We frequently stress what parents can do to minimize the risk of injuries among their children. After all, a large percentage of injuries in youth sports result from overuse, and parents can watch for signs of these problems developing. Coaches, though, play a key role in the health of their players. Here are some keys that coaches can remember that can help their young players stay safe and avoid injuries.
Obtain coaching certification for your sport. Usually the national governing bodies for each youth sport has a certification program. These programs often have information on common injuries in each sport and tips for preventing them.
Check environmental conditions before practice and competition. Watch weather forecasts for very hot or cold temperatures, elevated humidity, and developing storms. Plan alternate locations or times for play if necessary.
Take all precautions to avoid injuries. Have your players warm up and stretch before training and games.
Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of common injuries in your sport. Be able to provide care for these injuries if and when they occur.
Be prepared to implement an emergency action plan. Have contact information for family members of your players. Keep a cell phone to contact emergency medical providers and local hospitals. Know or have access to any pertinent medical conditions of your athletes. And get first aid and CPR certification.