Teens’ concussion risk higher among girls and not just football

One of my students recently returned home from school due to a concussion that occurred during wrestling practice. I was somewhat surprised to hear a) that a tall guy like him was wrestling and b) that he suffered a concussion in this sport, rather than football (his Fall sport)!

We often associate concussions with football, but a recent study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine found that students in other contact sports, such as girls’ soccer or basketball, ice hockey, and lacrosse are also at risk. As lacrosse season is about to begin, let’s take note…

Estimates of the number of Americans suffering sports-related concussions have been climbing in recent years. That’s partly because more people are playing contact sports, young athletes are training more aggressively at an earlier age, and doctors are more aggressive about diagnosing concussions. A recent study found that in 2008, there were five concussions for every 10,000 U.S. high school athletes who hit the playing field. That was up from just about one per 10,000 a decade earlier.  . . . .

The other interesting finding is that girls had a higher concussion risk than boys.

In “gender-comparable” sports, girls had a 70 percent higher concussion rate than boys.

via Teens’ concussion risk not limited to football | Reuters.

As a side note, a number of colleges are adding girls’ lacrosse, such as the University of Southern California and Furman.

As teens continue to participate in sports throughout their high school and college years, it’s incumbent on parents, coaches, school administrators, and the broader community to be aware of the symptoms of concussion. Those symptoms, which may occur many hours after a blow to the head, include:

  • Ringing in the ears
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Headache

Let’s keep our teens safe!

SMU reaches beyond ‘Southern’ and beyond ‘Methodist’

Southern Methodist University is a college campus located in the heart of Dallas. I don’t refer to it as an urban campus because the city surrounds an academic culture, spirited athletics, and a thriving social life. Likewise, Dallas is more a business and residential town, than a college town. Beyond having ‘Southern” in its name, SMU boasts a student body from around the US and world. (SMU’s student body is less Texan than other Christian colleges in the state.)

The academic core of SMU focuses on liberal arts and sciences. Students can also major in programs across SMU’s five colleges:

  • Arts
  • Business
  • Education and Human Development
  • Engineering
  • Humanities

Two additional colleges offer post-graduate courses only – Law School and School of Theology. However, undergraduates can study in the law library…nice perk for pre-law students!

Student Life features Greek and Athletics

An active Greek life with over third participation and numerous student clubs keep students busy. SMU has a strong sports culture as does the surrounding Dallas metropolitan area. The sports museum at the stadium features the Heisman Trophy won by SMU graduate, Doak Walker in 1948. Students provided input to the fitness center and it’s quite an impressive facility with a rock climbing wall, billiards, basketball courts, and even a tanning pool! The tour guide stated that “the girls are happy about the tanning pool and the guys are glad that they’re happy.” 🙂

Although the university was founded by Methodists, there are no required religion courses, no required chapel attendance. With the exception of an on-campus chapel (where the most weddings in Dallas are held), there is no semblance of religious affiliation. Just as Federal Express became FedEx, perhaps Southern Methodist University may consider SMU as its official name!

SMU also has a satellite campus in Taos, New Mexico. I look forward to visiting there in the upcoming years.

What if you change your mind about attending/applying to Penn State

If you’re like me, you’re deeply disturbed by the recent arrest at Penn State. The media reports have been alarming and unsettling. Although I’ve heard about the 23-page indictment report, I can’t bring myself to read it. Some things are just better left to the imagination, without all the sordid details. In other words, I don’t want it in my spirit.

A few weeks ago, when I was visiting schools, a young man mentioned that he would be attending Penn State next year. When the news broke days later, my heart sank for this young man and his family. Is he really going to attend? The campus vibrancy and its culture is forever altered. The only good news is that the news broke in early November and there are still many colleges that this young man could still consider.

Given the horrendous nature of these accusations and the fact that the president of the university is out, this family should strongly question whether Penn State is a place where their son should attend college for the next 4-6 years. (Graduation rate: 84.6%) If families are having second thoughts about Penn State, they should contact the university immediately if the student is a committed athlete. You should know whether you are obligated to still attend. Although, it’s hard to imagine that you would still be bound to matriculate.

Once the university’s admissions team learns of your decision, they can offer a spot to another student who may be still eager to attend. About a year ago, the Wall Street Journal published an article about the hiring and placement records of Penn State. There may be a large number of students who may want to attend Penn State for this reason alone.

As for me and my firm . . . it will be a long time before I can include Penn State on any of my students’ college lists.

The importance of College Completion, even after the NBA

During this spring, we have had several shows where we’ve discussed sports in K-12 and at the collegiate level. We’ve talked about golf, hockey, and baseball. Everyone knows that I’m a Yankees fan but my guest to talk about baseball was Dan Mooney who played with the Mets so I stay away from the team rivalry and really delve into what these sports mean for students who aspire to advance in high school and college.

On today’s radio show, we talked about the sport of basketball and it was a great time to have this conversation because we’re in the midst of an exciting finals series!!

