Even doctors have a difficult time assessing whether a player has been concussed. And concussions all present differently. With that being said, what should a coach look for?
- Confusion/difficulty with orientation
- Blurred vision
- Poor concentration (unable to repeat five words)
- Neck pain (requires using a stretcher to take player off field)
- Ringing in the ears
Remember that any or all of these symptoms may present. Any ONE symptom rates taking the player off of the field.
Also, look for cascading symptoms. This happens when new symptoms start appearing and stacking on ones already present. This cascading generally means a more severe concussion and may lead to emotional changes, trouble sleeping, forgetfulness or an inability to work or concentrate.
It is worth noting here that a loss of consciousness is not necessary to diagnose a concussion. And once a player is concussed, another concussion within the next 10 days is easier to bring about.