January 2019 - 10

A.D.MINISTRATION athletic director strategies
alleviating concerns
OVER FOOTBALL SAFETY
By Dr. David Hoch, columnist
Concerns over safety and concussions may contribute
to the decline in football participation. The issue of
concussions and their long-range effects cannot or should
not be easily dismissed. It's an important topic for parents
and athletes, and it should be.
While risks do exist, there have been significant
advancements and initiatives over the last few years
to lessen the impact of concussions. A greater level of
understanding exists, and better recognition, protocols
and treatments make the game safer. There also were
developments in terms of equipment, including helmets
and instructional efforts for coaches providing the safest
techniques for blocking and tackling.
Athletic administrators and coaches may need to provide
information about these advancements to help alleviate
some of the safety concerns. Here are some of the main
areas athletic directors should cover to educate parents
and athletes.
1
Start early. Begin your educational campaign to parents
as early as possible, meaning before their child enters
high school. Athletes and families start thinking about
participation in middle school. If they have concerns, this
is the time to provide the most up-to-date developments so
they are in a better position to make a decision.
2
.Schedule informational meetings. Use every method
.and vehicle at your disposal. If you can schedule
an orientation session with middle school parents, this
is a great start. Use these meetings to provide facts
and details. Schools can post articles and links on
their websites concerning the latest research. Make a
presentation at a parent-teacher association meeting, and
involve your athletic trainer to help answer questions and
provide accurate information.
Consider putting together a pamphlet for distribution
or for reference during one-on-one conversations. It's vital
to share pertinent details, research and steps your school
takes to make participation as safe as possible. This effort
must be comprehensive.
3
10 JANUARY 2019
.Describe equipment standards. Provide details
.concerning equipment safety that most parents would
not know, such as the fact that helmets are annually
reconditioned. When new helmets are purchased, they
have to meet standards set by the National Operating
Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment. This step
ensures that your players always have the best and safest
equipment possible.

January 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of January 2019

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