As our professors used to say: "How do you know, unless you look?"
Here's a scan of a 15-year-old boy who felt down a flight of stairs at the age of three. Even though he was unconscious for only a few minutes, there was nothing mild about the enduring effect that injury had on this boy's life.
When I met him at the age of 15, he had just been kicked out of his third residential treatment program for violence. He needed a brain rehabilitation program, not just more medication thrown at him in the dark, or behavioral therapy which, if you think about it, is really cruel.
To put him on a behavioral therapy program when behavior is really an expression of the problem, it's not the problem.
Researchers have found that undiagnosed brain injuries are a major cause of homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, depression, panic attacks, ADHD, and suicide.
We are in for a pending disaster with the hundreds and thousands of soldiers coming back from Iraq and Afganistan, and virtually no one is looking at the function of their brain.
Our work taught us that people who do bad things often have troubled brains. That was not a surprise. But what did surprise us was that many of these brains could be rehabilitated.
So here's a radical idea. What if we evaluated and treated troubled brains rather than simply warehousing them in toxic, stressful environments?
In my experience, we could save tremendous amounts of money by making these people more functional, so when they left prison, they could work, support their families and pay taxes.
So after 22 years and 83,000 scans, the single most important lesson my colleagues and I have learned is that you can literally change people's brains. And when you do, you change their life.
You are not stuck with the brain you have, you can make it better, and we can prove it.
My colleagues and I performed the first and largest study on active and retired NFL players, showing high levels of damage in these players at the time when the NFL said they didn't know if playing football caused long-term brain damage. The fact was they didn't want to know. That was not a surprise.
I think, if you get the most thoughtful 9-year-olds together, and you talk about the brain is soft, about the consistency of soft butter, it's housed in a really hard skull that has many sharp, bony ridges, you know, 28 out of 30 nine-year-olds would go: "Probably a bad idea for your life."
But what really got us excited was the second part of the study where we put players on a brain-smart program and demonstrated that 80% of them could improve in the areas of blood flow, memory, and mood, that you are not stuck with the brain you have, you can make it better on a brain-smart program.
Reversing brain damage is a very exciting new frontier, but the implications are really much wider.
Rather than working so hard on the back end, so as to fix a traumatic brain injury, let's change the course of life and better realize how to prevent injuries.
Let's play healthy games where head injuries are far less common.
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We aim to create literate Olympians here, because of the process is empowering for more healthy, connected, and goal-driven citizens.
New classic. Coaching. Water. Culture. Underdogs. Bigots. Sportsmanship.
It took football 80 years, doctors, high tech diagnostic equipment, and years of scientific studies to figure out that smashing your head into each other at high velocity with high mass athletes causes damage to the brain?
Posted Matt T. Seadog on Facebook
Krista is a former swimmer I coached back in the day. She is a co-founder in a new business too, https://www.ourfuturelegacy.com.
Krista Hawkins earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development with academic honors followed by a Master’s Degree in Counseling Education from Illinois State University. She is a also a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition as a Holistic Health Coach.
Early in her career, Krista was a counselor for addiction and adoptions, helping others to create new beginnings. During the last 21 years, she has worked with business owners and their teams in the areas of training, development, sales coaching, and building effective systems. Today, Krista travels the United States as a Leadership and Sales Coach for business owners and their teams, helping others to maximize their potential and become their best self! Krista empowers others through her holistic health coaching practice and is a Qualified National Marketing Director with the Juice Plus Company, sharing the benefits of healthy living with others since 2011.
With Summer Dreamers in 2018, #SDA18, our regular, daily, Swim & Water Polo Team Meeting is going to include some circle time. This new program wrinkle comes on the wake of a school district push to Restorative Justice.
A few years ago, a friend, Richard King, PhD, helped to launch and lead a practice with circles with the students in a program he championed, Mindful Gardening. He is not leading any SDA activities in 2018., sadly.
In 2017 as well as in the early part of 2018, I would have welcomed the on going use of restorative practices within PPS programs. The kids were fine. I needed the circles among a few of the adults who were going in different directions.
This offers a dramatic mind shift for some at PPS. With us at the swim pool, not so much. Sure, it is a new wrinkle. New touchstones are going to be needed. But we have always had an approach that gives students a voice, some choices, and builds upon respect.
Triple the time of recess.
Game design get attention with systems and recess.
Caeleb set a new record in the 50-yard free at NCAA Championships — bettering the prior record by 3%. This has created a buzz in the world of swimming, for great reason.