t necessarily fix the problem because many players think it will protect them no matter what and therefore don’t attack the ball but rather they just let it hit them – which is wrong.
20 tips on heading the soccer ball
How to fix the problem
If it were my daughter, I would get her private or private small group training to teach her the correct ways & how to protect herself. Also LESS GAMES! High school soccer in addition with select/club soccer is a lot of game. Kids already play too many games (80-100 games per year) which even the U.S. Youth National Coaching staff say is too many games. They say the kids need more training, not games. Not only will the players gain more skills while training, but get less head & knee injuries will occur.
Fun advanced strength exercise using bosu
This video below is not to teach how to head. This is more for players who are already good and want to try something new and fun. It’s a way to get the legs and core strong, while doing headers. First learn how to head and all the tips in the video above.