As a coach, you are aware of every situation on the court. You spend a great deal of time working on your strengths, but you take even more time preparing for the worst and limiting the effect it will have on your team. The worst thing that can happen, however, doesn’t take place during the game and it is something that not all coaches are prepared for.
Player safety is the number one responsibility for a coach, regardless of sports, age or gender. The best way to adhere to this responsibility is to stay up-to-date on your CPR and First Aid training. These important skills are easy to learn and can be the difference between life and death.
When you look for a babysitter to watch your children, one qualification you want them to have is CPR certification. As a coach, you may not want to feel like a babysitter but this is one of the many roles you have. If something happens and a player stops breathing, you may be the only one in the gym with your kids.
Worth Every Penny:
Are you prepared to handle the situation described in the last paragraph? If you are not, do not worry. CPR certification does not take much time or money and can be done at many different locations. To find CPR training locations near you, please consult the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association or your local hospital. Training is inexpensive and is worth every penny.
Highest Risk Sport:
Reports show that more than 100 sudden cardio deaths happen among American, middle school, high school and college athletes every year. And basketball has been found to have the highest risk of any sport. The fast pace and constant starting and stopping can put even the healthiest players in danger.
Luckily, if used properly and started immediately, CPR and defibrillation increase the chance of survival for even the worst cardio episodes. However, many states do not require schools to carry Automatic External Defibrillators (AED). Any location you use for practice and games, please be aware of whether they carry an AED. If they do not, you should recommend that they get one immediately.
Most Important Coaching Decision:
Sudden cardio death is something to be aware of, but not fear. You probably tell your players all the time to overcome fears by preparation and practice. Take your own advice and become CPR certified. It may be the most important decision you’ll ever make as a coach.
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