THREE ESSENTIALS TO BUILDING A BOOSTER CLUB Part 2

You can read about BUILDING A BOOSTER CLUB here.

Then, read THREE ESSENTIALS TO BUILDING A BOOSTER CLUB, Part 1 here.

THREE ESSENTIALS TO BUILDING A BOOSTER CLUB Part 2

The very first thing you need to do is FIND THE RIGHT LEADERS!  Without the RIGHT leaders, you are not going to get anywhere. The second thing you must to in order to build a Booster Club is EXPRESS THE NEED!  Sometimes you get your RIGHT LEADERS through this process of Expressing The Need.  You do not always have to have the leaders in place before Expressing The Need!  Keep that in mind.

Sometimes people do not step up UNTIL they see a need that they have a passion for. I have been working with Booster Clubs for a long time now.  As I said in a previous post about Booster Clubs, I have seen great ones and poor ones.

Here are three ways to Express The Need that I have found to be effective:

1.  Informally 

The way that you informally Express The Need to your constituents is by simply telling parents, grandparents, community members, players, cousins, dogkeepers, hairdressers, administration, etc. etc. etc. that you would like to do this or that over and over again when the time comes.

Expressing The Need is simply letting people know that you would like to do something for the program, that you need money for a certain thing you want to buy.

For instance, when I took over at Capistrano Valley Christian as their Head Football Coach in 2006, I walked in to absolutely bare cupboards.  They literally had a sled that was about 15 years old, and about four footballs.  This was a BIG shock to me because I came from a program where I went through 24 footballs a year, and we had every teaching tool imaginable.

So, I just started informally Expressing The Need.  When parents would ask how things were going, or if they could help in any way, I would say “Yes, you can help.  We are going to have to raise some money for simple things like footballs, can you help me do that?”  These were in “informal” conversations on campus in the hallways, after summer practices, in an email, on the phone.

2.  Formally

The second way you can Express The Need is by sending a list of your needs and wants to the stakeholders in your program.  Put your list together and email it out to your stakeholders, pass it out at events you are at, put it on your website, etc. etc.  After you have informally put it out there that you are needing items, people will need to be reminded. So, seeing it in writing, and in a more “official” matter, may jog their memory to act. If there is no Booster Club at your school, that is the first need that you need to express!

It’s key to get a group of stakeholders involved on a regular basis to support you.  

You do not want to do all of this yourself as a coach.  You have too many other things to do, and do successfully.  You want to come alongside them, but leave the heavy lifting to your volunteer Booster Club.  Holding a meeting to Express The Need of forming a Booster Club is the way to go.  Give the parents a list of your needs, short and long term needs.  Then tell them that you want to take the program to the next level, and you need their help.

3.  Cost Analysis Research and Presentation

Several years ago we were in need of “new blood” at CVCS.  Their was a tremendous group of parents who were there for a time but their kids were all graduating.  So, I pulled together a meeting with all of our head coaches, and asked them to bring 4-5 parents each, who MIGHT be interested in helping with the Booster Club. We were a small school with just one Booster Club for all of the sports.

Here is what I did, I compared the costs of playing sports at other schools to what it cost at our school.  I was at a private school, which meant that parents had to spend money for our sports programs.  I wanted to show that we were not really asking much compared to the schools around us.  My thinking was that it would open their eyes to the costs of athletics, and to the fact that they weren’t being asked to pay much.

For instance, this is a comparative analysis for another school’s football program in our city:

ABC School CVCS
Spirit Pack 400 150
Ad Sales min. 500 N/A
Participation 1500 450
Summer Camp 300 199
Travel Bag 55 N/A
3 Day Speed Camp 40 Free
TOTAL 2795 799

If you were a parent looking at this, what would you think?  Would this motivate you to step up a little bit to help your son’s football program?

Here is another analysis for our parents to see, comparing the costs to play a sport at our school, and at another private school in our city:

Athletic Participation Fees
CVCS XYZ School
First Sport 450 1250-1500
Second Sport 400 1050-1300
Third Sport 350 850-1100

 

 

 

 

 

THREE ESSENTIALS TO BUILDING A BOOSTER CLUB Part 1

Part 1 to BUILDING A BOOSTER CLUB is here.

THREE KEY ESSENTIALS TO BUILDING A BOOSTER CLUB

1. FINDING THE RIGHT LEADERS

I really believe that the most important key for an Athletic Administrator or Head Coach in starting or revamping a Booster Club is finding the right leaders.  It is imperative that the volunteer parents who will be in key roles as your Board President, Vice President, etc. are people whom you have a great relationship with.  You have to be able to trust them, and they have to be able to trust you.

 

Athletic-Booster-Club-400x301

 

 

There is nothing worse for a Head Coach, or Athletic Director than to work with a Booster Club who doesn’t support you in the end.  That support is essential to your job, and without having the right leaders in the right place, you may not get that support.

This aspect of building your Booster Club comes back to relationships. 

What kind of relationships do you have with the parents in your program?  I hope that you are able to maintain positive relationships with those in your program.  I know that in the sport I’ve spent much of my career, football, that many times the President of the Booster Club is the quarterback’s father.  Many times this makes a lot of sense mainly because the Head Coach and the quarterback spend so much time together. Usually, their relationship is strong, so the relationship with the parent is also strong.  However, it doesn’t have to be your star athlete’s parent in this role.  It just needs to be someone who you trust!  Just like building any board, you want to make sure that you have a majority of people on that board that will vote to support what you want to do.

