It’s soccer camp season but this summer things are a little different for some of the sport’s younger players.
Starting this spring, kids under 10 years of age are no longer permitted to head the ball in a game or in practice. That’s according to US Soccer’s Concussion Initiative.
On the Cleveland Soccer Academy grounds in Willoughby Monday, teenagers were safely practicing header drills. Tom Turner, Director of Coaching for the Ohio Youth Soccer Association says heading is not necessarily the culprit for concussions. He says falls, or collisions with other players, even the goal is often the cause. He says parents should make sure their kids are using proper technique. The ball should hit between the eyebrow and hair line. And parents are urged to keep track of repetitions.
“If you’re getting 5, 10, 15, 20 reps at a practice, or it’s a little game between one and one and it goes on for 5, 10 minutes, OK done. If it goes on for extended periods of time I think everybody should be concerned with that,” said Turner.
He says working with light weight balls can also help prevent injuries and encourage good form. He says if your child isn’t heading correctly, get them help. Or stop them from doing it altogether as they simply might not be ready.
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