Reviews of sportssafety.org's online training program and A People's History of Sports in the United States.
Coaching education at the high school level has become a core priority in many states. But being able to teach volunteer coaches about emergency action plans and basic sports medicine issues at the youth level - where administrators are relieved simply to have enough bodies to keep their programs running - is often considered a luxury. Enter PREPARE, an online course offered by the National Center for Sports Safety that teaches coaches and other volunteers with no formal training how to prevent common injuries, recognize symptoms of potentially dangerous conditions and respond to emergency situations. Developed in cooperation with the National Athletic Trainers Association, PREPARE covers everything from minor blisters and ankle sprains to life-threatening head and neck injuries. The course, required by some youth sports organizations, costs $28 per person and can be accessed at www.sportssafety.org.
In his latest book, Edge of Sports blogger Dave Zirin attempts to disprove once and for all the late Howard Cosell's "rule number one of jockocracy," which is to not mix sports and politics. With an ambitious thesis - "to resuscitate the political heart that beats in the sports world" - and an equally ambitious title, A People's History of Sports in the United States: 250 Years of Politics, Protest, People, and Play ($26.95, The New Press, hardcover), the book provides an alternative history of the country as seen through its sports and sports icons. Zirin explains sports' connections to war, corporate control, racism, sexism and homophobia, in the process referencing everyone from Henry Aaron and Babe Didrikson Zaharias to Kurtis Blow, Bill Clinton and Booker T. Washington.