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Stanford concussion education initiative partners with USA Football

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A concussion education module developed in collaboration with Stanford experts will be used as part of USA Football’s nationally accredited coach certification curriculum, according to an announcement made at the USA Football 2020 National Conference on Feb. 23. 

The module, CrashCourse, is an interactive educational program created by the health education nonprofit TeachAids to improve concussion awareness and understanding among athletes, parents and coaches. As a free, stand-alone course within USA Football’s online course library, it has been taken more than 9,000 times in the past six months.

TeachAids’ founder and CEO, Piya Sorcar, said the module’s wide-scale applicability, research-based focus on education and use of technologies such as virtual reality set it apart.

“TeachAids uses a research-based development process to design interactive and impactful learning experiences that resonate with our youth,” Sorcar wrote in an email to The Daily. “Our technology allows us to scale our near-peer content much more effectively [and] reach a far wider audience.”

USA Football Director of Coaching Michael Krueger told The Daily that the organization is excited for its new partnership with TeachAids. 

“Our staff was incredibly impressed with the passion and commitment that the entire TeachAids team had toward its mission,” Krueger wrote in an email to The Daily. “TeachAids’ CrashCourse module is cutting-edge in its content and has a high degree of interactivity in how it engages with learners.”

Krueger added that the new training program has the potential to change how coaches deal with concussions. 

“We believe that coaches will be better prepared to recognize the signs and symptoms of concussion and therefore better prepared to care for their athletes,” Krueger said. “Because the information is relayed so effectively and in such an engaging way, we feel that coaches will retain the information and feel more confident in their understanding of it.”

In recent years, football — especially youth football — has come under fire for causing concussions in children and teenagers. Last fall, legislators in New York reintroduced a bill that would ban tackle football for children under 12, citing science that links repeated head injuries in childhood to neurological conditions like chronic traumatic encephalopathy later in life.

In the past, TeachAids has partnered with organizations such as American Youth Football and Cheer and Pop Warner youth football league. USA Football certifies the greatest number of coaches annually among U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee member organizations. 

“We take great pride in our close association with USA Football, the governing body of youth football,” Sorcar said. “Our overall goal of Concussion Education is to make all of sport and recreation at every level and age group safer. We are thankful such a respected organization as USA Football has had the confidence in us to give us this start.”

This article has been corrected to reflect the correct spelling of Michael Krueger’s name and the complete quote from Piya Sorcar. The Daily regrets these errors.

Contact Ujwal Srivastava at ujwal ‘at’ stanford.edu.