U.S. Women's Soccer World Cup Champion Cindy Parlow Cone discusses her approach to coaching headers in soccer, and why she supports the Concussion Legacy Foundation's Safer Soccer campaign to delay headers until high school.
Below is a full transcription of Cindy's interview:
Who is Cindy Parlow Cone:
I'm Cindy Parlow Cone. I grew up playing soccer and played a lot of different sports went on to play on the US Women's National Team, winning gold medals in World Championships.
On coaching youth soccer and whether kids should head the ball:
For about the past decade I've been coaching youth all the way up to professional. Now that I've dedicated my coaching career to coaching youth, I have made the decision after listening to all the research and what's coming out and how dangerous it is for kids to head at early ages, I've taken it out of the curriculum. I don't teach my kids how to head. Instead I teach them how to bring the ball down out of the air with other parts of their body. It wasn’t until I was 18, 19 years old when I finally learned the technique of heading, and I went on to become one of the best headers in the world, scoring a lot of goals for the US Women's National Team with my head. So, I'm a true believer that the correct technique and all of that can be learned later in life.
On Safer Soccer:
I support the Safer Soccer campaign for no heading under the age of 14. Taking heading out of the game obviously isn’t going to take away all the concussions in soccer. You’re still going to get concussions in other ways, but if we can take away that huge percentage and make the game safer for kids today. I think we, as adults, we have a responsibility to do that.