Youth Sports Injuries Are Common But Preventable
The largest and most vulnerable population of recreational athletes is aged 14 and younger with nearly 60 million estimated athletes — and growing. Unfortunately, injuries to youth athletes are often misunderstood or underplayed, leading to lasting repercussions to health and athleticism.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 4 million youth sports injuries occur each year. With nearly 60,000 coaches of recreational sports in Alabama alone, it’s becoming increasingly crucial to educate and train coaches on the warning signs of youth sports injury for prevention and treatment.
The CDC also notes that 50% of these injuries are preventable.
CoachSafely: Encouraging Superior Coaching
Dr. James Andrews, renowned sports medicine surgeon and CoachSafely Board Member, explains why it is essential to protect young athletes from injury:
There is a myth that children are less vulnerable to sports injuries. The truth is young athletes are more vulnerable to injury than adults because of open growth plates and developing bones and joints. Also, most concussions occur in youth because of young developing brains. The medical science for athletes age 14 and under is a specialty of its own.
CoachSafely is a safety policy and education solution established in 2015 to address issues in youth sports programming through comprehensive education that empowers coaches and parents to make smart, actionable decisions for the health and well-being of their athletes.
The Coach Safely Act is a law in the state of Alabama that requires all youth sport agencies that practice or play on public property to train coaches and parents, ensuring that signs of injury are rectified before, during and after recreation.
Encouraging Superior Coaching
Through partnerships with Community-Based Organizations (CBO), the CoachSafely Foundation can effectively mandate that all members of the Alabama Recreation and Parks Association register and maintain reports on all coaches of athletes aged 14 and younger.
This partnership provides numerous benefits:
By choosing to become CoachSafely certified, you’re more than just trained to recognize and respond to injuries on the field; you’re an advocate for positive youth development by inspiring your athletes to stay healthy, make smart choices, learn conflict-resolution skills, and improve their grades and stay in school.
Be More Than Just a Coach
As a coach, you have a major role in athletes’ lives. By signing up to be certified, you’re declaring to yourself and your community that you realize the value of safe, healthy recreation and will work diligently to be a positive influence on and off the field.
Accidents can and will happen, but with proper coaching, you’re prepared to make the crucial decisions to ensure your athletes’ success.