Basic First Aid Qualifications and Knowledge Among Youth Sport Coaches

in Journal of Coaching Education

The inception of organized youth sport in the United States began during the mid to late 1800s. With continual growth of organized youth sport throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, youth sport has not been without important, and at times, serious implications. One of the implications involves injury in youth sport and the basic need for qualified youth sport coaches to care for injury situations that might arise during the course of regular season practices and games.

One hundred fifty-four youth sport coaches from seven different youth sport organizations were surveyed to determine whether the coaches had the basic first aid (FA) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation/automated external defibrillation (CPR/AED) training to serve their young athletes in the event of an emergent or non-emergent injury or sudden illness. Additionally, coaches were asked whether they had the confidence to manage a basic emergency injury or illness situation should such an occurrence arise during the course of a sports season involving regular practices or game competition. Major findings of this study revealed that only 19% and 46% of the 154 youth sport coaches surveyed were formally trained with basic first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation certifications, respectively. Additional findings indicated that youth sport coaches holding one or two of the suggested certifications possessed more knowledge and confidence than those youth sport coaches who did not hold certification to use that knowledge when faced with FA injury or illness situation. In consideration of these findings, recommendations should be made to encourage or mandate youth sport coaches involved with organized youth sport to become FA and CPR/AED certified.

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