Concussions are a growing concern in sports, particularly in contact sports such as football, hockey, and soccer. Concussions can occur even in non-contact sports like cheerleading and gymnastics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 1.6 to 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur in the United States each year. Coaches are on the front line when it comes to identifying and responding to concussions. Therefore, it is essential that coaches receive proper concussion training to be able to protect their athletes from the short and long-term effects of concussions. In this article, we will explore why every coach should get certified in concussion training.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a blow or jolt to the head or body that causes the brain to move rapidly inside the skull. This movement can cause chemical changes in the brain and damage to brain cells. Symptoms of a concussion can include headaches, dizziness, confusion, memory loss, and nausea. While most concussions are mild and resolve on their own, repeated concussions or a severe concussion can lead to long-term problems such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease.
The role of coaches in concussion management
Coaches play a crucial role in concussion management. They are responsible for identifying when a player may have suffered a concussion and taking the appropriate action to protect the athlete from further injury. Coaches need to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion, including subtle ones such as changes in mood or behavior. They also need to know how to respond to a suspected concussion, including removing the athlete from play and notifying the athlete’s parents or guardians.
The benefits of coaches concussion training
Coach’s concussion training is essential for several reasons. First, coaches concussion training provides coaches with the knowledge and skills needed to identify and respond to a concussion. Coaches who have received concussion training are better equipped to recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion and take appropriate action to protect their athletes from further injury. Second, concussion training helps coaches understand the importance of rest and recovery after a concussion. Coaches who have received concussion training can educate their athletes and their parents or guardians on the importance of rest and recovery to prevent further injury and promote healing. Third, concussion training can help reduce the risk of long-term problems associated with concussions, such as CTE. Coaches who have received concussion training can take steps to prevent repeated concussions and ensure that athletes who have suffered a concussion receive appropriate care and follow-up.
The importance of baseline testing
Baseline testing is a valuable tool in concussion management. Baseline testing involves testing an athlete’s cognitive and physical abilities before the start of the season. This testing provides a baseline to compare against if the athlete suffers a concussion. Coaches who have received concussion training can work with healthcare providers to ensure that their athletes receive baseline testing. This testing can help identify when an athlete has suffered a concussion and when they are ready to return to play after a concussion.
How to get certified in concussion training
There are several organizations that offer concussion training for coaches. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a free online course called asHeads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports This course provides coaches with information on how to recognize and respond to a concussion. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) also offers a free online course called Concussion in Sports. What You Need to Know This course covers the basics of concussion management and prevention. Additionally, there are several private organizations that offer concussion training for coaches, such as the National Alliance for Youth Sports and the Concussion Legacy Foundation.
Coaches concussion training is essential for protecting athletes from the short and long-term effects of concussions. Coaches who have received concussion training are better equipped to identify and respond to a concussion, promote rest and recovery, and prevent long-term problems associated with concussions. Coaches can get certified in concussion training through a variety of organizations, including the CDC and NFHS. All coaches should make it a priority to receive concussion training to ensure the safety and well-being of their athletes.