Southern Illinois coaches rally for the greatest win: safety

MARION, IL-  There is no question about the perks of sports: improving health, teaching cooperation, not to mention having fun! It can also be dangerous. On Friday, coaches across the region gathered to discuss how to make ensure your athlete stays healthy on and off the field.

Todd Tripp has 20 years of coaching experience under his belt. So, he has seen his fair share of injuries.

“We have a couple of football kids and a couple of basketball kids. You just have to be sure and go and get them checked out. Some have been worse than others,” Tripp explained.

This coaches clinic was hosted by Southern Illinois Healthcare and SIU Healthcare to educate more than 80 local coaches about how to handle sports-related injuries. Part of that training was encouraging coaches to follow up with athletes and their parents about any injuries.

“Don’t just let it go by and think they’re okay just because they said they were okay. You have to really look into that because it could be life-threatening,” said Tripp.

A big part of the clinic was about concussions and how they can happen in any sport, not just football. Experts suggest  looking for signs like double vision, vomiting, and frequent headaches.

SIH suggest parents and coaches also pay close attention to their athlete’s overall health.

“Our athletes these days are playing all the time. You need to know what your athletes are doing. Have they been hurt in another sport? Are they recovering? What’s their nutrition? What’s their diet? What’s their social aspect?” said SIH Sportsology Program Coordinator and athletic trainer Sarai Yates.

“As coaches, we are around those kids probably more time in the day than teachers, as the parents are. I think it’s very important for us to be that role model for them,” said Tripp.

This was the first time SIH and SIU Healthcare hosted the clinic. They hope to make it an annual event.


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