Tips to covering your butt should be the last thing coaches are worried about. Many coaches don’t know if they will be covered if something were to happen in the weight room. We, as coaches, only become concerned with this when something happens. By then it’s too late! Liability should be a concern today for coaches.
Let’s start with a situation that is very common today. There is a set of parents that become concerned about their child in the weight room because they come home complaining about being in pain. The parents take them to a pediatrician and the pediatrician informs them that their child has a bulging disc or stress fracture in the spine and the cause of this injury is lifting weights with their coach. The next thing you know you are sitting in an office with the parents, administration, and a group of lawyers asking you questions about what kind of workouts you do in the weight room.
This is NOT the point you wonder if you have covered yourself in the weight room or not. In today’s age, we better be prepared for the worse because it is just a matter of time before the aforementioned story comes true.
Are You Covering Your Butt in the Weight Room?
How do we cover our butts?
- Check your coaches insurance with the state that you are in. Call the state athletic department and ask questions about liability in the weight room. How much insurance covers this? We recommend a minimum of $5,000,000. Lawsuits are costly. Questions to ask- “Am I covered for accidents in the weight room”? The legal term is “negligence”. If not you will need more insurance. We have used Esix Global Insurance. Usually the cost is around $350 per year. Check with the administrator or AD. They can also help with what the current insurance policy that the school or university has to see if it extends to negligence in the weight room. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Coaches Education Classes- There should be available clinics and coaching courses that help with education in the weight room. More education you have the more lawyers can help! Most courses like this will have some safety element. We have courses that are available throughout the year. Some are in person and some are online trainings and webinars. Or if you would like to more about what we do to help coaches subscribe. The National High School Athletic Association also has a training for strength and conditioning that can help as well. When it comes to weight room safety there isn’t many courses to choose from. That is why we offer this. This might be a good thing to add to a curriculum in the Athletic PE classes too.
- Certification Classes- Certification Courses are the #1 thing I would recommend. Usually this is a weekend course. The good certification courses take much longer but are well worth it because they usually come with insurance. The NSCA provides a basic insurance for being a CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist or RSCC). There are additional certifications like USAW Level 1 that will definitely help provide education. If you are a coach that teaches Olympic Lifts to your athletes you MUST be certified. I thought I knew what I was doing because I thought I was taught by coaches that knew what they were doing. Turns out they didn’t. And even if you will know every thing that is going to be taught it is important to have this on a resume of certification courses because it shows value in your knowledge as a weight room coach.