Blogs and Commentary

posted 08.26.2013 at 6.45 p.m. by TJ Buchanan

Coach's Corner: What’s My Role in Safety?

Every month US Lacrosse sends out monthly newsletters to parents, program administrators, officials and coaches. And every month I add a Positive Coaching Alliance and Coaching Tip for all the coaches out there.

Here is where I'll keep the extended version of those tips as well as other topics that come about related to coaching.

Feel free to share this resource with all of your coaching colleagues and suggest in the comment box below with other topics for me to cover.

PCA – A Vision of a Positive Sports Culture

Here are some components of a positive culture in your organization:
     • Players love their sport, look forward to practices and games, and experience joy that will last a lifetime.

     • Coaches know that what they teach carries into the classroom, home, and future jobs. They help players focus on effort and improvement, not just the scoreboard.

All involved (players, coaches, parents, officials, and fans) see their involvement as a privilege that they never want to dishonor. Remember: The vision needs to stretch far beyond winning a specific game to making a lasting impact on the lives of your young athletes!

Coaching Tip – What’s My Role in Safety? Preparation, Prevention, Products

In most youth sports, coaches often find themselves playing multiple roles, beyond “coach.” You may need to occasionally need to respond to an injury of a player, and while there is no substitute for a professionally trained doctor or trainer there are a few things you can do to be prepared for helping an injured athlete.

1. Be Prepared –

Have a plan for safety and keep it with you. It should include emergency information for your players, local ambulances/police phone numbers, where the nearest phone is located, who will go with the injured player if a parent is not available, who will drive the player to the hospital if a phone is not available and where the nearest AED is located. Your program administrators may also have other requirements, so it’s always a good idea to consult with them prior to the season.

2. Be Preventative –

Many injuries can be avoided before they ever occur. Take time every day to properly warm-up. There is an increasing amount of debate in athletics over what that means. As a baseline, players should engage in some low impact physical activity prior to going “full speed” in practice or games. This could be in the form of dynamic stretching, passing and catching drills, shooting drills, or something similar that will engage their bodies, but not put a great deal of stress on them. Carefully monitor your athletes on hot and cold days for signs of dehydration and give them adequate breaks to rehydrate and allow their muscles to recover after physical activity.  

3. Have a basic First Aid Kit –

There are many commercially available kits on the market. Look for one that has a variety of products that can serve multiple purposes. You may also want to consult with a school athletic trainer to see what they suggest you carry.  One thing to avoid carrying is any type of medications. Not even aspirin. Leave all medications to the trained professionals.