#SaferSoccer Priority for Parlow Cone

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.”

Cindy Parlow Cone: As adults we have a responsibility to make soccer safer."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].”

US Women’s Soccer Stars Highlight Risks of Heading

We applaud that three members of the 1999 World Cup championship US Women’s Soccer team are speaking out on the risks of brain injury from heading.

Brandi Chastain, Joy Fawcett, and Cindy Parlow Cone — who’s a Dragonwing girlgear spokesperson — have joined forces with the Sports Legacy Institute and the Santa Clara Institute of Sports Law to form Parents and Pros for Safer Soccer and are pushing for rules changes to prohibit heading by players under 14.

In a recent New York Times article on the effort, Parlow Cone, who ended her playing career in part because of concussion-related headaches and fatigue, says, “Soccer might not be football, but we do know now that brain injuries in soccer is a huge issue, and is a very serious issue…. We need to do better for our kids.”