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New Education Courses Address ACL Injuries, Mental Health

By NFHS on February 05, 2019 hst Print

The NFHS Learning Center has recently released two free courses that address key issues in high school sports and activity programs – “ACL Injury Prevention” and “Student Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.” Both courses are now available through the NFHS Learning Center at www.NFHSLearn.com.

The new online education course regarding ACL injury prevention is available thanks to a partnership between the NFHS and Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). The course is part of a sponsorship agreement between the NFHS and the NFHS Network, and HSS, the leading orthopedic hospital in the United States located in New York City. HSS is ranked No. 1 in orthopedics for the ninth consecutive year in 2018-19 by U.S. News & World Report.

While the course is designed to help coaches reduce the risk of ACL injuries to their student-athletes, it can be beneficial for administrators, students, parents and others as well. The course deals with the causes of ACL injuries, how to identify and correct movement deficiencies that can lead to these injuries, and how to effectively lead a neurodynamic warm-up before practices and games.

Through the partnership, the NFHS and HSS hope to build a program that delivers national awareness around ACL injury prevention and related sports safety information.

“We appreciate the work of the experts at Hospital for Special Surgery to provide this tremendous resource for high school students, parents, coaches and administrators,” said Dr. Karissa Niehoff, NFHS executive director. “These type of knee injuries can sideline athletes for long periods of time, so the availability of prevention strategies will be a tremendous resource for everyone involved in high school sports.”

“We are thrilled to now offer our digital workshop to NFHS’ vast coalition of over 3 million people,” said Joseph Janosky, director of HSS Sports Safety. “Since its creation, our program has positively impacted coaches by providing them with tools to reduce the risk of ACL injuries for young athletes.”

As a part of the agreement, the NFHS Network will promote the ACL course throughout the year during the expected 100,000 events that will be streamed during the 2018-19 school year at www.NFHSNetwork.com.

“We are excited to add the new ACL Injury Prevention course to our Learning Center, and to be able to offer free of charge helps to ensure that more individuals will take advantage of this great resource,” said Dan Schuster, NFHS director of educational services. “We appreciate the work of the HSS staff and the opportunity to offer the course to high school students, parents, coaches and others.” The NFHS developed “Student Mental Health and Suicide Prevention” to address the realities of physical and psychological wellness. Stress, anxiety and depression create challenges for many individuals, including interscholastic student- athletes, and severe conditions can lead to suicide.

Through the “Student Mental Health and Suicide Prevention” course, answers are provided to numerous questions that students – as well as peers or any guardian responsible for the care and well-being of a student – may face in these situations. “It is critically important that we all understand the many factors that impact our mental health,” Schuster said. “The goal of this course is to promote overall wellness, including mental health, while also learning how to recognize the signs and symptoms of individuals struggling with their mental health.”

“Student Mental Health and Suicide Prevention” features a seven-section course outline that includes information on wellness, student mental health, stress and anxiety, depression and suicide prevention. However, the course goes beyond highlighting the causes of mental health problems and the strategies associated with recovery thanks to its helpful resources.

Since its founding in 2007, the NFHS Learning Center has delivered almost eight million online education courses. The Coach Education Program started with two courses – Fundamentals of Coaching and First Aid for Coaches – and now boasts 65, including 31 that are available free of charge.

In addition to 16 sport-specific courses for coaches, the Learning Center offers eight sport-specific officiating courses, as well as Teaching Sports Skills and AACCA Spirit Safety Certification. The most popular course has been the Concussion in Sports course with four million courses delivered. Other popular free courses are Heat Illness Prevention, Sportsmanship, Sudden Cardiac Arrest, and Bullying, Hazing and Inappropriate Behaviors.