Program Coaching Youth Coaches To Help Players Avoid Injuries

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (WJZ) — Coaching the coaches. One national youth football program is going back to the basics when it comes to young players avoiding concussions.

As Gigi Barnett explains, it starts with educating the coaches who teach the techniques.

The roles are reversed for dozens of youth and high school football coaches.

“We’re going to break it down piece by piece.”

This weekend, they’re doing the practicing at a camp for coaches called “Heads Up.” It’s hosted by USA Football–the governing body of youth leagues.

The main message in this training is to bring back the basics. They could help young players avoid injuries, especially concussions.

“It’s spreading across the country like wildfire. It’s awesome,” USA Football master trainer Dick Adams said.

Adams led this weekend’s camp at the Ravens’ Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills. He says sometimes youth coaches get wrapped up in their playbooks and forget to focus on the fundamentals.

“There’s not a coach alive that’s ever said ‘Put your head down,’ and every coach I ever heard say ‘Keep your head up.’ But we never did repetitive drills to develop better habits in doing that,” Adams said.

But a concussion on the field isn’t the only danger on the field for young players. This camp for coaches is also showing them how to protect players from heat exposure and dehydration.

“With the younger kids, if you make a game of it, for instance, I’m thinking this year water balloons. When it’s time to get water breaks, we can break out some water balloons and use that for practice,” said Coach Jeff Frase, South Caroline Mustangs.

Once the coaches complete the program this weekend, they’ll be able to take what they’ve learned back to other coaches and parents in their leagues.

The coaches who completed this weekend’s training will also be certified as safety coaches by USA Football.

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