The Turnaround: Our Sport is Improving on the Concussion Front

The Turnaround

by Jason Strunk
Lubbock High School Head Football Coach
Follow @WestTXCoach

As my time in Laguna winds down, I’m finding it much easier to write. Not sure why.
Maybe it’s because I am relaxed. But me and the word relaxed doesn’t go together. So whatever the reason is I’m just rolling with it. Sitting by the beach and writing. I
could do this every day.

So there is a list of things I feel like tackling in this blog. I have an aggressive
agenda today, I suppose. So let’s get to it.

Concussions

It is my opinion that the game of football, on the high school and college level, is
at its safest point since the game was invented. Technology has made helmets better. Researchers have figured out how brain trauma is caused in football related
collisions. There are protocols that are followed for players with concussions
before they can even get a helmet back on to just do some running at practice. I can
go on and on. The world of football, especially on the levels I mentioned above, has
gotten together and figured a lot of things out. In turn, our game is the safest it
has been and it’s only going to continue to get better.

The advances the game of football has made on the high school and college levels to protect its players should be blasted everywhere for people to read and see. Make it a priority to show the safety improvements in our game. I still think the things we
read about mostly are negative, in terms of the concussion issue. There are a lot of
positive steps being taken. Spread the word.

One more thing. In today’s world it’s not always the case of things HAPPENING more.
Today we HEAR things more than ever before. Everyone is locked into social media
24/7. Now it’s is easy to broadcast everything, good and bad, to the masses.

High school and college football are on the right path. I see it every day!

We All Have A Choice

The greatest country in the world allows us to make our own occupation decisions.
What more can you ask for! You can find your happiness in your line of work and run
with it.

As I mentioned yesterday, my dad gave up being a chef and took jobs in slate
quarries and pipe foundries. Why? Well first-off it was his choice. Secondly, as he
puts it, he had to feed my ass. So there you have that.

Where am I going with this? Well it’s hard to say, but I just know this — I chose to
be an educator and coach. I didn’t choose to be coal miner, nor did I choose law
enforcement. I chose what I love and I chose it based on what would possibly keep me around longer for my family. Basically, that means I chose a profession with my own safety in mind.

Everyone has the same choices to make that I made. Even NFL players have the same choice. They aren’t required or forced to play in the NFL. Less than 1% of the
world’s population plays NFL football. Think about that number.

So here is the deal. Once a player is done with college ball, weigh the options. If
the NFL is too dangerous, you can go choose another line of work. I don’t know how
hard it is to walk away from millions of dollars, because I have never been in that
position. But, if your safety and future is your concern, get it in a field that your
college degree is in. Thankfully, some NFL guys are retiring at a young age because
the risk outweighs the rewards. Good for them! NFL players are not immortal, even
though fans think they are.

I said at the top that I don’t know where I am going with this. I have a level of
frustration that I can’t quite explain on this topic. If the NFL is too dangerous —
walk away. Nobody is forcing anyone to play. Nobody forced my dad to work in a slate quarry. He knew the risks. NFL players know the risks their occupation carries, too.

Make the right decision based on the right reasons. Your health should not be
compromised for a paycheck!

Monday

We start practice on Monday. It’s time to crank it up and get going! Loving my job
and what we do. Teaching football and the life lessons that come with it. There
isn’t a better career path, in my opinion.

Randomness

-Eating healthy has a way of making your mind healthy.

-I don’t have a political bone in my body. Never forget that.

-I struggled with reading as a child. It was tough on me. Writing, too. School
reading killed me. There weren’t any good topics. It was boring. I overcame this by
starting to read Sports Illustrated and doing NY Times crossword puzzles. Then I
took off. Struggles are only temporary. Work at it and you will overcome.

-My ultimate coaching staff would be this: Bill Belichick, Head Coach. Buddy Ryan,
Defensive Coordinator. Bill Walsh, Offensive Coordinator. Mike Westhoff, Special
Teams. Now that would be one heck of coaching staff.

-I am taking the Steelers to win the Super Bowl this year.

-I am taking Alabama to win the college football national championship this year.

-2018 New York Yankees win the World Series.

There you have it. Not sure if I made sense but…

Until next time… FIO

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About the Author

Jeff Fisher

Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America.

Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet.

Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.