CAMBRIDGE — Years ago, when a player limped off the field, hurt after a collision, a coach might have said, “Rub some dirt on it and get back in there.”
Not any more.
High school coaching nowadays is about much more than X’s and O’s — while there’s always been a fair bit of psychology, crowd control, and patience required, now there is also recognition of how serious an issue injuries can be.
A group of coaches from North Dorchester and Cambridge-South Dorchester high schools attended a Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries” course at C-SD on Oct. 25. They spent more than four hours studying topics including pre-participation exams, environmental factors, safe equipment and facilities, and the importance of good conditioning.
The course was conducted by Phil Tyre and Jason Shorter of Delmarva Medical Institute. “We want to make sure you know how to take care of the athletes on your teams,” Mr. Tyre said.
Anyone who has been up close at a game or meet knows that bodily fluids such as blood or vomit are sometimes the result of competition. Those fluids can transmit diseases and must be handled carefully.
“If it’s not yours, don’t touch it without gloves on,” said Mr. Shorter, who also coaches at C-SD.
Concussions have been in the news lately, with well publicized cases of athletes who have suffered lasting damage from blows to the head. The coaches learned to be aware of the symptoms of concussion, including confusion and dizziness.
A protocol of increasing activity must be followed and passed before the athlete can return to competition.
The coaches also learned about injury physiology and tissue healing, and to treat soft tissue injury with a serving of RICE - Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
“You want to do what’s best for the athlete,” Mr. Tyre said.