Let’s take a look at probably the most important consideration in youth sports – safety
A new survey by the non-profit advocacy group Safe Kids Worldwide finds “an alarming gap” in what is known about sports safety and what is being done to reduce the risk of injury to young athletes, whether playing scholastic, intramural, recreational, select or club team sports.
According to the survey of 1,000 young athletes (seventh through 10th grade), 1,000 coaches and 1,000 parents:
- 42% of players report that they have hidden or downplayed an injury during a game so they could keep playing; 62% say they know someone else who has done so.
- 54% say they have played injured and 70% of those kids say they told a coach or parent that they were hurt. Top reasons given for playing injured: it wasn’t that bad (18%); couldn’t let the team down (13%); didn’t want to be benched (12%).
- 33% say they have been injured as a result of dirty play from an opponent; 28% agree that it is normal to commit hard fouls and play rough to “send a message” during a game.
- 53% of coaches say they have felt pressure from a parent or player to put an athlete back in a game if the child has been injured.
These findings highlight behaviors and other components within youth sports that need to be addressed.
Some of these actions are subjective and have been pervasive and even glorified in sport. In my own coaching experience relating to injury, I have seen bravery, fear, false swagger, and outright stupidity by athletes and coaches at the highest level, people who should know better.
This is not a judgment against two of the greatest components of sport and competition – heart and courage, but rather trying to create a path so that athletes have an opportunity to display them.
BAMS GOAL AND THE PURPOSE OF TESTING
BAMTesting administers standardized testing to guide young athletes and parents to make the best choices for health and optimal performance.
Where can testing help?
Just like with the professional athletes, testing is essential to monitor the following areas:
- Physical Development
- Back to Play Markers
- Sport Competency/Physical literacy
In the next post we will take a look at these variables of safety.
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