Is Soccer Hurting Your Ability to Think?


Doesn’t it seem like every few months there is new information telling you something is now bad for you? I’m not talking about obvious things, like fried food, or potato chips. I’m talking about things that many of us consider to be good for you and healthy.

The latest “bad for you” information comes from a recent study out of University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston that explores the “cognitive dysfunction after playing soccer.”

Yes, you read it right. Soccer, the same sport that many of us either played growing up or encourage our children to get into today.

I was just coming to terms with the health concerns associated with football, along with everything I’ve read about the impact of sports on the bodies of gymnasts. I have friends who have mobility issues from their days of playing basketball or pitching on the baseball team.

So now we have to worry about soccer too?

The recent study found that heading the soccer ball repeatedly can essentially cause a “mild traumatic brain injury” that can impact your response time to daily events. Their research consisted of tests run on a soccer team, checking the players response time to an iPad application shortly after playing the game and concluded that, “As a group, their responses were slightly but significantly slower, suggesting some degree of cognitive impairment.”

It’s the kind of news that makes you want to just stay inside and watch TV.

But doesn’t TV turn your brain to mush? At least we still have video games, right?

Forget it, I give up.

About the author

Craig Civale
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Craig is a storyteller at heart. He joined Baylor after a 15-year career as an award-winning broadcast journalist, most recently at WFAA-TV in Dallas as a reporter.

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Is Soccer Hurting Your Ability to Think?