Everyone plays a role, and has an obligation, to keep our kids and athletes safe.
What do coaches need to do to help their athletes? One of the first steps in being a responsible and trustworthy coach is to go and get trained and ask lots of questions!
Coaches need to keep a close watch on their kids and support their athletic trainers and their calls. It’s essential for coaches to do what is best for the athlete, not the game.
Many officials have devoted their time to not just high school games, but to junior high/middle school games in the afternoon, and youth football games on Saturdays. Most choose to provide their services because they love the game, and still enjoy the atmosphere and the opportunity to work with their fellow officials. Coaches, players, and fans can contribute to an environment that promotes good sportsmanship, despite the very competitive nature of the game. When this happens, officials enjoy their experience and it becomes far easier to retain current officials and recruit new officials.
How can officials keep athletes safe? Stay on top of the players and coaches with the rules of the game and be sure to call them on it.
Certified Athletic Trainers
Athletic trainers are responsible for safely evaluating each player after an intense play. Athletic trainers are in charge of initiating protocols such as concussion baseline testing and make the hard calls when necessary, conduct the return to play protocols and only allow kids to play when it is safe to return.
Parents need to make sure their child is prepared to play and make sure they are rested, hydrated and well- nourished.
Parents can help change the game by being positive, supportive and encouraging. Help other families if possible, whether it is a carpool or saving them a seat. Every bit helps.
What should you do as a player? Be a good team player. Respect your peers, your coaches and your athletic trainers. Speak up if you see something that is not right.