Therefore, it is important to go out and hand select these people if you can.

booster-club-fundraising

 

What I’ve done in the past is identify a few of these key leaders, and start to talk with them in “informal” ways about becoming a key figure for the Booster Club.  Kind of plant in their head the possibility of joining you in this endeavor.  At some point, take that person out to lunch, and share your vision.  Ask them specifically to join the Booster Club as your President, or Vice President or whatever you are seeking.

Another thing to consider when seeking out the right leaders is whether or not the people you are thinking of have a voice and an ear within the parent community.

Are they respected people?

Will they listen to others?

Will they lead others?

They may do all of that great with you, but it might be because they think it will help Johnny to see the playing field more!  But do they have that same esteem in the community?

Can they rally the troops when they need to be rallied?

This is an important characteristic of who you are going to choose.

booster_club_logo_with_web2

2. EXPRESSING THE NEEDcoming soon 

 

3. CREATING YOUR STRATEGYcoming soon

BUILDING A BOOSTER CLUB

Who doesn’t need money this day and age?  Public schools have been hit hard by state budget cutbacks.  Private schools have lost kids to public schools because of their tuition.  I’ve been in both private and public schools the last few years.  I’ve spent most of my career in the private school sector.  We had to do quite a bit at those schools with a booster club.  Both privates I worked at were basically just starting a booster club when I got there.  So, it was fun to see them grow over time.  Booster clubs are key to the success of an athletic program!

If you have been around an Athletic Department long enough, you know that fundraising is as important an aspect of the duties of a Head Coach as anything else.  Just as important as ordering balls, or hiring coaches, is the ability to bring in revenue from a variety of resources.

Traditionally, a Booster Club is great way to get your stakeholders involved in raising money for your programs.  With thirteen of high school coaching under my belt, at four different schools, I have seen great Booster Clubs, average Booster Clubs, and poor Booster Clubs.

booster

 

 

What makes a Booster Club great?

On the flip side, what makes one poor? 

From my standpoint as an Athletic Director, a great Booster Club is one that raises enough funds with minimal input from me, the Head Coach or Athletic Director.

A poor Booster Club is one that drains your time and effort as the person who is virtually in charge of this vital aspect.

I grew up in a community who seemed to live and die with the success of their football team – Fallbrook, California.  Fallbrook High School was in one of its heydays in the 1980s when I was going to their games every Friday night as an elementary and junior high youngster.  Most of my friends went to play on this big dirt hill.  I went to watch football!

fall

My senior year.

 

In many years, it was like what you saw in the movie Friday Night Lights.  When the team was playing, the town shut down!  Local businesses would decorate their storefronts with red and white balloons to support the Warriors every Friday.  In a community like this, the Booster Club usually thrives. 

We had ONE high school in town, the Warriors were the only show.  In an environment like that, Booster Clubs do very, very well.  And from what I remember as a player in the program, it did thrive.  I remember the Booster Club doing a lot of things for our coaches and players.  They would provide meals, clothes, jackets, hats, trips to UC Santa Barbara and UC San Diego for our two a days.  They would have a party after every home game at one of the Booster’s homes.  Players and coaches alike would go to have some late night Mexican food and beverages.  I would consider it a great Booster Club.  In fact, it motivated me to give back to the Booster Club when I was older, while coaching at another school.  In fact,  I donated my entire coaching stipend from my first year as a Head Coach, back to the Fallbrook Football Boosters as they were raising money for a new turf field.  I’ve never said that publicly, and only do now to prove a point: good Booster Clubs motivate people to give, and to give back.

 

turf

When the Boosters were raising money for new turf for their field, I was motivated to give my first head coaching stipend. It was a way for me to say thank you, and give back to my high school football program.

 

On the flip side, I worked at a school where we had a really difficult time just getting parents to show up for a Booster Club meeting. 

There was not a strong tradition of winning there, and there was not a sense among the parents that they needed to support the players and coaches with what they saw were “extra” funds.   I would consider what I saw there as a poor Booster Club.  It was a poor Booster Club because the coaches had to do everything; that’s a dysfunctional Booster Club in my opinion.  It took us several years to build up parents to help serve on the board, and then help to put on events.  That Booster Club sucked a lot of life out of the coaching staff.  It wasn’t Boosters; it was coaches doing fundraising.

LESSONS LEARNED FROM COACHING YOUR OWN SON

I traded some tweets with Coach Greg Patterson about him coaching his own son one day a few weeks ago.  It intrigued me.  My oldest son is 6 years old, just playing his first organized sport right now: t ball!!  It’s one of the highlights of my week, watching him play.  It takes everything within just to sit there and watch and enjoy!  The coach in me wants to give him more advice.  There is that internal struggle between coach and dad!!

I asked Coach Patterson to share some lessons with all of us coaches about his experience of coaching his own boy!  Thank you very much for taking the time to do this Coach, to share with “the brotherhood!”  I know this will help others.

 Coach Patterson spent this past season as the Head Football Coach, and is currently the Athletic Director at Sumiton Christian High School in Birmingham, Alabama.  You can follow him on Twitter @gregpatterson51.

 

1)      Honest communication with your son about your expectations for him on and off the field is a must.

It is imperative that we as coaches take the time to sit down with our children and explain in detail how you foresee the coach/parent relationship working on a daily basis. Hoping that they understand what we expect or desire without telling them is absurd. Trust me I made this mistake the first time around.  I stupidly used my son as an example, good and bad, way too often. It did not take long before he had his fill of being singled out and it erupted in an ugly display of emotion.

