Dealing with Softball Injuries

Softball injuries are a fact of life. I have seen everything from jammed fingers to broken legs and concussions over the years. We do our best to teach the mechanics that will reduce the likelihood of injury, but there is no way around it, stuff happens. They can happen on and off the field of play. Some one gets hit by a foul ball or someone steps on a ball by accident and roles an ankle.

Most tournaments will have a first aid person available to help. I recommend that you have a first aid kit at every practice and game. Make sure your kit has an ice pack that does not have to be frozen ahead of time.

Minnesota State Law Requires Concussion Training For Youth Coaches

A new Minnesota state law went into effect in September 2011 requiring all youth coaches to have concussion training. The CDC has put together an on line training program called "Heads Up". It takes about 20 minutes to go through the training and when you have completed it, you can print yourself a certificate of completion with your name on that cert. They also have handout materials that you can have available for parents.

Heat Exhaustion

When we are in the “heat” of a hotly contested game on a sultry summer day, it is hard for the coach to keep an eye out for the symptoms of heat exhaustion, but that is what we have to do. Bring a tarp and bungee cords and use them to cover the dugout. Make sure that your players are drinking water or a sports drink when they come off the field between innings. On extremely hot days, fill a cooler with ice water and throw a few towels in the cooler. Between innings, players can put these towels around there neck to help them cool down. This does not replace drinking water or a sports drink. Ask a parent to help keep an eye on the players for any sign of heat exhaustion.

The signs of heat exhaustion include pale looking, anything from cool moist skin to sweating profusely, muscle cramps or pain, feeling dizzy or faint. Headache or nausea may also be a symptom.

Treat a player showing signs of heat exhaustion by getting them in the shade, have them drink water or a sports drink, use the cool towels to cool them down.

Do not use an alcohol rub. Do not drink alcohol or any caffeinated drink.

Heat stroke is an emergency situation that would require an ambulance. Watch for the signs of heat exhaustion to prevent it from going to something worse.

The one acronym I will tell you about is RICE which stands for Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate. This acronym will help you with a lot of the injuries that you will see.

I am not offering up a first aid course here, there are plenty of them available. This is a big topic and the resources are out there that do a better job of covering the topic than I could.

This link will open a new window to the emedicineheealth first aid emergency guide

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You Are Important

The coach is the person who communicates with parents, players, umpires, other coaches and your local associations. You facilitate the team by making sure all the equipment is there when it is needed. Most important are the players. You are teaching more than the skills and strategies of fastpitch. The ability to gracefully deal with success and failure, the persistence to keep trying and the confidence that these young ladies learn from you is priceless.

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