Heading the ball in soccer. New concerns for your student athlete

Heading the ball in soccer. New concerns for your student athlete

A New Worry for Soccer Parents: Heading the Ball

By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS

What happens inside the skull of a soccer player who repeatedly heads a soccer ball? That question motivated a provocative new study of the brains of experienced players that has prompted discussion and debate in the soccer community, and some anxiety among those of us with soccer-playing offspring.

For the study, researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York recruited 34 adults, men and women. All of the volunteers had played soccer since childhood and now competed year-round in adult soccer leagues. Each filled out a detailed questionnaire developed especially for this study to determine how many times they had headed a soccer ball in the previous year, as well as whether they had experienced any known concussions in the past.

Then the players completed computerized tests continue reading here