It is so much simpler to tell your child what you expect of them and have an open discussion about it. When I took the time to do this with my second son I discovered that he had goals and dreams that were much more lofty that my expectations. Once I discovered this we were able to work together and formulate some goals and processes that would help him accomplish his goals. Although his college football dream did not work out our experience working together was much more productive and rewarding than that I had with my oldest son.

 

2)      Give a trusted assistant (position coach) domain over handling your son’s punishment, if needed, unless it involves something that is always handled by the Head Coach.

This helps put a barrier between you and your child during a potentially volatile time. It’s much easier to leave the little stuff up to your assistants if possible. However, do not shy away from handling issues that you normally handle as a head coach. Simply stated, just be cautious in this area and don’t let emotions get carried away.

It’s difficult to handle punishment as coach and then turn right around and have to handle it at home as dad without the two encounters affecting one another. No matter how hard we try as coaches we carry our profession home with us. It seems to be even more true if you have a kid on the team, because then mom is somehow always able to sense when there is tension (lol).

 

Coach Greg Patterson and his son.

Coach Greg Patterson and his son.

 

3)      If you trust your assistant coaches’ evaluation of all the players on your team then you must also trust their evaluation of your son, good or bad.

You place your assistants in a position to evaluate and teach your players and report back to you with their recommendations. Don’t question/doubt their suggestions involving your child any more than you would another player. If you happen to be your son’s position coach it can become a bit more difficult. Trust your instinct and if you still honestly question your evaluation of your child then ask an assistant their opinion.

Review practice/game film with them if necessary. I almost short changed my youngest son this past year out of a starting position because I was skeptical – over critical – about his ability. Thank God for a solid staff that spoke up and told me I was wrong and that he needed to be playing. Side note – another reason your staff has to be men of integrity with the freedom to hold you accountable when needed.

 

4)      Make it very clear to your staff that you expect your son to be treated like the others as much as possible but it isn’t open season on him just because he is a coach’s kid. Your staff will follow your lead!

Believe it or not it is really easy to direct criticism at coach’s kids thinking that they will understand, all the while they take it very personal. I have realized that my sons’ have had a much different relationship with my staff than other players do.

I attribute this to the amount of time that they spent around the staff as young kids and then transitioning to becoming player. I have concluded that it is much easier for us as coaches to transition between different roles than it is for our kids. It has been my experience that the majority of coaches that struggle with this are younger coaches that do not have children of their own. It also became obvious to me that if I was willing to single out my own son to “vent on” in a team setting it opened the door for my assistants to follow suit.

CHAIN OF COMMAND PART 3 – Communicating What The COC Is

This is the 3rd and final part of my Chain of Command Series.  You can find Part 1 here, and Part 2 here.

Is there anything more frustrating for a coach than to be walking off of the field of play after a loss, and being approached by an aggressive, and upset parent or parents because of a decision that you made during the course of the game? 

I will NEVER forget an incident after a Friday night football game at St. Margarets  (San Juan Capistrano, CA).   We were having a horrible season, I think we were 0-7 at the time, and St. Margarets was 7-0, and actually went on to win a State Championship that year.  So, you can guess what kind of game it was!  You’re right: a blowout!

I had a kid decide during the game that he didn’t want to play defense, only offense!  That did NOT go over very well with me.   I did not like that approach very much!  I’m a big believer in TEAM FIRST!  Deny your own ambition for the cause of the team.  This kid was a pretty selfish kid, and was tired of getting ran over on defense, so he said that his knee was hurting on defense, but he could still play offense.  This is ridiculous.

He was a running back, which means he would be cutting on that knee, and taking hits.  After a short dialogue with this student-athlete, I benched him for the rest of the game.  Who was waiting for me right next to exit from the field to the locker room?  You guessed it, his parents!

 

For the last few days we have been discussing the concept of a Chain of Command in your Athletic Department.  I believe there are three main components to making the Chain of Command strong and effective.  The first is that your superiors must have “buy in” and support your philosophy, and what you are trying to accomplish through your Chain of Command.  Secondly, you must publicize this Chain of Command to your stakeholders.

The third and final component of the Chain of Command that I strongly believe in is that you must communicate not only WHAT the Chain of Command is, but HOW to use it. 

Student-Athletes and more importantly, their parents, need to be told how to use the Chain of Command.  Specifically, they must be told what is on the table to discuss, and what is NOT on the table to discuss.  They must be told WHEN and when NOT to speak with coaches, etc.  Just developing your Chain of Command is not enough, you must explain it.  Just putting it on paper, without proper definitions and explanations will not serve your Athletic Department in the best way possible.

I have developed a few guidelines for student-athletes and parents to follow.  In cooperation with your Coaching Staff, I believe that these guidelines will help them do their job.

Things Coaches are NOT Expected to Discuss with Parents

1. PLAYING TIME: It is the philosophy of the Athletic Department that a coach does not have to defend or discuss issues of playing time with a parent. The coaches are the only ones who are at every practice and see every repetition along with every action and reaction. Playing time is a professional coaching evaluation of ability, attitude and behavior and is awarded according to the opinion of those who have the most experience with the athletes and what is in the best interest of the team and not the individual. At the Varsity level the best players displaying the correct behaviors play. We do not hold any obligation to make sure that every player gets a set amount of playing time. It is not a policy of the athletic department to discriminate against an athlete’s grade level, but individual coaches do have the right to set their teams how they see fit.

