Starting the Conversation: Bounce Back’s Devin Shivers

Starting the Conversation is a movement. A movement to help change the stigma around mental health, to help teach others that brain health is just as important as physical health. We should do all that we can to protect our brain, our mind and our thoughts just like we monitor how we work out, what we put into our bodies and rest. For Devin Shivers, creator of Bounce Back Concussion Awareness, he knows this all too well. Shivers is a former Chandler High School football player. He was forced to leave the game he loves when he got a concussion while playing a seven-on-seven passing tournament game.  

“It was the last play of the tournament, last game,” he said to Sports360AZ.com. “I caught the ball, I tried to turn up field and I felt his head immediately hit mine. As soon as I felt that hit, I just went blank…” 

Seven-on-sevens are different in that players don’t wear pads and use different style helmets. There is no tackling, but even that didn’t protect Devin’s head. Concussion symptoms may include but are not limited to: headache, confusion, lack of coordination, memory loss, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, ringing in the ears, sleepiness, and excessive fatigue. All of these symptoms are the brain’s way of saying ‘I am not okay! Take care of me.” Just as if you had a cough you would get to the bottom of it and find out why and treat it; just like if you have a stomach ache you would try and find out and fix it.. Same with your brain. Your brain is just as important to address and keep healthy with how you eat, think and sleep. 

Well, Shivers did what he needed to protect his brain, as well as his mental health. He stopped playing football, he got medical help and worked to get his brain healthy again. Due to the concussion, he had to go through speech therapy and physical therapy. All to get his mind and body right again. The brain is the king of the body and controls everything we do. So why don’t we pay more attention to it? 

Shivers is trying to change that. He is so passionate about bringing awareness to others about concussions. He doesn’t want people to stop playing football, he wants them to educate themselves and stay healthy and that’s why he created the Bounce Back Concussion Awareness. The young man is hoping his story can help others and give back to his community. 

“It was so crazy to come from having memory and balance and everything, and just one day its just like, I’m not the same Devin anymore.”