For Parents

How Knowledgable is Your Coach?

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In a recent study conducted by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), in conjunction with the Clinical Exercise Physiology program at the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse, researchers interviewed 70 youth coaches, asking them questions covering these seven health/fitness related subject areas:

  1. exercise physiology
  2. practice design
  3. nutrition
  4. hydration
  5. basic first aid
  6. concussion care
  7. strength training knowledge

The survey also asked for demographic information including age, education level, major field of study, age level coached, paid or volunteer position, and highest level of sports participation.

Below is a summary of the results of the study:

  • average score was 28.7 out of 40 questions correct, or 72%
  • health science majors scored significantly higher than others who earned a college degree with any other major
  • 9 questions were most often answered incorrectly; of those, 4 were related to hydration, and the others related to strength training, nutrition, and concussions
  • 50% of participants were unaware of second-impact syndrome, a dangerous and often fatal concussion-related complication

While this study was conducted by interviewing coaches from a variety of youth sports, including soccer, the results are certainly interesting for anyone involved in youth soccer.  Cedric X. Bryant, PhD, and ACE Chief Science Officer, summed it up by stating “the results of this study suggest that many (volunteer coaches) would benefit from receiving educational information and training on safety and injury prevention as it pertains to young athletes.”

I’d love to hear your opinions on this subject.  Drop me a line here to get the conversation started.

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