The positive aspects, physical and psychological, of participation in scholastic contact sports are widely touted. However, the risks and dangers are less frequently discussed. Some parents allow their children to play hockey because they imagine the rewards greatly outweigh the risks. Parents could only arrive at this conclusion if they lack a full understanding of the risks and rewards.
Excerpt of Letter to Editor by Stephen J. Barrer | New York Times
If the reward is perceived as providing access to higher education via a scholarship, or to a professional career, the opposite is true; the risks far outweigh the benefits. It has been estimated that of all scholastic athletes who play at the varsity level in high school, only 2 percent receive scholarships to play in college. Only a small fraction of a percent ever play professionally. A much greater number of scholar-athletes suffer injuries of all types, concussions included.
STEVEN J. BARRER, Huntingdon of Valley, Pa. is a neurosurgeon and director of the Concussion Evaluation Service at Abington Memorial Hospital in Abington, Pa.
Thanks to Steven J. Barrer for sharing his thoughts; New York Times for referring to Barrer’s letter to the editor; Google for helping me find the letter; Wikipedia for supplying the picture; and all the people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the picture and text in this post.