Symposium focuses on neck strengthening to prevent head trauma


The NFL has taken a lot of reactive measures to try to improve the concussion.  That’s terrific, but what about prevention?

Alex Marvez of attended a symposium in Cincinnati over the weekend that gathered 100 strength and conditioning coaches, with the focus being on preventing head trauma through neck exercises.   The coaches believe neck strength makes all the difference.

“We’ve got all this information about kids and brain damage. But nobody is talking about any preventative measures,” said former Bengals strength coach Kim Wood, who help organize the weekend.

Five NFL teams sent reps to the seminar.  Neck training techniques were taught and many believe they should be mandatory.  That includes former NFL player Adam Stenavich, who now works at Michigan State.

“If training your neck can prevent multiple concussions that can lead to a brain disorder, it’s stupid not to,” Stenavich said.

5 responses to “Symposium focuses on neck strengthening to prevent head trauma

  1. The only way to prevent concussions is to prevent hits using/to the head.

    How do you do that?

    1) Penalize/fine/suspend players until they stop.

    -This is what players call “softening the game.” Not all hard hits are hits to the head. Funny how the smart thing is considered the weak thing. There is nothing soft about this solution. It just takes smarts and skill to lay big hits.

    2) Realize Ditka is right and take away facemasks.

    -The amount of injuries that would happen as players got accustomed to no facemask would have the detractors screaming bloody murder before it ever had a chance to work. Besides, many players are too worried about their face to risk getting scars.

    3) Teach the players that they are at risk and ask them to stop.

    -Yeah, that’ll work. Even if a player wants to protect his brain, he can’t prevent an idiot opponent from hitting him in the head. Also, the first time a receiver doesn’t give up his body to try to catch a pass leading him into a big hit he will be called a coward and replaced. In hockey that’s called protecting yourself and blame goes on the passer, the coach and teammates get on the passer’s case for leading the player into a hit. Football has it backwards.

  2. Concussion stands no chance when it runs into a person with what looks like two tiny ears sticking out of the side of a neck. It knows there is a tiny brain stem buried in there somewhere, but no way to reach it.

  3. Use your head. Don’t use your head.

    Nah, that motto’s too confusing to catch on. But yeah, neck strength and stay on your feet. And better helmets, aesthetics be damned.

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