Coaches preventing football concussions - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Coaches preventing football concussions

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Any way you look at it, football is a physical game.

When players hit hard, concussions happen. But there are things players can do to prevent them.

"It's always about keeping your head up, seeing what you see," said Waterloo East High football head coach Kevin Meyer. "You don't want to make contact with your head, especially the crown of the helmet."

A concussion is a brain injury caused by a hard hit to the head. It can leave a player disoriented, drowsy or nauseous, but they're not just confused -- they're also in danger.

Because the brain is already injured, successive hits become even more dangerous.

"Like they say, the second impact of a concussion is the damaging one," Meyer said.

So what can players do to prevent concussions in an increasingly physical game? Better equipment helps, but Coach Meyer said there's no such thing as a concussion-free helmet.

He teaches his players "Heads Up Football," a method that helps players protect their heads, by doing just as the name says -- keeping their heads out of harm's way.

It's even more important as the game gets faster, and players hit harder.

"Football is a physical game," Meyer said. "It's not going to change. That's what I like about it. I like to practice hard, like to have our kids play hard."

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