Thank you for reading our story!
Proceeds from your book purchase directly funds critical research and education to further uncover the links between concussive + subconcussive trauma and mental health surrounding contact sports and youth athletes.
As parents, you know the risks your kids face every day - drugs, the internet, video games, strangers - and you work diligently and with love to protect them. Why? We do so because we are aware of those risks.
Well, I didn't know about the risks of concussive and subconcussive trauma that we discuss in this book. I couldn't protect my son . . . and I lost him.
That is why I wrote this book, to try to heal through the sharing of knowledge that I have gained over the last year or so. That there is a demonstrable link between concussive sports, developing brains and mental illness. I want you to know what I know. . . You don't want to be in my club.
Especially when it is avoidable.
~ Bruce Parkman
Continuous and unrelenting physical damage causes irreparable harm to the brain resulting in mental illness due to an abnormally functioning brain.
Eventually, the mental illness will manifest itself in mannerisms, actions, and decisions caused by the psychological distress and physical ailments that come with brain damage. Over time, their mental illness progresses until some athletes become depressed, schizophrenic, suffer anxiety, act impulsivity, and some, like Mac, commit suicide.
"Bruce Parkman has done a great service to begin ringing the warning bell loud and clear about the dangers of concussion, TBI, and their connection to mental health disorders--including the risk of increased suicidal ideation--in our youth, adolescent, teenage, and college athletes."
He is advocating for a complete reevaluation of how we understand cumulative, concussive head injury in this vulnerable population when the brain is still maturing and developing. His son Mac would be very proud of what his dad has fashioned to honor his memory.
Allan J. Hamilton, MD, FACS
Allan Hamilton is a Harvard-trained brain surgeon, celebrated speaker and an acclaimed and award-winning writer. He has been called “one of the great intellects of the 21st century.” His peers have elected him “One of the Best Doctors in America for eighteen consecutive years.”
Science is connecting concussions and repetitive head impacts in sports to problems with mental health, and I thank the Parkman family for sharing Mac’s story to educate others that there is a better path with sports participation – one that doesn’t involve risking your child’s future by letting them get hit in the head hundreds of times a year.
“Youth Contact Sports and Broken Brains” is a must-read for all parents of youth athletes. Bruce Parkman is honoring his son, Mac, by sharing his heartbreaking story and informing parents of the science linking brain trauma and mental illness. He breaks down the science of brain development, concussions, repetitive brain trauma, and mental illness, to give parents the knowledge they need to keep their children safe on the field, court, pitch, or mat. This book is a gift to parents who want to protect their child’s future while also providing them with the many benefits that youth sports have to offer.
This is a must-read for every single parent and healthcare professional. This book gives an introduction to a colossal issue that everyone turns a blind eye to. This book provides the raw and deplorable truth about the risks of concussive trauma in our youth. It is vital that anyone who is contemplating putting their child in contact sports reads this book. If you choose to put your child in sports, you should know this painful truth. This is the secret that everyone wants to keep under wraps. As a mental health nurse practitioner, I have done thousands of psychiatric evaluations on clients. Every single time I do an evaluation, I ask about the history of head trauma, concussions, or brain injuries. I will say there is a direct link between head injuries and depression/suicidality. This book paints a clear picture of that link and ensures that anyone who reads it will understand the ominous truth behind concussive trauma as a result of contact sports.
Youth Contact Sports and Broken Brains is must-read for families of youth contact-sport athletes. Bruce Parkman makes the science understandable. He has converted the unimaginable grief over his son's death into a pertinent, practical guidebook for parents. What an act of courage....and love.
Youth Contact Sports and Broken Brains does not discourage sports; on the contrary, it encourages lifelong participation, and embraces our passion for competition. It is a first-class explanation of timing and patience, and when to introduce full-contact sports. Most importantly, it ventures into the black hole of the devastating aftermaths that result from a total disregard for brain safety and ultimately, mental health.
To say we are ignorant is an understatement. Many of us don’t realize that kids are hurting their most precious asset. And if they do make it through to adulthood after years of consecutive concussions, they are often left with irreparable damage, ruining any chances for a healthy and stable livelihood.
Safeguarding our children starts with education and awareness. If you have kids, I highly encourage you to listen to Youth Sports and Broken Brains.
As a trainer of young athletes for different sporting activities, I have only concentrated on preparing them physically. Putting them thru the physically demanding activities for their sport of choice without fully understanding that some of the training techniques could be causing sub-concussive trauma to younger athletes. After reading this book I am able to have informed conversations with parents on their child’s preparation for their sport of choice. I encourage all parents to read this book to educate themselves on the seriousness of this topic. If we are able to have conversations with informed parents who understand the effects of sub-concussive trauma on young athletes, I believe our children can compete safely and reap the benefits of sports.
This book is excellent! Concussions and the resulting psychiatric manifestations remain to be an area of continued investigation, as there still is a lot that we do not entirely understand. However, this novel provides simple, clear descriptions of the complex neurologic pathways involved in concussions and does not require the reader to have a background in science/medicine. It is an important read for parents with children participating in contact sports, and I highly recommend it.
Doug Zegel, Patrick Risha CTE Awareness Foundation
"Bruce Parkman just did the human race a huge favor. In this book he explains the fragility of a child's brain, and how we must respect and protect those precious brains so they can develop and mature as nature intended. He fought through his personal grief and anguish to produce a definitive summary of how a child’s brain develops and the things we should do to protect it. His anguish is fueled by the realization that, “All this information has been out there for decades and we just don’t know it.” And his grief is born through the loss of his son Mac whose brain was destroyed playing a game he loved playing since the age of five."
We lost a son Patrick back in 2014. And like the Parkmans, our family created a foundation to raise awareness of CTE, and the insidious nature of its cause and effect. It has been a struggle to get the message across. Brilliant research is progressing at a pace, but the subject matter is dense and scientific, and technical. It’s a difficult subject to convey.
Bruce has managed to read, digest and summarize decades of medical journals, research papers, and texts on the subject of brain growth and development, as well as the studies on the harmful results that come from concussive AND sub concussive hits our children routinely receive playing men’s sports.
This book tells the tragic story of Mac Parkman, followed by an inspired summary of the development of the most intricate organ known to man…the human brain. This book is a “must read” for every parent, grandparent, every school board member, every athletic director, trainer, counselor, mental health professional, law maker, or just plain everyone who has a stake in the human race and the order of our society. Like the Parkmans, we learned in the most difficult way imaginable that the human brain is much more fragile than we ever knew. Now YOU can know. Because your child’s future is only as good as the health of his brain.