Five Things Every Coach Should Have to Keep Their Team Safe
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The most important job of a youth sports coach is keeping kids safe. This role goes far beyond just motivating your players, coaches are responsible to prepare for any unknowns. Game days are fast-paced, exciting, and often full of surprises. From extreme temperatures to accidents or injuries, coaches have to stay one step ahead at all times. Here at TeamSnap, we have complied a list of the top five things every youth sports coach should have to keep their team safe.
This first one is a must-have for any organized event. Anything can happen, both on and off the field. Having a first-aid kit on hand can ultimately save a life. Your first-aid kid should be fully stocked and routinely checked to ensure that medicines are not expired. Additionally, a youth sports team coach and any assistants should be certified in first aid and CPR. It is a good rule of thumb to always have one fully certified person available in case of an emergency. Sports safety clinics are another excellent resource for coaches and volunteers to complete. These trainings educate staff on specific sports-related injuries and teach them what to be prepared for.
Sanitation rose to the top of the list of priorities during the last two years. Amidst a global pandemic, ensuring a safe and healthy environment for youth sports league participants is non-negotiable. Keep proper sanitation equipment on hand, such as hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. Regularly cleaning sports equipment also helps to keep everyone safe.
Every coach should have a list of emergency contacts that is up-to-date and accessible. This information includes the phone numbers of the parent/guardian of each player, allergy information, and any relevant doctor information. An emergency is certainly not the time to realize a number is out of date, so keep this information close and notify other volunteers how to access it.
Hydration is key for keeping your team safe. It is no secret that sometimes kids can get distracted. It is up to the coach to motivate participants to drink plenty of water and electrolytes throughout the practice or the game. Athletes should drink fluids 30 minutes before their activity begins. Mandatory water breaks must occur at least every 20 minutes. Even if kids say that they are not thirsty, get them into the habit of stopping their activity to take a sip of water.
A coach should have proper gear readily available for all players, for both practices and games. This includes helmets, mouth guards, cleats, sunscreen, and shin guards. At the beginning of every season, youth sports league families should get a list of all of the gear they are required to provide for their players. Players must be required to wear all assigned gear at all times during both practices and on game day.
Check out our Youth Sports Safety Month page for more great resources shared by coaches and sports parents to keep your young athletes safe and injury-free.
Do you or someone you know need help managing their team or club? Sign up for a free 21-day trial today. Or check out our club and league solution, TeamSnap for Clubs and Leagues if your team is part of a larger sports organization.