Collegiate athletic association strength and conditioning coaches’ knowledge
and practices regarding prevention and recognition of exertional heat stroke.

Valdes AS, Hoffman
JR, Clark MH, and Stout JR. J
Strength Conditioning Res. 2014; 28(11), 3013-3023.

Home Message: While multiple certifications exist for strength and conditioning
coaches, both the CSCS and SCCC do not adequately prepare coaches to recognize
or prevent exertional heat stroke during high-intensity training sessions.

Strength and conditioning coaches (SCC) are vital parts of the sports
medicine team, often designing, implementing, and supervising strengthening and
conditioning programs. They sometimes work in environments where athletes are
at an increased risk exertional heat stroke. Understanding SCC’s knowledge and
practices regarding exertional heat stroke will allow certifying bodies to
change their curriculum to better address exertional heat stroke, thus
providing preventative care for athletes. Therefore, Valdes and colleagues
completed a survey study to assess the SCC’s knowledge of exertional heat
stroke and attempt to identify any differences between certification types
(CSCS vs. SCCC). The researchers developed as online survey which was pilot
tested and validated. All 1,305 NCAA SCC’s with published emails were invited
to participate. Respondents were categorized into 4 groups (36% CSCS
certification only, 14% SCCC certification only, 19% dual certification, and 30%
no certification). A total of 319 (24%) respondents completed the survey.
Overall, SCC with no certifications scored lower than those with a
certification. Only 2.2% of respondents scored > 
and 47% score

These new findings suggest that SCC could benefit from changes in their
curriculum or continuing education that address the prevention and recognition
of exertional heat stroke. While certifying bodies should consider additional
competencies or training regarding exertional heat stroke, the current data can
also be considered a call for other members of the sports medicine team to coordinate
with SCC’s at their institutions regarding proper recognition and immediate
care for exertional heat stroke. As a team we need to develop protocols and
emergency action plans not only for practices and games but also for other
training sessions. We should encourage frequent discussions among the members
of the sports medicine team about how we can better prevent and recognize
heat-related illnesses. A well devised and implemented emergency action plan
will allow any athlete who suffers from exertional heat stroke to get the best
care from those who are adequately trained, as quickly as possible.

Questions for Discussion: How often does your sports
medicine team, including the strength coaches, meet to discuss heat-related
illnesses and emergency action plans? Are multiple members of the sports
medicine team available at training sessions to provide adequate care if an
athlete were to suffer from EHS?

Written by: Kyle Harris
Reviewed by:  Jeffrey Driban

Related Posts:

Valdes, A., Hoffman, J., Clark, M., & Stout, J. (2014). National Collegiate Athletic Association Strength and Conditioning Coachesʼ Knowledge and Practices Regarding Prevention and Recognition of Exertional Heat Stroke Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 28 (11), 3013-3023 DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000365