Coaches’ Role in Minimizing the Risk of Injury

In keeping with Seattle PONY Baseball’s philosophy of Athletes First, Winning Second, the coaches’ primary role is to minimize the risk of injury to the players under the coach’s supervision. This encompasses a variety of duties.

1. Properly plan the activity

  • Teach the skills of the sport in the correct progression
  • Keep written records of your practice plans. Don’t deviate from your plans without good cause.

2. Provide proper instruction

  • Make sure that the athletes are in proper condition to participate
  • Teach players the rules and the correct skills and strategies of the game (e.g. teach proper sliding technique).

3. Warn of inherent risks

  • Provide parents with information about the inherent risks of baseball.
  • Warn players about potentially harmful conditions or situations such as swinging a bat around others, or throwing the ball in an unsafe manner.

4. Provide a safe physical environment

  • Monitor current environmental conditions (i.e. temperature, wind chill, and severe weather warnings). SEE SEPARATE DOCUMENT FOR RESPONSES TO SEVERE WEATHER.
  • Periodically inspect the playing areas / dugout for hazards.
  • Remove all hazards.
  • Prevent improper or unsupervised use of the facilities while you are responsible (e.g. climbing the backstop or dugout fencing).

5. Provide adequate and proper equipment

  • Make sure that players are using proper safety equipment (i.e. cups for all boys, proper fitting catchers gear, and proper fitting helmets for batters).
  • Inspect equipment regularly.
  • Teach players how to fit use and inspect their equipment.

6. Match your players appropriately

  • Match athletes according to size, physical maturity, skill level and experience.
  • Do NOT pit physically immature or novice players against those who are in top condition and are highly skilled.

7. Evaluate players for injury or incapacity

  • Withhold an athlete from practice and competition if the player is unable to compete without pain or loss of function.

8. Supervise the activity closely

  • Do not allow athletes to practice difficult or potentially dangerous skills without proper supervision.
  • Forbid horseplay.

9. Provide appropriate emergency assistance

  • Use only those skills that you are qualified to administer.
  • If you are the least bit unsure as to whether an injury requires emergency assistance, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY and then contact the parent.
  • NEVER ADMINISTER ASPIRIN OR OTHER MEDICATIONS.

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