• August is Safety Month
    The initial days of a training program can be filled with potential hazards for athletes. Heat-related illness is a primary concern for athletes returning to strength and conditioning sessions in August. As a result, August offers a good opportunity to review your organization's standards and guidelines.
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  • August SafetyThe initial days of a training program can be filled with potential hazards for athletes. Heat-related illness is a primary concern for athletes returning to strength and conditioning sessions in August.

    Therefore, August is an optimal time to ensure that appropriate intensity, duration, hydration, and rest protocols are followed. August is also the best month to review the standards and guidelines for your facility, program, and supervision.

    All emergency action plans should be communicated to, and practiced by, the entire strength and conditioning staff and presented in orientation meetings with student athletes. Below is a checklist for questions to cover during an orientation meeting.

    Checklist
    • Have you implemented an emergency action plan, and conducted a proper orientation with your staff and athletes on those emergency procedures prior to anyone using the facility?
    • Does each athlete have a waiver and physical examination/health clearance prior to participation?
    • Does every member of your coaching staff have updated certifications in CPR, AED, and First Aid?&
    • Is safety equipment such as AEDs, First Aid kits, and fire extinguishers located in easily accessible areas that are clearly identified?
    • Have you inspected the training area to ensure the area is free of danger before training begins?
    • Do you have telephones available in the strength and conditioning facility in case of an emergency? Do you have a cell phone or two-way radio available when training outside in case an incident occurs on the field?
    • Do you have water or sports drinks available for your athletes at all times so they stay properly hydrated?
    • Are you familiar with recognizing signs and symptoms of heat-related illness that may lead to sudden death?
    • Have you organized a plan for novice athletes, incoming freshmen, transfers, and walk-ons to prepare physically and mentally for rigorous conditioning programs used for returning athletes?
    • Have you made sure no strength and conditioning exercises or drills are used as a form of punishment?
    • Are your athletes training in the correct energy system for their sport?
    • Is a qualified supervisor present at all times during training? Supervisors should have a current CSCS®certification and the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach should be a Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach (RSCC) with experience.
    • Are collars always used on the bars for all lifts? Is attentive spotting provided for all participants performing activities where free weights are supported on the trunk or moved over the head or face?
    • Have you collaborated with your maintenance team to make sure appropriate cleaning guidelines are in place for maintaining a sanitary facility to prevent the spread of infectious diseases?
    Looking for more information? View the NSCA’s Performance Center Policies and Procedures for strength and conditioning safety and risk management.
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    The National Strength and Conditioning Association is the worldwide authority on strength and conditioning. We support and disseminate research-based knowledge and its practical application to improve athletic performance and fitness.

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