Jan 29, 2015
NATA Releases New Recommendations

On Wednesday, “Preventing Sudden Death in Collegiate Conditioning Sessions: Best Practices Recommendations” was released by an inter-association task force, which included members from the National Strength and Conditioning Association, United States Olympic Committee, and several others.
The committee’s recommendations are intended to provide best practices for preventing sudden death, particularly as it relates to cardiac conditions, exertional heat stroke, and sickle cell trait. Medical and legal experts were on hand for the press conference, along with St. Louis Rams offensive tackle Rodger Saffold.

“As a former collegiate player, I often pushed myself too far and heeded the advice of athletic trainers and other medical staff on safe nutrition and exercise protocols to ensure I practiced and played at the top of my game,” Saffold said. “These guidelines today will prevent just that and I’m glad to be part of such an important forum.”

The recommendations include:
1. Progressive acclimatization is the cornerstone of safety
2. Introduce new conditioning activities gradually
3. Do not use exercise and conditioning activities as punishment
4. Strength and conditioning coaches require proper education, experience, and credentialing
5. Provide appropriate medical coverage, including a strength and conditioning coach and athletic trainer
6. Develop and practice emergency action plans
7. Be cognizant of athletes’ medical conditions
8. Administer strength and conditioning programs to manage health- and safety-related concerns for the student-athlete
9. Establish a close working partnership of recognized professional organizations, including athletic, coaching, sports medicine, and strength and conditioning organizations
10. Require adequate continuing education for the entire coaching and medical teams.

The guidelines will be published in the July/August issue of the Journal of Athletic Training. A copy of the complete statement is also available for download from the NATA Web site.

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