Knowing Cindy Parlow Cone as we do (she’s a spokesperson for Dragonwing), it’s hard to imagine a time when this former soccer superstar and tireless advocate for sports safety and girls empowerment had no desire to play and “basically went to sleep every chance [she] had.”
But that’s the impact concussions, sustained during practices and games, had on her — injuries that led to her retirement. And that’s why she speaks regularly and passionately about the importance of concussion education and prevention, especially in youth sports.
Along with former US Women’s National Team teammates Brandi Chastain and Joy Fawcett, Cindy is part of a campaign (#SaferSoccer) to educate parents and coaches on the risks of headers in soccer for girls and boys younger than 14.
Most recently, Cindy offered her story at a medical seminar organized by U.S. Soccer and Major League Soccer as part of a coaches’ conference on player health and safety.
According to an Associated Press story on the seminar, “Parlow Cone still deals with the symptoms of what she estimates were dozens of concussions she suffered through during her career….
‘I went from a kid that just loved training, loved everything about soccer…to someone who kind of went into a shell…’ “
As a girls’ soccer coach today, Cindy doesn’t even teach heading to her players. Instead she teaches them to bring the ball to the ground with other parts of their bodies. “As adults, we have a responsibility to [make the game safer for kids].”