USA Football took a step to increase awareness about concussions with a certification course and virtual reality program.
The course is available on the site and the VR program is expected to be released later this year.
The organization announced a partnership Monday with TeachAids, a non-profit that developed an interactive program to teach about concussions, symptoms and recovery called CrashCourse.
The four-part VR program, which will be available for free to members of usafootball.com, has four parts.
Part one will be an interactive film in the action of the sport. A video on TeachAids demonstrates how users can see what it’s like to be on the field or court with a team, and it features former Stanford running back Bryce Love.
In the middle of the action, users can experience the hit and what a concussion might look and feel like, along with being able to select whether or not to stay in the game. After this, the story continues on the player’s different path.
The second part will be a symptoms simulator. Oftentimes, people don’t recognize how a concussion looks and feels, and may not realize they have a concussion. “The video on CrashCourse cited a study in saying “most concussions heal within 10 days, if you take the right steps.”
If left unattended, concussions can have lasting impacts.
This second part of CrashCourse shows users what they might experience in day-to-day life if they have a concussion.
The third part will take users through a simulation of a human brain to help visualize what occurs when a person is concussed. Injuries like broken bones can be easy to determine, and X-rays show the problem. It’s much tougher to determine what is happening in the brain with a concussion.
Finally, the fourth part will be labeled in the video as “training secrets of sports heroes,” which includes Love, who was drafted by the Washington Redskins, and NFL great Steve Young.
Through all this, USA Football and TeachAids hopes athletes can be better educated about concussions and how to tell if they are experiencing symptoms.
“We must make this game as safe as possible for all who play it,” David Shaw, a CrashCourse advisor and Stanford’s all-time winningest football coach, said in a statement. “Providing compelling and accurate education to our young players, their parents and coaches is the key.”
Note: The original story misidentified Bryce Love. It has been corrected.