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Athlete Safety for Strength Coaches

The top concern of strength coaches should always be athlete safety. For this reason, the NSCA has compiled a list of resources to raise the standard of care when working as a strength coach at any level. By reading and sharing these examples of standards and guidelines, policies and procedures, position statements on vital topics, mental health best practices, and more, strength coaches can push to increase the safety of athletes around the world.

Safe Return to Training Guidelines

The incidence of injuries and deaths related to Exertional Heat Illness (EHI), Exertional Rhabdomyolysis (ER), and Cardiorespiratory Failure has increased significantly in college athletes in recent years. Data indicate that these injuries and deaths are more likely to occur during periods when athletes are transitioning from relative inactivity to regular training.

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NSCA Strength and Conditioning Professional Standards and Guidelines

These guidelines are intended to help identify areas of risk exposure, increase safety, decrease the likelihood of injuries that might lead to claims, and ultimately, improve the standard of care being offered. This is a valuable resource for every strength and conditioning coach.

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The Inter-Association Task Force for Preventing Sudden Death in Collegiate Conditioning Sessions: Best Practices Recommendations

This consensus statement provides specific conditioning recommendations with the intent of ending conditioning-related morbidity and deaths of collegiate athletes.

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The Inter-Association Task Force for Preventing Sudden Death in Secondary School Athletics Programs: Best-Practices Recommendations

This consensus statement provides specific conditioning recommendations with the intent of ending conditioning-related morbidity and deaths of secondary school athletes.

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NSCA Performance Center Policies and Procedures

These policies and procedures are used at the NSCA World Headquarters Performance Center. They can also be used as a guideline for other strength coaches in the development of their own facilities’ policies and procedures.

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NSCA Codes, Policies, and Procedures

The purpose of these documents is to ensure that the name, reputation, and integrity of the NSCA are not compromised. It is also used as a guide for the NSCA staff and Board of Directors in identifying and resolving potential violations of those principles and standards.

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NSCA’s Endorsement of the NCAA’s Mental Health Best Practices

This is the NSCA’s review of NCAA’s Best Practices for Understanding and Supporting Student-Athlete Mental Wellness and the implications for strength and conditioning professionals.

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NSCA Position Statement on Long-Term Athletic Development

This is the NSCA’s stance on long-term athletic development (LTAD). LTAD refers to the habitual development of “athleticism” over time to improve health and fitness, enhance physical performance, reduce the relative risk of injury, and develop the confidence and competence of all youth.

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Position Stand on Androgen and Human Growth Hormone Use

This NSCA position paper covers the topic of androgens (such as testosterone or anabolic steroids) and human growth hormone use.

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Youth Resistance Training: Updated Position Statement Paper from the NSCA

This is the position paper of the NSCA on youth participation in resistance training. It describes the benefits of a properly designed and supervised resistance training program for youth. It also includes recommended general youth resistance training guidelines.

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Why Your High School Needs a Qualified Strength and Conditioning Professional

This document lists the benefits to students and the high school of having a qualified strength and conditioning professional on staff. It also includes a definition of a qualified strength and conditioning professional.

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