HEADS UP to School Sports: Coaches

There’s no doubt about it: sports are a great way for teens to stay healthy while learning important team-building skills. But there are risks to pushing the limits of speed, strength and endurance. And athletes who push the limits sometimes don’t recognize their own limitations—especially when they’ve had a concussion.

That’s where you come in. It’s up to you, as a coach, to help recognize and make the call to pull an athlete off of the field, ice, court, or track if you think she/he might have a concussion. Playing with a concussion can lead to long-term problems. It can even be fatal.

To help you properly identify and respond to a concussion, CDC, in partnership with leading experts and organizations, developed the HEADS UP: Concussion in School Sports initiative and materials.

So as you’re building your concussion game plan, make sure to check these boxes:

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The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) teamed up with CDC’s HEADS UP to educate coaches, officials, parents and students on the importance of proper concussion recognition and management in high school sports.

Learn the impact of sports-related concussion on athletes, how to recognize a suspected concussion, and protocols to manage a suspected concussion with steps to help players return to play safely after a concussion.

Each state’s requirements for concussion management are included as part of the course.

Note: This course is hosted on the NFHS’s web site.

If You Think You Have a Concussion Poster
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Perfect for locker rooms and a coach’s office.


Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion Poster
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Great for locker rooms and a coach’s office.


Concussion Guide for Coaches
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Invaluable concussion information for coaches, including recognizing, responding to, and preventing concussions.

Concussion Clipboard Sticker
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Important concussion information sized to fit the back of your clipboard. Can be printed on regular paper or sticker paper.

Concussion Wallet Card
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Important concussion information sized to always be in your pocket.

Tips for Printing Wallet Cards
  • This card folds to the size of a business card (3.5″ x 2″).
  • Print this two page PDF double-sided.
  • Follow the trim marks (short lines in the corners of the card) to cut out the 3.5” x 10” image.
  • Follow the “Fold” lines along the outside edge of the card to fold the card into 5 3.5” x 2” panels, using an accordion fold (zig-zag fold pattern).
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The free CDC HEADS UP Concussion and Helmet Safety app will help you learn how to spot a possible concussion and what to do if you think your child or teen has a concussion or other serious brain injury.

The application also includes a 3D helmet fit feature that teaches about proper helmet fit, safety and care.

Download for Free

Apple App Store
Google Play Store