Studies show that high school1 and youth2,4 coaches generally lack knowledge of first aid and the recognition and management of injuries. No mandated national coaching education program exists in the United States for youth sports, and the requirements for high school coaches vary from state to state, with some requiring only first aid and CPR certification.
A number of organizations offer coaching education programs, however, which provide information related to proper biomechanics of sporting skills, nutrition, physical conditioning, development of athletes, and prevention, recognition, and management of injuries. In its recent position statement on overuse injuries,3 the National Athletic Trainers' Association recommends completion of at least one of the following courses for all coaches working with child or adolescent athletes:
|Organization|| Training Focus
National Athletic Trainers' Association Sports Safety for Youth Coaches
|Recognition of illnesses and injuries, safe playing conditions, training and conditioning, emergency planning
|National Youth Sports Coaches Association
General youth sports
|American Sports Education Program
Technical and tactical skills of sport
CPR, AED certification, coaching essentials, and sports first aid courses
|National Center for Sports Safety (PREPARE)
||Sports safey that teaches participants to recognize and prevent common athletic injuries, emergency preparedness, first aid management, and sport enjoyment
|American Red Cross
||Environmental hazards, emergency situations, and decision-making for first aid care||Classroom||http://www.redcross.org/services/hss/courses/sports.html|
|National Federation of State High School Associations||
"Fundamentals of Coaching" course
Online first aid course
1. Ransone J, Dunn-Bennett LR. Assessment of first-aid knowledge and decision making of high school athletic coaches. J Athl Train. 1999;34(3):267-271.
2. Valovich McLeod TC, McGaugh JW, Boquiren ML, Bay RC. Youth sports coaches do not have adequate knowledge regarding first-aid and injury prevention. Appl Res Coach Athlet. Ann. 2008;23:130-146.
3. Valovich McLeod TC, Decoster LC, Loud KJ, Micheli LJ, Parker JT, SandreyMA, White C. National Athletic Trainers' Association Position Statement: Prevention of Pediatric Overuse Injuries. J Ath. Tr. 2011;46(2):206-220.
4. Mickalide AD, Hansen LM. Coaching Our Kids to Fewer Injuries: A Report on Youth Sports Safety. Washington, DC: Safe Kids Worldwide, April 2012
Updated and revised June 14, 2012