A little league coach is suing his team. Or at least he was. Someone threw a baseball helmet in the air and it hit his leg.
He got hurt, missed a lot of work and is suing for $500,000. The injury was a torn Achilles tendon which is no laughing matter. Besides the wackiness of it, this brings up some important points that I can relate to.
First and maybe most important is the risk factors of sports. The kids who play are at risk for injury. The coaches who are on the field are at risk for injury. The parents watching are at risk.
Everyone is at risk for injury. At any time and at any place. Everyone should know this and be aware of it. Coaches should explain the risks involved in the activity to the athletes and the kids. I know I did.
I once saw a catastrophic injury to a 16 year old swimmer who hit his head at the bottom of the pool. I always made sure that my team knew the risks of diving into the pool. I also made sure they knew the risks inherent in any activity around the pool.
Or course, I took as many precautions as I could to minimize, reduce and eliminate them too.
Now, is a flying helmet an intentional or even common source of injury? Probably not.
Second important point is the injury itself. I’ve had a torn Achilles and I doubt if the helmet actually caused the injury.
When mine hit, I was playing basketball with two fourteen year old girls. We were just goofing around and BAM it felt like someone shot me in the calf. I even turned around to look (after I feel to the ground), to see who had shot me. I also thought it might have been a tennis ball from a nearby court.
The coach is of the same age and size I was. These injuries are pretty common and they result from lack of activity, lack of flexibility, improper warm-up and probably a genetic leaning to getting them. They are not caused by a helmet hitting the calf.
The final point is a little obscure but it goes with coaching. In an episode of Paper Chase, the law students are asked to find out the results of a local case. The students search the law library and come up with a solution. Their tough teacher, played by John Houseman, says that the law books are wrong and challenges to the students to dig deeper.
Eventually, the protagonist figures out that he should ask the plaintiff himself. He thus finds out the complete story.
The point here is that there are always two sides to every story. And probably many multiples of two sides to every story. To get the complete truth of a story or a problem is probably impossible.
Keep an open mind when dealing with your team, people and stories you read on the Internet.
Have fun, be safe and don’t go throwing helmets!