2. STRATEGY or PREPARATION: It is the philosophy of the Athletic Department that a coach does not have to defend or discuss game strategy or practice and preparation philosophy with a parent. Again, this is subjective and based on the professional experiences and opinions of the coaching staff that are paid to research, scout, learn, and prepare for their seasons of sport.

I haven’t met a coach that didn’t love these two guidelines.  You need to publish these guidelines right next to your Chain of Command so that parents understand not only who to talk to, but WHAT to talk about, or NOT talk about.  This is key to communication within your Athletic Department.  As long as your Coaching Staff stands by these two guidelines, they will remain strong and respected by your Athletic community.

CHAIN OF COMMAND PART 2

CHAIN OF COMMAND PART 1 talked about establishing a strong and effective Chain of Command for your Athletic Department.  You read that there are three components to making a Chain of Command strong and effective.  The first component is that your superiors must be on board with what you are trying to do with your Chain of Command.  They absolutely must understand that the Chain of Command is to be supported at all times once it is made formal to your community.

The second main component of your Chain of Command is that you must publicize and communicate what your plan is.

 

 

You must put your Chain of Command in your Athletic Handbook, and make sure that your Coaching Staff discusses the Athletic Department’s Chain of Command often, especially at their first meeting to kick off the season.  The Chain of Command that I created when I first started as an Athletic Director is below:

“When a Student-Athlete and/or their parent/s have an issue that they feel needs to be resolved, there is a proper way to conduct the process. The proper way is to follow the chain of command, meaning the order by which you handle the matter. “

The Chain of Command is:

Student/Athlete and Parent

Asst. Coach

Head Coach

Athletic Director

High School Principal

Superintendent

Board of Trustees

It’s important that EVERYONE is on the same team! Remember, it’s all about the kids!

CHAIN OF COMMAND – ADMINISTRATIVE ORGANIZATION

a) Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees, responsible to the people, is the ruling agency for the School. It is responsible for interpreting the needs of the community and requirements to the professional organization.

b) Superintendent

The superintendent is responsible to administer the school according to adopted policies of the rules and regulations of the school board. It is his/her duty to establish a definite school athletic policy and to have an understanding of that policy.

c) High School Principal

The principal is the official representative of the school and is directly responsible for the general attitude of the student body and the conduct of the athletic affairs by the athletic administrator and the coach.

d) Athletic Director

The Athletic Director is directly responsible to the principal. The primary responsibility of the athletic director is the administration and supervision of the interscholastic athletic program. The athletic director’s duties will be those described in his/her job description and any others as designated by the principal. He/she will provide the leadership necessary for the day-to-day operation of the athletic department.

e) Head Coaches

All head coaches shall be responsible to the Athletic Director for the total operation of their respective sports programs. Head coaches shall act as official representatives of the school as they carry out their interscholastic athletic responsibilities.

CHAIN OF COMMAND

WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A CONCERN

1. Have your Student-Athlete meet with his/her coach to discuss the issue. On most occasions, this coach-to-athlete meeting can resolve issues or questions. As stated earlier, this is part of our young men and women learning to grow as adults.

2. Contact the coach directly to set up a meeting to discuss your concern. Some coaches may mandate that your child attend that meeting.

3. Please DO NOT attempt to talk to a coach before or after a contest or practice. Our coaches are responsible for supervision and safety of their athletes. In addition, these can be emotional times for both the parents and the coach. Meetings of this nature do not promote resolution.

If Another Step Is Necessary Beyond This Point

What can a parent do if the coach-athlete meeting (Step 1) AND the parent-coach meeting (Step 2) did not provide resolution?

4. Contact the Athletic Director to set up a meeting between yourself, your Student-Athlete, Head Coach and Athletic Director.

What can a parent do if the coach-athlete (Step 1) and the parent-coach (Step 2) and the Athletic Director-Coach-Parent meetings (Step 3) failed to solve the issue?

5.  Contact the Principal to set up a meeting between yourself, your Student-Athlete, Head Coach, Athletic Director and Principal.

The Chain of Command must be put in to your Athletic Handbook.

Parents and student-athletes should be mandated to sign a form each year acknowledging that they have read the Chain of Command.  This will put this document in front of them each year; hopefully it is just a review of the process on an annual basis, and not something they have experienced intimately!

There are several ways that you can publicize this Chain of Command on your campus.  Here are some ideas: in a campus wide newsletter your school uses, your athletic website, principal’s weekly emails home, in handouts at your preseason meetings, on handouts at open houses, etc.

Without publicizing your Chain of Command regularly, you will not have everyone on the same page. This is the second component of your Chain of Command.

MY CONCUSSION MANAGEMENT POLICY

I took over as the Athletic Director at Excelsior Charter Schools in Victorville, California on May 29, 2012.  I was in the office of the main school building for not more than 5 minutes, waiting to meet with the Principal when our Superintendent saw me sitting there.  He came over, and welcomed me to the school as we exchanged pleasantries.  Not two minutes in to that conversation he said “Here is your first task from me: I need you to develop an athletic department concussion policy.”  Then he shared with me a few reasons why that was at the top of his list for me, the new AD.

