In most youth & minor hockey organizations, the trainer is the coach. Are you ready?
We realize most youth & minor hockey teams don’t have trainers assigned. So who is looking after the players? Coaches. We explore many options to get First Aid training for coaches. We’ll take a look at concussion awareness too.
All coaches should be trained and equipped to handle the little emergencies that arise during the season. Coaches should also know and accept their limitations. We need to know when to call in the professionals.
We are going to talk about some ways to get the information you need and how to properly use that knowledge. The off-season is a perfect time to get this extra training.
It would be awesome if every youth & minor hockey association trained their coaches in first aid. But we can hear that debate in the volunteer board rooms across the US and Canada. It’s not pretty. So, here are some work-arounds for coaches to ensure their players are properly cared for.
Let’s start with a look at the more traditional methods.
RELATED: First Aid Kit to meet the needs of a Hockey Coach (Coming soon)
Adult First Aid/CPR/AED
Summary from the American Red Cross website
Adult First Aid and CPR: $93.00
The Adult First Aid/CPR/AED course incorporates the latest science and teaches students to recognize and care for a variety of first aid emergencies such as burns, cuts, scrapes, sudden illnesses, head, neck, back injuries, heat and cold emergencies and how to respond to breathing and cardiac emergencies for victims about 12 years and older. Successful students will receive a certificate for Adult First Aid/CPR/AED valid for two years.
Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED
Summary from the American Red Cross website
Adult and Pediatric First Aid and CPR: $118.00
The Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED course incorporates the latest science and teaches students to recognize and care for a variety of first aid emergencies such as burns, cuts, scrapes, sudden illnesses, head, neck, back injuries, heat and cold emergencies and how to respond to breathing and cardiac emergencies to help victims of any age – adults (about 12 years and older) and pediatric (infants and children up to 12 years of age). Students who successfully complete this course will receive a certificate for Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED valid for two years.
The Hockey Dawg staff have both been certified by the American Red Cross. Shirt Sam has been a Red Cross certified instructor. This may be the best option, but it does come with a cost.
Some other options, at reduced or no-cost.
Some of you folks are looking at the cost, and going over your budget in your head. We can see you, and we’re pretty sure we can hear what you are thinking…
Coach, I had to do my Level-3 this year, and 2 CEP Modules. I had to buy pucks and water bottles. Not to mention, my players tuition, and their equipment–both my kids went through huge growth spurts this year! I just don’t have another hundred bucks.
We get that. Hockey is expensive. Plus, volunteer coaches end-up laying out quite a bit of cash for the good of their teams. Here are a few suggestions to help you out with this cost.
Additional options for First Aid for Coaches
Provides on-line course for First Aid, Health, and Safety. The course has 11 modules, and is tailored to sports injuries and first aid. It does not cover CPR, per se, nor does it cover AED. It is a reasonable alternative, with some tailoring of information. The cost varies ($35-45) by state, as NFHS has to meet requirements set forth by each state’s laws.
The Hockey Dawg staff have completed the NFHS first aid course.
On-line course provides FREE training in first aid, CPR, AED, and more. The training is free, but there is a fee for certification. ($20.95, we have seen it on sale for $18.95) If you brown bag your lunch for a few extra days, it should be easy to come-up with an extra $20. The on-line training may not be as effective as the Red Cross classroom course, but it should give you the basics and more. Any training is better than no training.
The Hockey Dawg staff have not completed the National CPR Training Foundation course. We have found it and list it as a cost-effective option for your convenience.
Modern Day sports first aid
No modern day sports first aid discussion would be complete without mentioning concussions.
The CDC’s Heads-up concussion program is a full suite of resources for what is arguably the biggest hot-button issue in sports–Concussion. The video series includes targeted information for coaches, parents, players, administrators, teachers, and health care providers. There are posters and handouts, even clipboards. (What coach couldn’t use an extra clipboard?) All the resources on the site are free. It is nothing short of irresponsible for coaches not to avail themselves of this fantastic, free resource. Each of our coaches take the Coach’s Course, every year. Did we mention: it is FREE!?!
The Hockey Dawg staff have completed the CDC concussion course for youth and high school coaches.
The CDC also has a smart phone App. It is free download from your app provider.
Hockey Canada also has an App. Like the CDC app, Hockey Canada’s concussion app is a free download from your app store of choice.
We have both on our phones. We tend to like Hockey Canada’s app better. Just our preference. It is a sleeker interface, and the information is more readily accessible.
Investing in a First Aid/CPR trainer can be a force multiplier for the organization
Minor and Youth Hockey clubs should look into getting a First Aid Trainer certified for their organization. It is a relatively small investment, and all coaches can become certified.
You may not have to look very far. It is an indisputable fact, police officers and fire fighters are sprinkled throughout most hockey organizations. You may already have a CPR trainer on staff, and not even realize it. If you have public safety professionals, but they are not the trainer, they may be able to facilitate the training through their department.
Whichever method you choose, getting additional skills and knowledge is essential for coaches. Invest in yourself. As invaluable as this is, you must know your limitations. Do not hesitate to refer a player to the emergency room, or call an ambulance when it is appropriate. When you are dealing with the health, safety, and well-being of young people, err on the side of caution. There is too much at stake.
As you can see, there are lots of options for this important aspect of our jobs. When you need this skill, is not the time to learn it.
Investing in First Aid training for coaches, reinforces a commitment to player safety! When a player gets hurt, that’s when we realize First Aid is an investment and not a cost.
- American Red Cross
- National Federation of High School
- National CPR Training Foundation
- Center for Disease Control (CDC), Heads-Up Concussion Program
- RELATED: Hockey’s first 5-Star Helmet
- RELATED: It was Preventable
- Virginia Tech Helmet Study
- App Store
- Google Play
- Look within your organization: Police, Fire, etc.
In a future post, we’ll talk about how to build a worthwhile first aid kit for hockey.