Program focuses on feet, not head, in youth soccer - KMOV.com

Program focuses on feet, not head, in youth soccer

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By DENIS CHARLET By DENIS CHARLET

CHESTERFIELD, Mo. (AP) -- With the sports world taking a more serious look at head injuries, one sport still relies on using the head as a crucial part of the game: soccer.

But some youth players will have to wait to learn heading skills.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that coaches with Soccer Shots, a franchise that teaches more than 45,000 children in 30 states soccer fundamentals, are prohibited from teaching young kids how to hit a ball with their head. The ban applies to children ages 2 to 8.

Proponents cite growing evidence that brain damage can occur with a series of soft impacts to the head, rather than a hard blow. But others say heading is a vital part of the game that needs to be taught.

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