So, I wrote that down on my Iphone to do list, and waited for the principal.  Later that day, I started gathering facts, making phone calls, and working on developing our Concussion Management Policy.  I used a variety of sources to put together this policy.  One of my main sources was the ImPact  website.  Through my research on this website, I found out that there was a doctor in our very own community, not even a mile from my office desk, who was trained by Dr. Mark Lovell.  Dr. Lovell is one of the creators of the ImPact test as well as one of the most knowledgeable doctors regarding concussions.  In fact, Dr. Lovell is the NFL’s director of neuropsychological testing.  This doctor in our community is Dr. Thomas Liu.  I was able to sit down with him for about an hour to learn  more about the proper care of concussions.  He was a great source for me in putting together this policy.  He looked it over himself, and made some suggestions.  Our kids are all getting ImPact baseline tested for football in a few weeks by Dr. Liu.

Dr. Thomas Liu Source: Victor Valley Daily James Quigg

Below is what I’ve developed for our Concussion Management Policy.  (I have replaced our school’s name with ABC School for this document.)

“ABC SCHOOL” ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT

CONCUSSION MANAGEMENT POLICY

By Athletic Director Chris Fore, Certified Athletic Administrator

The Purpose of a School Concussion Management Policy

The purpose of the “ABC School” Concussion Management Policy is first and foremost to protect both the short and long term health of our Student-Athletes.  Secondary to goal is to be compliant with local and state law.  Lastly, we have instituted a Concussion Management Policy so that we can educate our Student-Athletes, their parents, Coaching Staff, our Faculty and Staff, etc. about the dangers of concussions.

Maintaining a Concussion Management Policy will help our Athletic Department in the following ways:

• Maintain Safety – This policy will help to create a “safety first” response to concussions.

• Supports Best Practice – This policy uses nationally known and approved best practices

• Consistency – all coaches, Varsity and Junior Varsity, heads and assistants, volunteer and paid will follow this same protocol

• Protest the Student-Athlete – Return To Play protocol

The California Interscholastic Federation is the body which governs high school athletics in California.  CIF Bylaw 313  (Play It Safer) states:  “A student-athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury in a practice or game shall be removed from competition at that time for the remainder of the day.  A student-athlete who has been removed from play may not return to play until the athlete is evaluated by a licensed health care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussion and receives written clearance to return to play form that health care provider.”

What is a Concussion?

A concussion (or mild traumatic brain injury mTBI) is a complex pathophysiologic process affecting the brain, induced by trauma (direct or indirect forces to the head).  Disturbance of brain function is related to neurometabolic dysfunction, rather than structural injury.  Concussion may or may not involve a loss of consciousness (LOC).  Concussion results in a constellation of physical, cognitive, emotional, and sleep-related symptoms.  Symptoms may last from several minutes to days, weeks, months or even longer in some cases.  In the end, a concussion is “An energy crisis for the brain.”                                                                                                                                                  SOURCE: ImPACT Seminar; Development of a Concussion Management Policy

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF A CONCUSSION

You can’t see a concussion, but you might notice some of the symptoms right away. Other symptoms can show up hours or days after the injury.  Concussion symptoms include:

Amnesia                                                Confusion

Headache                                                Loss of consciousness

Balance problems or dizziness            Double or fuzzy vision

Sensitivity to light or noise                        Nausea (A feeling that you might vomit)

Don’t feel right                                    Feeling sluggish, foggy or groggy

Feeling unusually irritable                        Slowed reaction time

Concentration or memory problems (forgetting game plays, facts, meeting times)

Exercise or activities that involve a lot of concentration, such as studying, working on the computer, or playing video games may cause concussion symptoms (such as headache or tiredness) to reappear or get worse.

WHAT TO DO WHEN A COACH SUSPECTS A CONCUSSION

1.  Remove the athlete from play. Look for signs and symptoms of a concussion if your athlete has experienced a bump or blow to the head or body. When in doubt, keep the athlete out of play.

2.  Ensure that the athlete is evaluated by a health care professional experienced in evaluating for concussion. Do not try to judge the severity of the injury yourself. Health care professionals have a number of methods that they can use to assess the severity of concussions.

Coaches are responsible for documenting a suspected concussion.  To do this, a member of the coaching staff (If an Athletic Trainer, Doctor, or health care professional is not present) must record the following information, which can help health care professionals in assessing the athlete after the injury:

  • Name and age of Student-Athlete
  • Date, time, location and sport being played at time of suspected concussion
  • Cause of the injury and force of the hit or blow to the head or body?
  • Any loss of consciousness (passed out/knocked out) and if so, for how long?
  • Any memory loss immediately following the injury?
  • Any seizures immediately following the injury?
  • Number of previous concussions (if known)?

This documentation needs to be submitted to the Athletic Director on the CONCUSSION REPORT FORM within 24 hours of the suspected concussion.  (See attached form at the end of this Policy.)

3.  Inform the athlete’s parents or guardians about the possible concussion and refer them to the fact sheet on concussions at www.abcschool.com.  This form should also be passed out the preseason parent meeting.  Make sure they know that the athlete should be seen by a health care professional experienced in evaluating for concussion.

If possible, we would like for our athletes to be seen by Dr. Thomas Liu at the Southern California Bone and Joint Clinic.  Dr. Liu has significant concussion training with Drs. Lovell and Collins who wrote the new NFL guidelines on concussions.  Dr. Liu’s phone number is XXX-XXX-XXXX.  His office is less than 2 minutes away from our campus.

Student-Athletes who are suspected to have sustained a concussion should not drive themselves home from practice or a contest.

4.  Keep the athlete out of play the day of the injury and until a health care professional, experienced in evaluating for concussion, says they are symptom-free and it’s OK to return to play. A repeat concussion that occurs before the brain recovers from the first—usually within a short period of time (hours, days, or weeks)—can slow recovery or increase the likelihood of having long-term problems. In rare cases, repeat concussions can result in edema (brain swelling), permanent brain damage, and even death.

