InjureFree Blog

Proactive Sports Safety Plans - Preventing Injuries Before They Occur

Creating a sports safety plan sounds intimidating, but it doesn't have to be! Let's break it down. Risk management or sports safety plans are controllable and preventative actions that coaches can take to help protect their athletes' well-being. As young athletes continue to specialize in one sport, we're seeing an increase in things like overuse injuries. It also means that unfortunately, sports injuries are on the rise overall. So, to prevent injuries before they occur, coaches can create a comprehensive plan to implement with their organizations and athletes. 

Coaches are the first line of defense when it comes to sports safety and as leaders, there are a few things to know when considering your sports safety plan:

Nick Winkelman, the Head of Athletic Performance and Science for the Irish Rugby Football Union, deeply understands the use of communication to optimize performance. He suggests three simple tips on how to change your language when communicating with athletes to enhance performance and increase long-term memory retention:

  1. Ensure that all staff are properly trained 

Proper education is the simplest way to prevent injuries! Requiring all coaching staff to complete training like basic first aid, concussion education, rules and regulations training and various sports-specific safety training will ensure that coaches are well-equipped to prevent, recognize or manage injuries before or as they occur.

  1. Don't skip on screenings

Ensure that all coaching staff members are properly screened. Parents entrust coaching staff with their children, so it's crucial to utilize tools like interviews, background checks and references to help reduce risks and protect athletes. This will help create a professional and trusting team that parents and athletes can rely on.

  1. Require paperwork completion 

None of us enjoy filling out time consuming paperwork. But, by simply completing waivers and medical forms and designating emergency contacts up front, parents and guardians provide crucial information necessary to protect the athlete and the organization.

  1. Implement standardized policies 

Certain policies can help ensure that the requirements and expectations of coaches, parents, athletes and even the facilities are thoroughly understood. Coaches can create a code of conduct that parents and athletes can read, sign and reference to help uphold expected and supportive behavior. Other policies like insurance and a facility's risk assessment will further ensure that coaches proactively protect themselves, the organization, and, most importantly, the athletes. 

Injury management platforms and organizations like InjureFree make it easy to house all the information needed for your sound safety plan. Things like coach education, medical history and injury report forms all live conveniently in one secure place. Click here to learn more about InjureFree and how you can get started today!



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