What is the New Tough Pact?
A commitment to a new type of mental toughness, encouraging athletes to:
1. Report symptoms
One study illustrated that athletes who continued to play with symptoms took nearly twice as long to recover than those immediately removed from play (13).
Reporting concussion symptoms right away could speed up your recovery process. Put your health first, and then get back in the game!
2. Support teammates
Factors such as depression and anxiety are linked to concussion (8).
Recovery can sometimes be a long, unpredictable, and isolating road
Encourage brain-injured teammates to seek help and offer support while they heal.
3. Play smart
Twenty-five percent of concussions result from aggressive or illegal play (18).
Physicality may be part of the game, but play within its rules. Avoid illegal hits from behind, to the head and neck.
More about New Tough
New Tough is a campaign that challenges athletes to handle concussions properly. As athletes, we understand the traditional toughness required for competition; be it coming back from a bad play, finishing a difficult workout or diving to block a shot, toughness is considered to be a mark of greatness. Because of this, the big hits are often glorified and playing through injury is applauded.
This mentality poses a problem when it comes to concussions. In 2013, the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council concluded that the culture of sports negatively influences concussion reporting and that athletes, coaches and parents do not fully acknowledge the risks of playing while injured (31).
We’re here to change that by introducing a new type of toughness.
It is the toughness to go against your instinct as an athlete and put your brain-health first.
It is the strength to report concussion symptoms, and it is the patience to complete recovery before returning to the game you love.
It is the courage to speak up for brain-injured teammates and offer support while they heal.
And it is the integrity to play the game within the rules by avoiding illegal hits to the head or neck, no matter how high the stakes or emotions.