A Student-Athlete may not return to play, whether that is practice or a game, jogging as a warm up, or playing full contact until he or she is cleared to return to play by a licensed health care provider.  That clearance needs to be in the form of a written document from the health care provider.  A copy of that documentation needs to be given to both the Head Coach and the Athletic Director.

 

SUGGESTED PROGRESSIVE RETURN TO PLAY GUIDELINES

• Stage 1            – THROUGH 30-40% – No impact activities

• Stage 2            – THROUGH 40-60% – Some positional changes

• Stage 3            – THROUGH 60-80% – Strength, balance, concentration

• Stage 4            – THROUGH 80% – Aggressive training, avoiding contact

• Stage 5            – Full participation

 

WHAT CAN HAPPEN IF A STUDENT-ATHLETE RETURNS TO PLAY TOO SOON

Athletes with the signs and symptoms of concussion should be removed from play immediately (CIF Bylaw 313). Continuing to play with the signs and symptoms of a concussion leaves the athlete especially vulnerable to greater injury. There is an increased risk of significant damage from a concussion for a period of time after that concussion occurs, particularly if the athlete suffers another concussion before completely recovering from the first one. This can lead to prolonged recovery, or even to severe brain swelling (second impact syndrome) with devastating and even fatal consequences.  It is well known that adolescent or teenage athlete will often under report symptoms of injuries and concussions are no different. It is the duty of the coach to place the health and safety of your Student-Athletes ahead of winning.

 

THE EDUCATION OF COACHES, STUDENT-ATHLETES AND THEIR PARENTS

As part of following best practices and guidelines, it is important to educate all constituents of the Athletic Department.

All members of the “ABC School” Coaching Staff must watch the National Federation of High School’s Concussion in Sports, What You Need To Know video to prepare for the 2012-13 school year.  They must present the Athletic Director with their certificate of completion once they have watched this video.  Coaches must also read the Concussion Information Sheet which all Student-Athletes and their parents/guardians must read and sign.

All Student-Athletes and their parents/guardians must read, sign and turn in the “ABC School” Concussion Information Sheet.  This document is a part of the 2012-13 Athletic Packet.  Student-Athletes are not eligible to begin participation in athletics until this document is read and accounted for via the Blue Sheet.

Our Concussion Management Policy as well as the Concussion Fact Sheet will be available for all Student-Athletes and their parents/guardians, as well as our faculty and staff on the schools’ website at http://www.abcschool.com.

 

ACADEMIC ACCOMODATIONS

There are times when a Student-Athlete must have some accommodations made to him or her by school officials.  These accommodations are at the discretion of the principal and or facilitator.

Why might a Student-Athlete need special accommodation after having sustained a concussion? There are two reasons a Student-Athlete may need special accommodations.  Number one, this allows the brain to return to normal.  And number two, it will help to minimize the anxiety level of the Student-Athlete.

Facilitators are one of the best sources for helping to determine what special academic accommodations may be needed for the Student-Athletes.  They are experts in observing the student’s “normal” social and academic behavior.

Any special accommodations must be communicated to the Student-Athlete and their parents/guardians, along with the Athletic Director and Principal.

“ABC SCHOOL” ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT

CONCUSSION MANAGEMENT POLICY

CONCUSSION REPORT FORM

 

NAME OF STUDENT-ATHLETE:                                                                        AGE:                       

DATE:                                    TIME:                         SPORT:                                                     

LOCATION OF INJURY:                                                                                               

 

CAUSE OF THE INJURY: (Be as specific as possible.  Was it a blow to the head?  A blow to the body that then caused a blow to the head?)

ANY LOSS OF CONSCIOUSNESS?  (Circle one)      Yes      No                               If so, how long was Student-Athlete unconscious?

ANY SHORT-TERM MEMORY LOSS IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE INJURY?

ANY SEIZURES IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE INJURY?

NUMBER OF PREVIOUS CONCUSSIONS (IF KNOWN?)

 

 

DEVELOPING A PARENT FAQ INFORMATIONAL SHEET

I took over as a Head Coach in 2003 at a private, Christian school of about 300 students in Temecula, California named Linfield Christian.  I was there for two years as the Head JV Coach prior to the Varsity coach moving to Iowa.

One of the first things I did was have a Parent Meeting.  I wanted to let the parents know how I was going to run my program, who my coaching staff would be, what the summer attendance policy would look like, etc. etc.

I sat down one night and thought about questions parents might have, and put together a PARENT FAQ INFORMATIONAL SHEET which I’ve used ever since.

It has changed a little over the years, but take a peek below.  If you want me to send you the original document, send me an email at coach478@gmail.com.

2007 CAPISTRANO VALLEY CHRISTIAN FOOTBALL

 PLAYERS/PARENTS F.A.Q.

What is the coaching staff’s philosophy regarding the hydration of players?

The most important time of the year for us to properly maintain guidance of hydrating our players is during “TRAINING CAMP” two-a-days in late August.  Traditionally, this is the hottest time of the year for us.  During “TRAINING CAMP” players are given a 2 minute water break every 20 minutes that we are on the field.  During the regular season, players are given water breaks every 20-30 minutes.  We try our hardest not to go for more than 30 minutes without a water break ever.

There is scientific research to support the idea that thirst is not an optimal way to determine when and how much an athlete should drink. By the time an athlete is thirsty, they are already somewhat dehydrated and in most cases will not drink enough to fully replace the fluids lost in sweat.  Players are always encouraged to drink even when they feel that they don’t need it.