My guest today was Corrie Blount, who played in the NBA for eleven years, playing with several great teams, including the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. (My entire family are big Lakers fans.)  Corrie has played at every level of basketball . . . high school, junior college, and college prior to the NBA. What I find so fascinating though about his career in basketball and higher education is that he still saw the importance and value of earning his college degree after retiring from the NBA! That’s excellent and a message that I echoed in our program today.

Please listen to our show as Corrie discusses his experiences at Santa Ana Junior College, Rancho Santiago, and University of Cincinnati! He also intimately shared what made him cry . . .

How Corrie Blount decided to Complete College after the NBA

What College-Bound Students Can Do This Summer

Several months ago, I broadcast a show on summer programming. That show had a more general focus for students across the grade levels. As I mentioned than on that program, summer planning starts much earlier than we want to think. It must be a Law of Murphy, by now because every year, I talk with families about the importance of planning early for summer and invariably each year I get a surge of inquiries about summer programs in April and May. Yikes! J

Even if your summer is shaping into a blank slate, don’t push the panic button just yet!

Many high school students have about 2-3 weeks remaining in the school year. Summer is right around the corner but there are still some things that you can do to feel more prepared and less anxious about college admissions in the Fall. For Sophomores, junior year typically brings a jump in academic rigor on top of the increased attention to college visits and test-taking, For juniors who will be seniors next year, you know that the fall will be super busy with college applications on top of your coursework and other senior activities.

Lisa Bleich, college admission extraordinaire and founder of College Bound Mentor joined The Education Doctor Radio Show. Lisa is a former professor at Whittier College, an alum of Brandeis University, and the Harvard B-school. During the show, we count down, ala Letterman, our Top 10 Things that College-bound Students Can Do This Summer! You can be more prepared and less stressed about college admissions .  .  .  .


What College-Bound Students can Do this Summer!

Soccer, Hockey, and Figure Skating from High School to DI College

Last fall, I attended the IECA conference in Cincinnati and went to a presentation on unique programs in STEM. One of the programs featured was a Bioscience program, which offered an opportunity for high school students and post-graduates to gain a more focused experience in the biological sciences. That program is based at the Shattuck St. Mary’s School in Minnesota.

In my research of the school and its other offerings, I discovered that they also have what’s called athletic Centers of Excellence. The programmatic emphases for these Centers are Soccer, Hockey, and Figure Skating. Interesting, huh? These 3 sports don’t typically go together, however Shattuck-St.Mary’s, athletic Centers of Excellence make it possible for athletes in these sports to remain competitive in their sport during high school, and get a top-notch academic curriculum as they pursue collegiate athletics. In our radio show on this topic, you can hear more about what this school is doing academically and athletically for its students. Our guest is Director of Admissions, Amy Wolf, from Shattuck-St. Mary’s. One of the questions I had for Amy related to the culture of the school . . . . When I was in high school, there was an emphasis on the jocks, rather than the academics. It’s a tough cultural issue that many school deal with daily. Listen to the show and find out how they’re dealing with the jock versus student divide!

Radio Show on Competitive Soccer, Hockey, Figure Skating in High School and College

Tiger Woods and Nurturing an Interest in Golf

Back in 1995, I received an issue of my Stanford Alumni Magazine and on the cover of the magazine was a photo of the golf team when Tiger Woods was on the team. At the time, I had never heard the name, although I had picked up a golf club before and knew a little bit about the game. Since then, of course, Tiger Woods has really become synonymous with the sport of “Golf.”

Despite all that has happened in his personal life over the past couple of years, he has really been a catalyst for the growing interest in golf among young people. I recently read that there are close to 300 Division I colleges and about 200 Division II colleges that offer golf scholarships. That’s a lot of opportunities for those who are interested and talented in that sport.

During the month of March on The Education Doctor Radio Show we have talked about athletics (in recognition of March Madness :-)) in high school and the collegiate levels. In this particular broadcast for this week, we focused our show on the sport of Golf. A member of the Pro Golf Association and head of the First Tee of Greater Miami Valley, Brian Parkhurst joined our show to talk golf, nurturing the young player, and playing golf in college. Brian brought some practical information and strategies to make a difference for student-athletes who have an interest in golf and may even be considering playing golf in college. Unlike other sports programs out there, The First Tee offers a unique component to its golf program for ages 8 to 18. You can listen to the audio to find out what is special about The First Tee.

Quidditch and NCAA. . . really?

A few weeks ago, I attended a boarding school’s information session for prospective students. It was interesting to hear how their questions differed markedly from those at the parent session, happening simultaneously. One student asked if the school offered a quidditch club. The quick-witted admissions officer promptly stated, “We don’t but you could start one!” Nice . . .

Later that afternoon, I overheard some boys chuckling about the quidditch question. Well, who would have ever thunk that a Harry Potter-inspired sport that started a short three years ago, is now an NCAA sport? Quidditch is played at the high school and college level. Check out the story here at npr.org!