“We Need to Talk About Concussions, Right Now”
August 26, 2016
In a recent article on The Player’s Tribune, Gabriel Landeskog, Forward for Colorado Avalanche, talks about his personal experience with having a concussion. He says, “It felt like I had a headache right behind my eyelids, in addition to my regular headache. It was like a double headache. Having a concussion is physically painful, but the mental anguish it causes creates an even more dangerous cycle. You don’t know how to articulate the pain you’re feeling and make people understand, and you also don’t want to let them down. It feels like you’re trapped in your own little bubble, and you don’t know how to deal with it.”
Having a concussion is very hard to explain to people who have never had one, especially in the sports world where a mentality of overcoming weakness is pushed. “Like most professional athletes, I believed that if something wasn’t broken, you shouldn’t take time off. This was the kind of pressure I was putting on myself and it’s an attitude that runs rampant in sports. It’s so important to realize the difference between a head injury and the bumps and bruises that come with a strenuous 82-game season. When it comes to head injuries, you have to fight the feeling of wanting to get back as fast as you can. This is where support makes a big difference."
We support concussion management for this very reason. We believe it is crucial to the wellbeing of an athlete to watch for signs and symptoms of a concussion. An athlete shouldn’t be the only one to look for these signs either. This also applies to friends, family, coworkers, and teammates. “You shouldn’t just let it go. Tell your coach or your parents what’s going on with your teammate. One thing I’ve learned about leadership is that it’s not always about being a rah-rah guy, or giving a great speech. Sometimes it’s just about looking out for your teammates and understanding what they’re going through. That includes the injuries that you can’t see — that don’t bleed all over your jersey like my broken nose did.”
To read more from Gabriel Landeskog, head over to The Player’s Tribune.
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