The Aug. 21 Sports article “Heading off a concussion crisis,” about Brittni Souder and her battle with the effects of concussions, was informative and important. However, looking for some way to avoid this epidemic of head trauma misses an obvious solution: Do not head the ball. Alternatives, safer and often more effective, would include taking a high kick off the torso, trapping it underfoot or reducing the velocity by allowing the ball to hit the ground before trying to control or redirect it.
Most attempts at heading the ball off a high kick do not achieve the intended result. Admittedly there are many situations where using the head is the ideal action. A strategic header in front of the goal, the redirection of a weak pass or a bump off a knee to a header do not present the same forceful impact as heading a goal kick or a skied shot that comes down full speed and is played off the head.
It seems like common sense to change tactics.
Bert Walker, Columbia