What Coaches Need to Know About Injuries on the Court

What Coaches Need to Know About Injuries on the Court

When your players are on the court, you have to look out for their health. Knowing some of the common signs of injury and distress help to ensure that you know when someone needs to be pulled from a game.

Breathing Difficulties

Asthma is a possible cause of breathing difficulties in athletes. However, there are other possible causes that all coaches should know about. Rib or chest trauma might negatively impact a player’s breathing. Heart conditions can also be an underlying cause, such as long QT syndrome, which is characterized by erratic heartbeats and may result in breathing issues, sudden seizures, or fainting.


Fainting is a sign of brain injury. Depending on the severity, this type of injury can sometimes be life-threatening, so it is imperative that you immediately evaluate your player. This type of injury often occurs as a result of a direct blow to the head. The following are other possible symptoms of a head or brain injury:

  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Delayed response to questions
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Amnesia
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Slurred speech
  • Fatigue
  • Appearing dazed

Limited Range of Motion

This can affect just about any area of the body, but the legs are most often affected in basketball. It is typically due to a sprain or strain. These vary in their severity. A strain is an injury where a tendon or muscle is fully or partially torn. A sprain is an injury where a ligament is fully or partially torn.

Odd Movements of the Head

If you notice players moving their head in an abnormal way, this could indicate a head or eye injury. These typically occur due to someone getting hit in the head or eye during the game. These injuries can range from minor to severe. All instances need to be evaluated right away to determine the seriousness of the injury.

Reduced Shooting Ability

If you notice that a player is struggling to shoot the ball, this could indicate a hand or wrist injury. Strains and sprays are common. However, it is not uncommon for players to also experience fractures. These are most often seen after players fall and land on their hand or wrist.

If you notice any of your players exhibiting these symptoms, call for a time out right away. A doctor should promptly evaluate them to determine the extent of their injury.

If you’re looking for more coaching advice, make sure to check our basketball coaching DVD rental service

Dec 03, 2018 BMC

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