WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - The Indiana Football Coaches Association endorsed USA Football's "Heads Up Program."The goal is to make the game better and safer for youth and high school players.
"This has also filtered down from the NFL. It is the proper teaching of tackling, blocking, and keeping the head out of the game," said Executive Director of the Indiana Football Coaches Association David Land. "To not lead with the head and that causes some of the concussions that we have."
The "Heads Up Football Program" has five elements that it is implementing. They are: heads up tackling, coaching certification, concussion recognition and response, player safety coach, and equipment fitting.
"We are asking them to follow the guidelines but we think within about a year it will be mandatory for all of our coaches will have to take a certification test through the USA Football office," said Land. "Hopefully that will go a long way that making for sure all of our coaches have that proper background in teaching the "Heads Up Program."
Football is the most popular sport in the state of Indiana at the high school level among boys, with over 20 thousand playing the sport. The IFCA believes it is vital, that all steps are being taken to protect the youth in this growing sport.
"I think anytime that we can show the parents that we are doing everything we can to educate our coaches, whatever level it would be at," said Land. "It is a situation that we want to make sure our players are safe."
USA Football is holding a Heads Up coaches clinic on Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center in Indianapolis.
They will teach 30 Player Safety Coaches, representing leagues throughout the state. This group will then teach Heads Up Football to their youth league coaches, players and parents.
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