Concussion Training Required for Coaches

Colette Wright, Staff Writer

As of January 1 of 2013, the National Federation of High Schools requires all sport coaches to be certified in the detection and treatment of concussions.  This mandates completion of a training course offered by the NFHS.

A concussion is a brain injury often connected with temporary loss of brain function as a result of head trauma. Although concussions are commonly believed to be accompanied by loss of consciousness, this is not always the case.  Many concussions go undiagnosed.

According to the NFHS course, concussion symptoms include confusion, clumsiness, slurred speech, blurred vision, and even memory loss. Sports director Tom Renno said, “We learned new information about concussions. The training was well needed for us to be prepared.”

“The online training was fast and thorough. I’m more prepared but still nervous that someone might get a concussion,” said lacrosse coach Jessica Hoffschneider.

Over time, if a concussion isn’t treated properly, possible symptoms would be irritably, memory loss, impaired judgment, personality changes, and even depression.

According to, 67,000 high school students have been diagnosed with concussions since 2008. Due to the increased participation in physical contact sports, concussions have been increasing in frequency.

It is vital that concussions be treated immediately in order to avoid more severe symptoms.

Junior Jacq Guelfi sustained a concussion during lacrosse last season. “I felt hurt, dizzy, there was a constant pounding headache. I felt foggy and unaware,” she said. Guelfi hit her head against another player “I couldn’t play for 2 weeks. I couldn’t really do anything,” Guelfi said. When she sustained the concussion she was sad since she couldn’t play, but over time, Guelfi’s symptoms increased. Guelfi was checked by a sports trainer. She responded in correctly to questions about the date, year, and time, confirming her concussion.

Sophomore Julia Giovanni sustained a concussion while playing soccer when an opposing player kicked her in the head with a ball. “It hurt, but I was fine at first. Then I got a bloody nose, and three days after, it started hurting seriously,” said Giovanni. Post-concussion, she was not allowed to play soccer anymore and she missed 5 months of school due to the injury.

“I recently read an article about concussions. Brain damage could be serious so I think it was important that I did the online training,” said lacrosse coach Jessica Hoffschneider.