Athletes in the 21st century are becoming bigger, faster, and stronger than ever before. But with the increase in talent and physical exertion comes an increased risk for injury. Now, more than ever before, coaches need to be conscious of their players’ health. To make sure your team is in tip-top condition, take a look at these 5 safety tips for coaches:
1. Prepare Players for Demands of Sport
First and foremost, you need to make sure that your team is physically capable of handling the demands of the sport that they are participating in. All players need to have a full physical exam that is performed by a qualified physician who will clear them for all activities in a given sport before they ever touch the field.
2. Warm Up and Stretch Before All Activities
Whether it’s a game or practice, your players need to stretch and go through full warmups properly. Athletes should do a minimum of 10 minutes of callisthenic warmups, as well as stretching every major muscle group. Proper stretching will help players avoid muscle strains and tears during heavy physical activity.
3. Enforce Appropriate Athletic Gear
There is a temptation not to wear full right athletic gear during practice, but in reality anytime the full action is being performed, wearing proper gear is necessary. Good equipment will reduce the frequency and the severity of injuries.
4. Understand Concussion Symptoms
It is never a good idea to take a chance with a possible concussion. Coaches should be aware of all symptoms of a possible concussion and should err on the side of caution if it appears that a player may have one. Any athlete with a suspected concussion must be removed from the game immediately, and evaluated and cleared by a medical professional before he is allowed to return to the game. If you are serious about your career as a coach, you might consider getting an athletic administration master’s degree, as this will help you prepare for lots of injuries like these that might happen.
5. Rest and Hydration
Two keys to physical well-being are rest and hydration. Athletes should be allowed breaks during practices and games to hydrate and recover and should get a minimum of one day off a week from physical activity. Players should hydrate 30 minutes before the start of activity, and be able to hydrate throughout the game or practice.
Safety is of paramount importance for coaches who want to keep their teams on top of their game. Many injuries and illnesses and injuries are preventable by avoiding overuse and taking the proper precautions.