The Informed Coach




Chapter:  Smoothing Over the Bumps and Bruises

 Smoothing Over The Bumps and Bruises


Coach, I’ve twisted my Knee! Coach I feel feint, should I continue working out? Coach I only have a minute left and I’m ahead but my shoulderis killing me? Coach can you come over here and check out Johnny for he seems to have hit his head. Coach, my elbow is recovering from a hyperextension, can you wrap it for me because my next match is against Igor?  Coach my ankle still hurts but I want to work out. What can I do? Coach, several years ago I had a back injury that required an operation, but can I still join up and do judo? What about my sprained finger, jammed toes, bloody nose, shoulder separation, and a myriad of other ailments?  Well, what do you do Coach?


  1. Are you ready in case of an emergency?
  2. What are some things we can do to have a safer environment?
  3. How can we best prepare our athlete for practice?
  4. What should we do in the event of an injury?
  5. What is taping and strapping?

As a coach you will at one time or another confront similar questions to those found above. How will you respond? What are the factors that should be considered? If there is no one else around, you may be it. Here are a few things that should be on the stellar coach’s check list:

Have a waiver signed by a responsible person and kept on record explaining the possible dangers of participating in competitive judo. Make sure that you verbally explain and ask if the athlete or parent, if a minor, understands what they are signing.

Have a check off list of possible pre-existing health conditions that you should be aware of as a coach. A personal history questionnaire of the athlete is a good place to start.

If your athlete hasn’t engaged in any physical activity for some time and/or is an older athlete have them get a signed physical from a physician to keep on file. Update it periodically.

If you haven’t done so already take a class in First Aid /CPR.

Take a taping and strapping class.

Have a first aid kit available and keep it and yourself up to date.

Have a “What If List” and go over it with your students. It should include things to do in case of an emergency: contact persons, local hospitals, police, 911, etc.

United States Judo Federation

National Teachers Institute

Mitchell Palacio, Chairperson

United States Judo Federation

P.O. Box 338

Ontario, OR 97914-0338


Phone: 1-541-889-8753

Fax: 1-541-889-5836