As an athletic coach, you’re responsible for making sure that your players are healthy and have the conditioning to engage in strenuous physical activities. It’s important to be aware of each player’s health limits so that no one’s well-being is ever jeopardized. Here are a few ways to know your players’ health limits as an athletic coach.
Mandate Health Screenings
Every student should be screened by a healthcare provider before they are allowed to participate in any sports. It’s advisable for you to request a letter from each student stating that a provider has performed a thorough examination and made note of any potential health problems. This may also protect you from certain liabilities. You can seek additional advice from doctors or nurse practitioners in your area so that you can keep your players even safer.
Provide Fitness Testing
Fitness testing can gauge each athlete’s personal strengths and weaknesses and alert you of certain concerns. Some of the best fitness test programs can be used for a variety of sports. You’ll want to have your players engage in aerobics drills that measure their heart rates while performing exercises like step-ups and running. Push-ups, sit-ups, and triceps dips are great for gauging muscular fitness. Your fitness testing should also include exercises that determine the balance, flexibility, and reaction time of each player. Online coaching courses provide even more information on the types of fitness testing that you should be conducting.
Look for Warning Signs
There are certain signs to watch for while athletes are engaging in play that might indicate that a particular player has exceeded a healthy limit. Excessive heavy breathing and profuse sweating are indicators that an athlete has gone beyond what is deemed safe. Athletes who complain of joint pain may also have exceeded their performance thresholds. If a player complains of chest pain or irregular heartbeats, seek emergency care immediately.
Health limits generally depend on the ages and genders of the athletes who are on your team. Another thing to consider is the level at which your players compete. You wouldn’t coach a junior varsity team the same way as you’d coach professional athletes, so you’ll need to know what to reasonably expect from your athletes to ensure safe play for everyone.
Athletes are humans too, and it’s crucial to be aware of your team’s health limitations so that everyone can get the most out of their time on the field or court. Making sure that your athletes stay healthy in the game should be your number one priority.