Sports Concussion: From the playing field to the classroom

Sports Concussion: From the playing field to the classroom

Ron Savage, Ed.D.
Concussion is a common sports injury. This tip card on concussions in sports helps coaches, athletic trainers, parents and school personnel recognize and monitor early and late concussion symptoms in student-athletes. The effects of a sports injury can extend beyond the playing field or practice session to the classroom and activities at home. Tips for athletic staff, parents and educators describe academic supports for the classroom and at home as the student recovers from a concussion.
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This tip card takes a team approach to concussion management in student-athletes by involving athletic staff, school nurses, educators, and parents in the monitoring and recovery process. It gives athletic staff information to identify warning signs of a possible concussion during sports or practice. Early and late signs of concussion are identified. Stressing the importance of resting the student-athlete’s brain after a concussion, it provides tips and strategies to support the student-athlete in the classroom and at home during the recovery process. This tip card is ideal for athletic and school staff to distribute to parents as well as for in-service training of staff.

* Included in the Sports Concussion Tool Kit for Athletic Trainers and Coaches

Pages 8
Year 2010


Ron Savage, Ed.D.

Dr. Savage specializes in the impact of brain injury on behavior and learning in children, adolescents and young adults. His international recognition as author and presenter is based on practical experience as a rehabilitation clinician and educator.

Dr. Savage is also the Chairman and Co-Founder of the International Pediatric Brain Injury Society (IPBIS).


This tip card helps coaches, athletic trainers, parents and school personnel…

  • Recognize concussion symptoms
  • Monitor concussion symptoms and recovery
  • Manage concussion supports and services in school

What is a Concussion?

  • Tips on warning signs during sports or practice…

Early and Late Signs of a Concussion

Rest the Brain

Monitoring a Concussion

  • Tips for monitoring changes in school…

Notifying the Concussed Student’s Teachers

  • Tips for educators to help the student recover…




Sample excerpt. Preview only – please do not copy.

What is a Concussion? A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury caused by mechanical forces that immediately and temporarily disrupts the normal functioning of the brain. The mechanical trauma that causes a concussion may be either a direct blow to the head, face, and neck or an indirect blow elsewhere on the body that transmits an “impulsive” force to the head.

Concussions in student-athletes occur in many sports as well as recreational activities in the community. It is best to be cautious any time it appears that an athlete may have a concussion. A student-athlete who sustains a concussion should be immediately removed from play and given some type of “side line evaluation” to measure the concussion’s severity. When in doubt, keep the athlete out. This applies to both situations of a suspected or identified concussion.

Student-athletes who sustain concussions need to be measured, monitored and managed by a “concussion team.” This includes the coach, athletic trainer, physician, parents, teachers, school nurse, school psychologist and concussion specialists.

Tips on warning signs during sports or practice…

Coaches and athletic trainers may first notice that the student-athlete…

  • appears dazed or stunned
  • is confused
  • forgets plays
  • moves awkwardly
  • loses balance
  • loses consciousness, or
  • can’t recall events prior to being hit or jolted.

These are warning signs indicating a possible concussion.