Information for Coaches

Coaches are presented with the unique opportunity to nurture the development and growth of young athletes.  While on the playing field, coaches are often ultimately responsible for the healthcare of their players.  While practice and game preparation is key, so is having a plan in place for how acute injuries will be handled.

The National Federation of State High School Association has posted a free online course for coaches.  Click here to view “Concussion in Sports – What You Need to Know.”

Head’s Up: Concussion in Youth Sports is a program that was established by the Centers for Disease Control to help educate athletes, parents, coaches, and clinicians.  Visit the CDC website for free materials!

Having an emergency action plan in place for your practices and competitions is important.  If you haven’t already, consider developing a venue-specific emergency action plan for your sports organization.  It is the best interest of your participants’ safety to put this plan in writing, post it in a conspicuous location, and rehearse the plan annually to ensure that everyone involved knows his/her role in executing the plan.

Visit the Gfeller-Waller Concussion Awareness Act  site to get more information on EAPs and to view a sample emergency action plan.

FAQ for Coaches

What are some of the signs and symptoms of a concussion?

Signs and symptoms of concussion can, and will, vary from athlete to athlete.  They may develop immediately or they may develop after a few hours.

Some common signs and symptoms include:



     Nausea or vomiting

     Balance diffuculty

     Blurred vision

    Sensitivity to light or sound

     Drowsiness or fatigue


     Dazed, confused appearance

     Slow to answer questions or follow directions

When should I suspect a concussion?

If your athlete demonstrates any of the signs & symptoms listed above after a blow to the head or elsewhere on the body, be suspicious that a concussion has occurred.  “When in doubt, sit them out.”

What should I do if I suspect a concussion?

Remove that player from activity and do not let them return until they have been evaluated by a healthcare provider (Certified Athletic Trainer, Physician).

My player didn’t take a direct blow to the head.  Is it still possible for him/her to have sustained a concussion?

Yes! Even a blow to somewhere else on the body, such as the chest or back, can transmit enough force to cause the brain to move within the skull.