The second part of this, is about general brain health.
There is already a lot of research into the long term affects of heading the ball in soccer.
So much so that it has already been banned in training for the younger age groups in the US.
In case you haven't had the chance to read any of the research, what they are finding is that heading causes long term damage and shrinkage in the brain.
A study done on female college players found they had levels of brain damage comparable to that of the american football team.
And a study done on Norwegian soccer players found that they had reduced brain size, which the authors concluded must be a result of repeated heading of the ball.
It has also been shown to directly reduce cognitive performance, which is a big deal when players are playing multiple times per week and then going to school the next day.
Heading is such an important part of the game, I don't think it should vilified.
Instead I believe players should be doing vision training to help offset the damage. This is an idea that is supported by research.
What we also know is, the more healthy the brain is, the less likely it is to get injured.
And the faster it recovers, should an injury occur.
Vision Training is a simple way to improve brain health!
The eyes are directly connected to the brain via several cranial nerves. And almost the whole brain is used to process visual information.
This makes vision an easy but powerful way to improve brain health.
And this is why I think that every soccer team should be including vision training as a routine part of practice.
It only takes a few minutes and has the potential improve the course of the players lives.
As part of my soccer vision workshops I teach players simple exercises they can use. And I give them access to an online program, to provide continued support.