When coaches prioritize injury reporting, the benefits are clear. One case study following a youth football league found that upon enrolling in the InjureFree platform and reporting athlete injury incidents, injuries drastically decreased over just one season. Following intervention deployment, the football league saw that between the two seasons, injury rates reported during tackles dramatically decreased by 21.5%, and fourth quarter of play injuries decreased by roughly 20%, as a direct result of rule changes deployed. It seems simple, and in fact, it is. By reporting injuries, coaches and organizations can decrease the incidence of future injuries, reduce liability and strengthen communication between parents, coaches and athletes' circle of care.
When coaches and organizations commit to reporting injuries, the incidence of future injuries decreases. Through reporting, coaches can derive a clear picture of injury trends or circumstances and can avoid similar situations in the future. As evident in the case study above, documentation helps drive change to promote athlete safety. Documentation can also be used for future reference to effectively support athletes. If coaches can reference past injury information, they can better establish return to play guidelines to avoid reinjury or prematurely returning to sport.
By reporting injuries, coaches can also reduce their personal and organizational liability should an incident occur. Documentation includes data collection of athlete’s health history, injury and treatment information. This level of documentation ensures that an athlete’s previous conditions – like concussions – aren’t overlooked and will properly inform coaches. As is their responsibility to prioritize athlete’s health and safety, coaches must ensure that they are protecting themselves and in turn their athletes by proving their diligence through reporting.
When you consider coaches, athletic trainers, organizations, physicians and parents to comprise the athlete’s “circle of care”, effective and inclusive communication is crucial. Coaches can use documentation as a tool to foster a culture of effective communication between athletes, parents, ATs, and organizations and approach athlete care in a more collaborative manner.
Learn more about the benefits of injury reporting here.
- InjureFree. (2018). TV Youth Football League Case Study. Retrieved February 7, 2023.
- Knutson, C. (2020, August 20). Risk management tips for Youth Sports Organizations. TeamGenius. Retrieved February 13, 2023, from https://teamgenius.com/risk-management-for-youth-sports-organizations/
- National Athletic Trainers' Association. (2019, April 25). School District implements new Health Model that reduced student athlete injuries by 22 percent and insurance premiums by 50 percent. Newswise. Retrieved February 13, 2023, from https://www.newswise.com/articles/school-district-implements-new-health-model-that-reduced-student-athlete-injuries-by-22-percent-and-insurance-premiums-by-50-percent
- Wylie, T. (2021, July 19). The importance of incident reports in sports and Fitness. Upper Hand. Retrieved February 13, 2023, from https://upperhand.com/importance-of-incident-reports-in-sports-and-fitness/