What about his grades during the football season?  Year round?

According to CIF (the body that governs high school athletics in California) rules, each player needs to have a minimum 2.0 GPA in season and year round to be eligible.  Our Coaching Staff will stay on top of the grades of our players.  Also, students with 2 or more Fs, regardless of their GPA are not allowed to play.  Players with less than a 2.5 GPA must have a completed progress report every four weeks signed by their teachers.  Our team will have a program goal of 3.0 for the football program.  My Linfield Christian  football team in 2005 had the 3rd best GPA with schools under 1500 students.  There were about 200 schools that we competed against for this 3rd place finish!

 

What is the discipline structure?

We are very structured with our discipline.  Every athlete is treated the same; it doesn’t matter if you are scoring touchdowns or not even a starter.  You must be consistent when working with teenagers and more importantly, in this sport of football!

What are the expectations of the parents?

1.  Support your child in his pursuit of being a student-athlete.

2.  Support the coaching staff in their day to day operations of the football program.

3.  Pick up your child from practice on time.

4.  Support your child financially with our program.

5.  Follow up with proper medical attention if your child gets injured.

What are the costs?

We have what we call a Pride Pack that will be distributed in the summer.  This consists of all of their practice clothes, game day sweats, mouthpieces, practice jersey, etc.  This pack will be approximately $225 this year.

There is also a school wide fee for all athletes.

What about injuries?

One of the biggest myths about football is that every boy will be hurt.

One research project by DeLee and Farney found that the incidence of injury among Texas high school football players was 0.506 injuries per athlete per year. (DeLee JC, Farney WC: Incidence of injury in Texas high school football. Am J Sports Med 1992;20(5):575-580.) 

That means that out of the 60 players we will have this year, approximately 30 of them will have some type of injury.

It is a fact that, in my last four years here, I have seen more casts and crutches from snowboarding or motorcycling in than from football.

More research shows that during the past 15 years, there has been an average of 34 deaths per year among skiers and snowboarders. During 1999-2000 seasons, 30 fatalities occurred.

(Wilderness Medicine Letter, Volume 19, Number 2, Spring 2002)

HOW DANGEROUS A SPORT?

By Bob Condotta and Sandy Ringer

Seattle Times staff reporters

September 14, 2004

“Playing football is probably safer than kids getting in a car and driving on the highway,” said Dr. Frederick Mueller, who heads the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research at the University of North Carolina. Statistically, anyway, there’s no comparison. According to numbers compiled by Mueller’s center, the death rate for football players at the high-school level last year was 0.13 per 100,000 (there were no deaths last year in college football). The death rate for male drivers between the ages of 15 and 24 years old, meanwhile, is 48.2 per 100,000, according to numbers published in 2001 by the University of Maryland Medical Center. “What I don’t want people to do is all of a sudden stop playing football,” said Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, the chief of neurosurgery at Harborview Medical Center and the University of Washington. “It’s dangerous, but so is riding a bike, driving a car and simply living.” Mueller’s numbers indicate, in fact, that per 100,000 participants, football has a lower death rate than hockey, gymnastics, lacrosse and baseball, and much lower than competitive skiing. Football had a serious injury rate of 0.73, third-highest below hockey (1.29) and gymnastics (1.15).

Because we will have injuries in our football program, we have a certified Athletic Trainer here on campus part time.  He is the first one to see our athletes that become injured if he is here.  He is usually here during the school year when we practice.  He also travels to our games to serve our students.

Several coaches are CPR/First Aid certified.  Barry Schoolmeester, one of our coaches is a Firefighter/Paramedic for the City of Vernon.  The Coaching Staff recommends the OUCH Clinic in Murrieta for all football related injuries.  We strongly recommend that you find a “sports/athletic” physician for a sports injury.

Both the Head Coaches and Athletic Trainer work hands on daily to communicate about injuries. They are documented and track for the best possible care we can give our players.

Do you make cuts?

No.  If you are here in August for Training Camp, you will make the team.  The only time a kid gets “cut” is if he does not meet the minimum off-season participation hours.  This does not apply to incoming ninth graders.

What about family vacations?

We encourage family vacations during the summer.  Your child will not be disciplined for if he misses parts of our Summer Program.  Some examples of when we excuse players from our summer program – family vacation, a mission trip, participating in another football camp.  We ask that all family vacations are finished before our Training Camp begins.  It is imperative that your son is here during Training Camp.

Family is important! Family vacations are important. Here I am with my two oldest on a family outing. (Notice my son's shirt! Love it!)

What do they need to be cleared to play?

Every athlete needs a physical.  There are forms that the Athletic Office needs on file for every athlete.  Please contact the Athletic Office for these forms.

How much fundraising do we do?

Not much!!!  The Booster Club has an Annual Golf Tournament that raises most funds for athletics.  We do sell ads for our program each year and each player will be required to sell a minimum number of ads.

What are the off season expectations?  Playing other sports?

Our coaches encourage our players to participate in other sports.  Many of our kids do play basketball, baseball, golf, track, etc.

Our off season weightlifting program begins the first week of February.  If a player is not participating in another sport, they are required to be in the off season program with his teammates.

How can I be involved as a parent?

The best way to get involved is through the Eagle Booster Club.  Contact Corinne Melzer about joining the Booster Club.  Her email is: xxxxxxxxx.

Also, you can contact Coach Fore to volunteer your time 949-493-5683 x258.

