Minor Concussions In Sports Essay

Two years ago, a soccer ball was blasted into the side of my head and knocked me to the ground. It left me with a concussion that not only took me out of soccer for six months, but also affected my day to day life. For months, it made me nauseous to even jog around the block or walk down a crowded hallway. I was in physical therapy, vision therapy and on a special learning plan at school. Even though the blow to my head could have altered my life completely, I pleaded with my parents to let me continue my soccer career. It took two more minor concussions to make me realize it was not safe for me to play anymore. Looking back on my time playing soccer, I question why I kept playing. Why did I put the sport and my team ahead of my own health?…

To reach the goal of being a top athlete one must devote their life to the sport, this means having an identity that revolves around their sport. Many fear that if their identity will be lost if they stop playing to heal their body. This idea resonates most with my experience in sports, I was afraid of losing my identity. What and who would I be without soccer? This same fear keeps many athletes in the game, for fear that they are nothing without their physical skill. In Samantha O’Connell’s “Playing through the pain: Psychiatric risks among athletes”, she expresses, “To an athlete, injury can mean loss of identity. Whereas most people become competent in many aspects of life, and develop support systems across multiple contexts, an athlete—particularly an extraordinarily talented one—may have focused only on his or her sport” (18). The fear of lost identity keeps many athletes on the field. Being an athlete is often not only part of self-identity, but also identity to their peers, families, and fans. I questioned how I would define myself, with the loss of soccer. What would I say when someone asked “Why don’t you play anymore?” “Do you have any hobbies?” Would they think I wasn’t good enough? Would it be weird to hang out with my friends who are all soccer players? I did not know how I would respond or who would I be without soccer in my…