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Abstract

The goal of this study is to identify ways to minimize and/or further prevent athletic concussions in an effort to add years to athletes’ lives, greatly decrease side effects of sustaining multiple head traumas, and thus increase the quality of life for athletes around the world. Conferences such as the Pac-12 and the Ivy League are moving toward a safer method of playing the game of football, but the reality of the situation is, players are only getting bigger, stronger and faster, and they will continue to play with passion and a love for the game.

With the increased pressure placed on athletes to compete at higher levels, comes an increased risk for concussions. As said above, athletic conferences such as the Pac-12 and the Ivy League have funding available to put measures in place such as the “Health and Well-Being Initiative” that the Pac-12 has started. Smaller schools such as those in the Big Sky Conference, may not have access to those types of resources and for this reason, the focus of this research is to identify less expensive, efficient ways to prevent concussions and promote healthy, quicker ways to return to the playing field. Not only are small schools in the Big Sky a focus of this study, the data collected can potentially help all programs around the country with limited resources—as well as major programs in an effort to minimize “extra” spending.

This research provides strength and conditioning coaches data to use while implementing their training routines, that a focus on neck strength plays a role in achieving the goal of decreasing the incidence of traumatic brain injuries from contact sports.