Sideline Consult

New Study Finds Link Between Injury Prevention and Winning

Bert R. Mandelbaum, MD, DHL (Hon)


November 19, 2015

In This Article

Injury Prevention: A Licensing Requirement?

Many coaches will shake their heads when they see this list. I might have had the same reaction when I was the lacrosse coach at Johns Hopkins University. Whatever you read about the outsized salaries of a handful of elite coaches, most do their essential work for too little compensation.

As a society, we don't value our coaches and other teachers enough. I'd like to see injury prevention included in licensing requirements—and higher pay for those coaches who obtain the licenses.

Many families can afford to chip in—say, $100 each—for a program like FIFA 11+. Philanthropists or public health programs could also lend financial support.

The investment would pay off on many levels. If we can create safe, competitive sports opportunities for disadvantaged kids, with coaching that addresses issues of health and character, such kids will be less likely to join gangs, have children before they are ready, or become addicted to drugs. They will be more likely to build balanced lives.

In addition to creating financial incentives for coaches, we need our opinion leaders to speak out. We must implore the Surgeon General, sports celebrities, and physician celebrities like Dr Oz to provide practical, evidence-based information on preventing sports injuries.

As sports physicians, let's all begin by reaching out to the coaches in our orbits and by taking every opportunity to speak in public about the powerful opportunities available to protect and instruct young athletes. With these kinds of initiatives, I believe that we will see a dramatic reduction in the rate of injuries in every sport.


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