Coaching 101: How to Prevent Your Athletes from Injury

Prevent InjuryThe start of a new season is an exciting time in the life of a coach. But more than just a chance to start fresh, the new season offers the perfect opportunity to assess how prepared you are to prevent injury in your athletes. No matter the sport, injuries among young athletes are common. Since you’re responsible for these youth when they’re on the field or court, it’s up to you to prevent injury. Here are four steps you can take right away to ensure players stay safe.

Plan for Safety

Before you can create a safe, injury-free environment for players, you need a plan of action. Whether you’re the kind of coach who runs practices from memory, or the kind who jots down every activity from second to second, planning for safety is vital. Be sure to work in time for rest and water breaks throughout practice.

Analyze the Environment

Is the field or facility you’re using free of hazards that could cause an accident? Even if you play in the same place every week, it’s important to do a quick walk-through of the area before each practice and game. You never know what’s happened while you were away.

Check All Equipment

Practice equipment and personal safety equipment for players should all be checked regularly. Make sure practice and other equipment is in good working condition; if you find something you’re not comfortable with, contact the Athletic Director. Additionally, be sure all players’ protective gear fits well and is worn/used correctly.

Have a Support System

Supervision is key for injury prevention. While there are specific rules for how many supervisors are needed (you’ll want to check the guidelines for your area), you may need one or two more. It’s important that you feel comfortable with the amount of supervision going on under your watch.

Taking these four steps is only the beginning. There are several other things you can do to help prevent injury among players. But if an injury does occur, advise the athlete to seek immediate medical attention and to follow up with an orthopaedic specialist.

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