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Recognizing concussions in sports

We know how in sports a lot of injuries occur through concussions from physical contact sports. Here in Ireland for Gaelic, Rugby, and Hurling possible concussions could easily happen in these physical contact sports. It is common in sports to avoid injuries yet; injuries happen time after time through moments occurring through plays happening in a match. 

https://youtu.be/6-QmFq1Hozs?si=oSGrTVv6vDsmts0w Credited video by: GAA officialgaa; personal story, yet the message is to be aware the symptoms of having an concussion.

In Ireland, such as (GAA) Gaelic Athletic Association, common injuries happen in all sports, but this sport, in recent years GAA has become a more physical sport. As a result, sports science, and nutrition, which lead the games to be played at a quicker and more physical pace.  According to the research Sullivan says, football players who have suspected injuries of a concussion show a behavioral attitude of ignoring the symptoms to go back on the pitch to play. The lack of awareness can be dangerous and major concern for their health. 

Spoken to a former Gaelic athlete that has played from 1994 to 2001 and then again from 2017 to 2022.Dave Doran that has backed up this statement saying, “The majority of the teams don’t seem to understand concussion. Most head impacts result in coaches checking if the player has a headache or blurred vision, giving them a drink and getting them to play on. He says, 

“I think this comes from a mix of lack of awareness around concussion, and the macho attitude that exists in both the men’s and women’s game on playing through pain.” 

-Dave Doran

(PBC) Perceived Behavioral and control, on attitudes on avoiding the symptoms of concussion for footballers which can lead to unrecovered therapy for athletes to be treated properly with a concussion injury. 

Research says, athletes that have received earlier treatment on recovery is more beneficial than those who receive it later isn’t as effective (Moser, Schatz,2021). Physical sport of Gaelic, Rugby, and Hurling has been a part of the Irish culture for years. This is a public matter to be concerned to athletes being honest with their injuries of their concussions to recognize their behaviors of not rushing back into their season to play.

The lack of players who are willing to recognize symptoms of a concussion can affect their mental and physical health later down the line in the future. This is society’s problem with the competitive athletes we have over the years and so on today we face the same issue, even though we have been guided and taught to understand and recognize the outcomes of the injuries we have. The research states that there is no tension or control of an attitude that coaches, doctors, friends, family, and teammates decision can make a difference on determining if the athlete that has an injury would sit out because their lack of not caring about their health. That is one of the biggest issues athletes faces in playing the sport that they are committed to and love. 

For global athletes misunderstanding concussions the media can be important to educating towards the public’s awareness. Which can influence and therefore, would increase knowledge towards understanding the condition in our population around the world. There is only so much the mainstream media can prevail about informing the viewers on the impact concussion injuries have on athletes. 

For a management concussion process, the reliance on the health for athletes in Gaelic, Rugby, and hurling is a serious matter. This is for health care professionals would need to be aware of identifying and recognizing the symptoms of an injury. On a community level, limited medical support should be the responsibility of team officials, and coaches.

New Zealand rugby have created RugbySmart around 2001. *

It provides referees and coaches injury prevention skills, plus knowledge to help with player safety in a community for players who play Rugby. Which is online and is mandatory through a practical course that would have to be completed at the beginning of each pre-season. *

Reading and researching upon RugbySmart online, focuses on educating to recognize, remove, and return. *

The sports industry from other countries such as referees and coaches could benefit majorly from researching upon New Zealand to help recognize and pay more attention and to be more aware of injuries to help prevent concussion. This is an important matter in Gaelic, Rugby, and Hurling as well because the more this information is addressed, the more educated the public will be towards concussions in the sports industry. This in turn will lead to less concussion relating injuries in the mentioned sports for players. This will allow players to continue to play the sport they love for a longer period. Especially, after being treated and taking a concussion test before being cleared back on the field. It is very important for footballs to hold themselves accountable through recovery, and time spent treating themselves to be able to perform and be at their best once they’ve return to play in their season. 

Jennifer Sheehan is a current Gaelic football player has recently joined this sport playing for her local team Good Counsel Liffey Gaels GAA and Camogie Club, Jenifer works at St. James’s Hospital as a healthcare assistant. An all-around athlete that has been playing basketball for 20 years. Jennifer says, 

Photo provided by Jennifer Sheehan

“This year just started playing Gaelic Football, from playing a sport at a high level. You would do anything to win and play hard even if you’re injured. I’ve had my share of blows to the head and even with the knowledge from working in a hospital of how dangerous it can be. You still never really take it seriously, when on the court or pitch.”

-Jennifer Sheehan

Between a former and a recently joined Gaelic footballer, these are athletes who are aware of the matter with symptoms of going through some form of a concussion injury. Will this continue to keep happening for coaches, and term officials to bypass on players to continue to play? Or will a change be made for the safety and health of a footballer?

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