Presenting at June USA Hockey Level 4 Clinic:
CONCORD, NH: This past weekend, CAN Recover was invited to speak at the USA Hockey Level 4 Coaching Clinic for 125 coaches across New England. I had the privilege of speaking alongside Dr. Ashare of USA Hockey’s Safety and Protective Equipment Committee. Before “Doc” got into the medical details about concussions in youth hockey and how to prevent, identify, and report them, I opened the floor with an introduction from the student-athletes perspective. Having coaches (and really anyone in the community) hear what it is like from a the kid in the skates/cleats gives them an appreciation for the topic. I explained some of the stories from our Core Team here at CAN Recover and how and why our organization is driven by student-athletes themselves.
One of the things I came out of the presentation with was the amount of pressure is on the coaches from parents, players, etc. When you think about it, they are really the first responder when it comes to trying to determine whether or not there was a suspected head injury…a decision that is very difficult to assess and is typically unanswered by the athletes themselves. What I would reiterate is that even when it is just suspected, it is worth having the kid take a break for a couple days until he/she is evaluated by a doctor. Although it might not be the popular decision, it is important to keep reminding yourself and the community that the #1 priority is always a youth athletes health. I know I wasn’t happy when I was pulled…an athlete never is, but in hindsight, it couldn’t have been a better decision.
Thank you for all the coaches interest and questions during the clinic. I am very excited to represent CAN Recover again in August for another Level 4 Coaching clinic down in Hartford, CT.
– Aaron Rocha