The partnership will be executed through CrashCourse, an interactive learning experience that aims to improve awareness and understanding around concussions among youth athletes.
Developed alongside Stanford University’s leading education, engineering, and medical researchers, and with input from their world-class coaches and student-athletes, CrashCourse offers a uniquely immersive experience in both HD and Virtual Reality that caters specifically to young athletes.
Through their partnership, American Youth Football & Cheer and TeachAids will make CrashCourse concussion education materials available to the children, coaches, and parents participating in the nationwide youth football and cheer organization.
“If we want to keep the tradition of the sport alive, we need to start to educate our players from the moment they step onto the field,” states Joe Galat, president and founder of American Youth Football, in a media release.
“At AYF, we believe proper training enriches the experience for players, competitors, and spectators alike. That is why we are proud to expand our concussion education programs by partnering with TeachAids to implement CrashCourse in the coming year. Given what we know about concussions today, the younger we teach these athletes the better.”
“Sports like football can help kids learn the fundamental values of discipline, teamwork and self-esteem,” explains Matt Birk, six-time Pro Bowl selection and 2012 Super Bowl Champion with the Baltimore Ravens. “As a former member of the NFL and someone who has championed those values for young players throughout my career, I can say with confidence that CrashCourse is a monumental first step toward understanding concussions starting with society’s most important demographic. This program quite literally changes the game.”
“In order to educate young athletes effectively about concussions, we need a curriculum delivered by voices that youth can admire and trust,” adds Dr Piya Sorcar, founder and CEO of TeachAids.
“Our research shows that students want to learn from someone relatable that has overcome similar challenges rather than from doctors, teachers, or coaches. That’s where a near peer focused program like CrashCourse comes in. We want to teach athletes how to recognize the signs of a concussion and remove the stigma of asking for help early on. The younger we instill these lessons in athletes, the sooner we can set a different precedent about how to address concussions going forward.”
“An estimated 2.5 million concussions occur every year in the US alone, yet the injury itself is surrounded by myths and misconceptions,” comments Brian Hainline, MD, NCAA chief medical officer, the release continues.
“Unlike more ‘visible’ injuries such as a broken bone, concussions are not always physically evident. With better prevention education like CrashCourse and evolving treatment protocols, we can further support athletes to help improve their safety and performance. CrashCourse is teaching young people how to recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion and how to empathize with those who experience this injury. The impact is invaluable.”
CrashCourse was developed with clinical and medical experts in concussions and curriculum development. The interactive curriculum features All-American running back and Doak Walker award-winner Bryce Love along with Stanford Captains Alameen Murphy, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Brandon Simmons, and wide-receiver Trenton Irwin.
This year, CrashCourse will release an interactive virtual reality component of their curriculum, along with several other expansions:
- A symptom simulator, which uses virtual reality to help students recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion and empathize with those who have experienced similar injuries
- A brain fly-through using a 3D representation of an actual brain, to help students better understand the brain’s complexity and appreciate its vulnerability
- A series of short interactive videos featuring high-profile athletes to complement the information provided by near-peer sources
The CrashCourse curriculum will now be instituted throughout American Youth Football’s programs nationwide. The program is also available for free by visiting CrashCourse, per the release.
[Source(s): American Youth Football, CrashCourse by TeachAids]