The Brain on Youth Sports | Dr. Julie Stamm

Dr. Julie Stamm is a neuroscientist, anatomist, athletic trainer, researcher, and sports lover. She is also the author for her new book The Brain on Youth Sports: The Science, the Myths, and the Future which we discuss in this episode.

In this episode, we talk about Dr. Stamm's recently published book, "The Brain On Youth Sports," which tackles the issue of repetitive brain trauma in youth sports and their health consequences. By reading the book, Dr. Stamm hopes that consumers will be equipped to make well-informed decisions.

Find out more and purchase Dr. Stamm's book here:

Dr. Stamm has done extensive research and published many works in the areas of concussions, sub-concussive impacts, CTE, and the consequences of repetitive brain trauma in youth. Through her many publications and online presence, her mission is to debunk the myths around repetitive brain trauma and concussions in sports and explain the science so that it is easy to understand for everyone.


  • 00:00 Intro.
  • 01:14 How Dr. Stamm came to study concussions in contact sports even if she played mainly non-contact sports?
  • 02:29 What do we need to do in terms of shifting the mindset of “getting your bell rung” VS recognizing an actual concussion.
  • 05:17 Are there any concussion laws in the US to legislate return to play (similar to Rowan’s law?)
  • 06:52 Is there any truth to concussion proof helmets?
  • 08:24 How Virginia Tech rates the concussion protection levels of helmets and how the price difference is often not related to how well they protect you.
  • 11:10 Are mouth guards useful to help prevent concussions?
  • 11:54 The crucial brain development happening in the 8-12 year old age group and the effects of disrupting that.
  • 13:32 Did Julie’s concussion research play a role when USA Hockey and Hockey Canada banned body checking for the younger U13-U15 age groups?
  • 15:22 Why the American Academy of Pediatrics in the US was in support of removing contact in Hockey but not Football?
  • 18:51 Is it the money stream for NFL football that is preventing football from removing contact?
  • 22:09 Why Dr. Stamm believes contact in sports shouldn’t be present before their teen years.
  • 25:06 Does early specialisation in contact sports and football impact concussions rates compared to multi-sport athletes?
  • 27:43 How popular is baseline testing in the US and how effective are they in measuring concussion recovery?
  • 30:08 How motion sensors are being implemented during play and how effective are they?
  • 32:39 What sports have a higher percentage of head impacts and how what position you play affects your risk of concussions?
  • 34:48 What sports have the highest concussion rates when comparing boys VS girls?
  • 36:32 How do we ensure young athletes report their head injuries during play and are being made aware of the lifelong impacts of concussions?
  • 38:31: The importance of coaches supporting their athletes in being open about reporting their injuries.
  • 39:25 How to make coach concussion education ongoing learning rather than a one time workshop?
  • 42:03 What are the myths of diagnosis and recovery for concussions?
  • 44:58 Previous concerns of people falling asleep and not noticing internal bleeding VS allowing them to sleep to help their recovery.
  • 46:24 Does hyperbaric oxygen therapy have benefits for concussion recovery?
  • 47:43 What led Dr. Julie Stamm to write a book on concussions and what she hopes people will gain from reading it.
  • 49:55 Julie’s aspiration for no contact under 13 in football in the next five years.
  • 51:40 Some examples of amazing football athletes who were successful without playing contact sports early on in life.
  • 53:33 Where can people find Dr. Julie Stamm’s book and how can they reach out to Julie?
  • 54:21 Outro.

The interview featured on this episode of the Love What You Play podcast originally aired live on For the Love of the Game's Facebook page and YouTube channel.


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