Apr 27, 2015
D-I Concussion Survey: Pressure to Play

A recent survey of NCAA athletes reported that nearly a quarter of responders felt pressured to continue playing following a concussion. Meanwhile, roughly half kept playing despite experiencing concussion symptoms. But in what may be a silver lining, despite most of that pressure coming from coaches and teammates, the athletes reported that only a small fraction of coaches were “part of the problem.”

Titled, “Concussion Under-Reporting and Pressure From Coaches, Teammates, Fans, and Parents,” the 2014 study, which was published in the online version of Social Science & Medicine, surveyed 328 NCAA athletes in seven men’s and women’s sports, including soccer, lacrosse, basketball, and field hockey. Athletes in football and ice hockey were not part of the study.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education:

  • Responders reported that most of that “overt pressure” to continue playing did not come from coaches.
  • The report did note, however, that coaches can unknowingly exert pressure in how they dole out playing time and shape team norms about concussion safety.
  • The study also found that athletes who had been diagnosed with a concussion during the previous season were more likely to have felt pressure to underreport the injury.

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