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Like many kids, Billy and Jake Reis had dreamed of playing tackle football on their high school team, and like many kids their parents had said “no.” “Too dangerous,” they said. “You’ll get a concussion,” they warned. Frustrated, discouraged, and more than a little angry, Billy and Jake had no choice but to accept this decision and tried out for their high school lacrosse team instead. Their parents were happy, the Reis brothers were back on the playing field, but had anything really changed to make them safer?
Many questions remained and Billy and Jake were more determined than ever to learn everything they could about the risk of concussion in the high school athlete, and how this risk could be minimized.
After reviewing the statistics on concussions in high school athletes they realized that an athlete in any impact sport was at risk, and not just the football players. Much was being done at the professional and collegiate level to protect their athletes but many high school players were still in denial about the seriousness of this problem. Billy and Jake learned the various protocols designed to detect and reduce the risk of concussion injuries, and together they initiated a program of education and early detection to make high school sports safer for themselves and their classmates.
Realizing there was still much more work to be done, Billy and Jake began speaking at other local schools and youth sports centers to promote concussion awareness and to ensure that all student athletes had the same protection. Their goal was to spread the message that if athletes, coaches, and parents could become more knowledgeable of the signs and symptoms of concussions and through early detection minimize their short and long term effects, then the both the game and the player would be safer.
Simply stated, the student who played smart would stay smart.
Play Smart Stay Smart was founded by Billy and Jake Reis as a non-profit organization who’s mission is to raise awareness and promote education of sports related concussions in youth athletics. Through their website www.PlaySmartStaySmart.org, they hope to share information, and to encourage further discussion and interaction with you, the reader. Together we all can be the instrument of change in how school age kids, their parents, and coaches recognize and deal with concussions.
PlaySmart StaySmart is currently seeking individual and corporate sponsors, volunteers, and contributors to our site. If you or your organization would like more information, or to schedule PlaySmart StaySmart to visit your sports department or facility, please contact us at the address below: