JT's Blog will be a weekly addition to the US Youth Soccer Blog. John Thomas "JT" is the Assistant Director of Coaching Education for US Youth Soccer.
As I looked over some of my e-mails this pass week, they called to my attention the numerous young players who have been injured in the United States involving soccer goals. Most of these accidents could have been prevented. When portable goals are involved, safety has to be first on the minds of all.
What steps can be taken to prevent these incidents from occurring again and again? I know there are some parents, coaches and referees that may chose to use the total number of players, which is in the millions, versus the number of players injured to perhaps highlight the low percentage injuries. Yes, there are over 3 million players in US Youth Soccer, but, there have also been 28 deaths since 1979 related to goal safety and numerous other injuries. One occurred just this month. I believe one death is too high. In reality no coach, referee, manager or anyone involved in the game of soccer begins a training session or lets a game start without believing that they have done everything within their control to improve safety, including checking for goal safety.
One of the major safety issues is not during the game, but when the goals are being moved. Goals are moved before the games start or when training sessions are about to begin, and sometimes in the middle of a training session. So, if we know the times when the possibility of injures may increase what should we do? How should we deal with the moving of the goals, and who should assistance us with this task? Remember safety first.
Although accidents will happen, my concern is that most of these accidents are preventable. We need to plan before we make any decisions to move a goal. We have alternatives to training without using the actual goals to ensure we keep our players safe and achieve our goal for the training session. Remember, goal safety first.
Let’s get a dialogue going. Please share your suggestions on ways to maintain goal safety while marinating the mission of the practice.
More information about goal safety is provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Learn more at www.cpsa.gov.
Kwik Goal, a US Youth Soccer sponsor, promotes proper anchoring systems. Learn more at www.kwikgoal.com. And check out Kwik Goal’s Soccer Goal Safety Booklet for more ideas on how to play safe.