"Soccer safety for game
day and practices"



When it comes to soccer safety there are a number of areas where coaches need to be aware when they show up to soccer practice or games.


Weather


Weather can be a huge factor depending on where you are living. In Texas we have to be aware of lightning or heat in the summer and plan accordingly.

Heat can be a real factor - here are some of the precautions that coaches can put into place to help the kids.

  • Educate the kids about hydration.
  • Don't start to hydrate or drink the day of a game - start drinking water a few days before the game.
  • Bring a tent out to the games or tournaments so the players have shade.
  • Make sure the players are not eating lots of greasy food.

Where ever you play make sure the kids are safe...





Fields


What are the field conditions your team is about to play on?

  • Thick grass - what kind of boots or soccer shoes should the kids be wearing?
  • Very little grass or bumpy fields - have to have a good first touch and not let the ball bounce. The coach should check to see that there are not huge holes in the fields where players can trip and hurt ankles.
  • Muddy fields - How to lift the ball out of the mud.

The coach has to take into account all of these conditions and try and help the players adjust. I know in Texas we don't see very much thick green grass so studs are not needed - they will just kill the kids feet because the ground here is so hard. Kids will end up having heel problems if they are in the wrong shoes.


Goals


Check the...

  • Nets prior to game time or practice.
  • Check the goals and see if they are anchored into the ground properly.
  • Check the goal mouths to see if they are playable.

All these conditions can be a factor in how the kids play and their soccer safety, so the coach has to help the kids adjust.


Pre match


When the players are going on the field for games...

  • No jewelry
  • Shin Guards on
  • Shirt tucked in

I like to make this as smooth as possible so we don't have issues and distractions prior to the game.




First aid


The coach should have some knowledge of first aid for bumps and bruises. Carry a small first aid kit with you as a coach just in case you have injuries for the kids. I would suggest carrying some band aids, bandages, ice packs and ointment for cuts and bruises.

If a players get seriously hurt...

  • Stay clam
  • Deal with the injury

R.I.C.E is the acronym for treating an injury...

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compress
  • Elevate

If you are not certified get some training and make sure you can handle these situations. To get more info on safety go to USYSA and click on coaches tab and look under resources center. Coaches will find good info on health and safety.



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