for Each Team
The selection of the peer concussion educators is one of the most important decisions that will be made with respect to the implementation of the program. Two peer concussion educators should be selected from each team. One student-athlete should be either a senior or junior and the other should be a sophomore or freshman in order to provide continuity following the graduation of the more senior student. Selecting two peer educators also allows for mutual support and for teammates to have an alternative if they do not feel comfortable approaching one of the peer concussion educators with concerns.
In addition, peer concussion educators need to be selected from each sports team so educational information can be modified to be sport specific. For example, potential reasons why female soccer players may be at an increased risk for concussion compared to male soccer players (Gessel, Fields, Collins, Dick & Comstock, 2007) and suggestions for mitigating this risk can be discussed by peer concussion educators who share that risk and as such may have a vested interest in its mitigation.
Things to Consider when Selecting Peer Concussion Educators
The interaction of the candidate with team dynamics and the team culture is an important consideration. For example, the candidate should fit in and be respected by most of the team and not be someone on the periphery with respect to social involvement or athletic prowess. Also, the candidate typically should not be the coach’s “favorite” unless the team also holds that individual in high regard. In addition, the successful candidate should have positive attitudes and behaviors associated with health in general and concussion in particular. Potential peer concussion educators shold also be approachable and mature. The peer concussion educators drive the program and the success of the program is likely to be largely dependent upon their effectiveness, which makes the selection of the peer concussion educators crucial.
The peer concussion educator selection process is often nuanced and requires discussion and debate. Therefore, a committee should be formed to discuss potential candidates from multiple perspectives and contexts. For example at CHC, the peer concussion educator selection committee includes the head coach, athletic trainer and the director of athletics or her administrative designate. This allows for a comprehensive assessment of the candidate pertaining to leadership (both on and off the field), diplomacy, interpersonal skills and academic ability.
Play video of Lynn Tubman, M.Ed., Director of Athletics, disccussing the Peer Concussion Educator Selection Committee
Play video of Sandy Dickson, Head Women's Soccer Coach, discussing Peer Concussion Education Selection
Play video of Brendan Connell, ATC, discussing Peer Concussion Educator selection
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