In many services and industries, the perceived leaders are the ones that can give the most resolute answers and proper actions. Among perceived leaders there are some that have such a high profile, even though they do not have the education or experience, they can move mountains with their words.
With the concussion issue gaining attention, mainly through the NFL, one would perceive they are, or should be, a leader in this area, and they are. Not only has the League and Commissioner Goodell said the right things, but they have evaluated their past and made steadfast changes in the right direction.
“We are changing the culture of the NFL with regards to concussions and, as a result, we are changing the culture of all athletics at all levels,” said Goodell. ” … We know that we set the standards in sports, and we accept that responsibility that comes with that. When we change our approach, other take notice and follow.”
However, with most things being the high-profile person will only get you so far unless you have the backing and partnership of a quality “right hand man.”
At the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) Youth Sports Safety Summit this past week, the NFL made it official that they will be partnering with the NATA to help create and pass legislation for all states about concussions and their management. (USAToday Story)
Not that athletic trainer’s are superior to doctors in the concussion area, but the athletic trainers are most likely to see a concussion in sports FIRST. The educational background of an athletic trainer is more than qualified for holding up any state/federal law protecting the youth. Having a plan is great, but the “boots on the ground” must be both capable and in support of such plans, and we as athletic trainers are.