What about practice attendance ?

We are very strict about practice attendance once we get to Training Camp and the regular school year.  1 unexcused practice will result in you missing a game.  Two unexcused absences will result in missing two games.  A third unexcused absence may result in removal from the team.  An “excused” absence is during Training Camp is:  family emergency or a doctor’s note to miss practice.  There may be other instances that need to be cleared with Coach Fore.  During the school year, an “excused” absence is: absent from school, family emergency, or a doctor’s note to miss practice

What about college recruiting?

To begin with, the rate of high school players that go on to play Division 1 college football is 1 in 10,000!  Not very good odds for anything!  I did have a Division 1 player, Danny Kelly to the University of Hawaii at Linfield and 5 other college football players.

I understand that part of my job as the Head Coach is to assist our players in getting to that next level of play if:                                                1.  They desire to play college football.

2.  They have the grades to play college football.

3.  Their parents want them to play college football.

4.  Our coaching staff believes that they have the ability to play college football.

One of my former players on our Senior Night. I believed in Ryan being able to have success at the next level so I helped him get in to Azusa Pacific University where he became a star wide receiver, and now coaches the tight ends. He gets to coach right next to NFL Hall of Famer Jackie Slater! Go Cougars!

What kind of workout program do you use?  Do you recommend any kind of supplements for my child?

The strength program that we use has produced some amazing results for the kids that have “bought in.”  We adapted this Strength program from Division 3 Wheaton College in Illinois.  This program requires only 45 minutes per day for four days per week.

Our coaching staff does NOT recommend any kind of supplement for your child.  We encourage our players to make sure that they get plenty of protein and water in their diet.  Some of our players drink different types of nutritious shakes either before or after their workout.  Although this is a good idea to replenish your body, our coaching staff does not promote any specific drinks, shakes, powders or pills.

WELCOME TO CVCS FOOTBAL

Welcome to this year’s football season!  As you may already know, football is a big commitment, not only for the players, but their families as well.  We’d like to give you an overview of the expectations for your players plus the events and traditions that will take place this season.

COMMUNICATION TO YOU:  Dates, times and details of all football activities will be communicated throughout the season on our school’s website (cvcs.org),  the sports website, highschoolsports.net and through email.  All communication regarding practice, meeting times, etc. are communicated with Coach Fore.

TRAINING CAMP:  In mid-August, Training Camp begins.  It is imperative that players attend all of the two weeks of Training Camp.  This is where the real football training begins with pads, helmets and hitting!    The players attend practice in the mornings, go home to eat and rest, and then come back for an afternoon practice.

END OF TRAINING CAMP  CELEBRATION:  On the last day of Training Camp, the players celebrate by having some sort of social, (e.g. BBQ, swim party, etc.)

HOMECOMING PEP RALLY:  During the morning of our Homecoming Game, please join the HS student body in the gym for the Fall Sports Pep Rally.  The different classes compete in fun games and our football team is introduced and cheered on for the Homecoming game that night   FRIDAY NOVEMBER 5th at 9:00 AM

 VOLUNTEERS:  As you can imagine, it takes a lot of volunteers to make our season work.  There will be many opportunities to serve.  Some will be optional, others will be mandatory.  Chain gangs, video recorders & ticket table workers are needed during game nights.  Volunteers will also be needed to help out with the Senior & Awards banquets as well as making Homecoming head wreaths for our cheerleaders.

BOOSTER CLUB:  The Booster Club is a school-parent organization that raises funds for the CVCS Athletic programs.  All our athletes & teams benefit from the support of the Booster Club (e.g. equipment, gym floor, gym scoreboard, backboards, etc.).  We ask that you support the Booster Club by either becoming a paid member, by volunteering on the Board or the annual golf tournament or by participating in the golf tournament as a player or sponsor…or all the above!

HOME GAME MEALS:  On a few of the evenings before our home games, we will have “Home Dinners”.  These are evenings where the team and their families come together to eat, socialize and support our team before the home game the following evening.  We generally eat pot-luck style with every family assigned a dish to bring.

SENIOR DINNER:  Near the end of our season we will enjoy a dinner together to honor the senior players on our team.  It’s a special night where the senior parents have an opportunity to say a few words about their senior football player in front of the rest of the team and their families.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28TH, 6:00 PM, CVCS WORSHIP CENTER

SENIOR GAME NIGHT:  Traditionally, this is our last Home Game of the season is an evening where we honor the seniors on our team on the football field in front of our fans.  You’ll want to be to the field at least 30-40 minutes before game time to watch the special ceremony for the seniors and their parents.

One of the best parents I've ever worked with started this tradition on Senior night, stole it from the University of Hawaii. Players, parents, fans shower the seniors with leis after the game.

OCTOBER 30TH IS SENIOR NIGHT.

PLAYOFFS:  CIF Playoffs begin Mid November

THANKSGIVING DAY:  The players are so thankful to be in the playoffs that they practice early Thanksgiving morning for 1-2 hours.

AWARDS BANQUET:  A time to celebrate the season, the players receive their awards and letters.  Our coaches are thanked as well and we watch a highlight video of our season.

SPRING FOOTBALL:  After some time off and beginning in February, players begin working out with weights, as studies & other sports allow.  The school’s Weight Room will be available in the morning, lunch time & after school.

We hope this prepares you a bit for this football season.  Because of the time commitment that the sport of football demands, it creates a unique opportunity to make many friends within our football family & to have many good times together.  We look forward to spending this season with you!