The Effects Of A Concussion….Story

Twellman having an impact beyond the field...

The Taylor Twellman Interview: Part I, Part II

With permission from Eastside FC in Washington State, it was great to be able to repost the below post from their blog and a credit again to Taylor Twellman for sharing his story so that others can be motivated to be preventative.



Here’s an eye-opening interview with Taylor Twellman of the New England Revolution by The Shin Guardian yesterday.  He talks about the impact of concussions that led to his retirement.  It’s a sobering read.

Thanks to Coach Ryan Dortch for sending it along….

It sparked the following message from Director of Coaching Chance Fry to all our coaches.  Coincidentally we had a training session on concussions last night.  Chance’s email reflects the club’s position on concussions and playing soccer.

Dear Coaches,

It was great to see most of you last night. Ryan Dortch sent this story to me about Taylor Twellman, one of the best strikers the U.S. has ever produced, who had his career cut short with multiple head injuries. Yesterday’s presentation was an excellent reminder about where the game stands in the order of importance.

It is one thing to have a player “loopy” and quite another to have them in a wheel chair or even dead…..and as Dr. Laker explained, the gap between those scenarios can be very small. I realize that most of us grew up playing when it showed toughness to get back out there after having your bell rung. Now there is so much more research and proof that we have to trump toughness with being smart and safe.

The slide last night that hit me the most was the one that asked…”What is this game worth?”  In comparison to the health and lives of all athletes, whether they play for us or not, all games (including state, regional, national or even higher) are really meaningless.  If you always keep that in mind, you can rest assured that you will make sound decisions for your players and you will always be supported by the club.

Have a great break in December!

And more here from a later post:

We train our coaches to do their best in making sound decisions relative to the health and well-being of our players. Players and parents also play a role in prevention of serious concussion-related injury.  Statistics tell us that very severe, life-altering concussions are often sustained soon after an initial concussion.  This is the reason for focusing on keeping a player off the field until recovery is achieved.

It’s very important for players and parents to share their concerns with their coach when a potential concussive injury has occurred and particularly if they suspect concussion-related symptoms.  Coaches make better decisions if they are provided with the good information.

Sometimes players and even their parents may feel as if they’re ‘letting the team down’ if they don’t play, and may minimize, or even keep important information from their coaches.

Please, if you suspect even the chance that your child has suffered a concussion, on or off the field, make certain that your coach knows the details surrounding the injury and any medical care the child may be under.

It seems like basic common sense, but in practice the pressures of competitive soccer can create an environment where it may seem more important to take the risk than to be 100% safe. Remember that it is just a game, and not worth anyone’s long-term health or their life.

Thank you Eastside FC for allowing the re-print and cheers to you being proactive.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Bravo Eastside FC.

    Many cheers to you as well Matthew, for providing a “sobering” interview that causes more than just the soccer-blogosphere to take notice.


  2. Posted by Lauren on 2011/03/01 at 1:14 PM

    what about wearing head gear?


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