The South Portland Youth Football League based in South Portland, Maine, is committed to ensuring a positive youth football experience and advancing player safety this fall by providing league-wide coaching education and teaching resources that benefit players, parents, and coaches through USA Football’s Heads Up Football program.
USA Football is the official youth development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams. SPYFL includes eight teams comprised of more than 175 players and over 30 coaches throughout South Portland.
Every SPYFL coach will be trained in Heads Up
Football techniques before leading their teams
this season. All SPYFL head coaches and
assistant coaches will complete USA Football’s
accredited Level 1 Coach Certification Course,
which includes Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) concussion recognition and
response protocols; proper helmet and shoulder
pad fitting; and Heads Up Tackling techniques,
which aim to take the head out of the line
Through Heads Up Football, a Player Safety
Coach will be trained by USA Football to
implement, evaluate, and monitor Heads Up
Football player safety protocols within the
organization. Player Safety Coaches work with league commissioners, coaches, parents, and players throughout the season to provide on-site clinics and mentoring to ensure that coaching and player safety best practices are used.
“We are excited to partner with USA Football and the NFL to ensure the safety of our kids,” said Steve Stinson, South Portland High School’s
Head Football Coach. “
“Heads Up Football promotes
a safer, better game,” USA
Football Executive Director
Scott Hallenbeck said. “We
are proud to have South Portland Youth Football join us in leading America’s youth football community through Heads Up Football, helping to set the highest standards of player safety, and coaching education in any youth sport.”
Adopted in 2013 by SPYFL and by youth leagues on a national level, Heads Up Football requires five primary elements:
USA Football’s Heads Up Tackling technique, endorsed by medical and football experts, teaches players to keep their heads up and out of the line of contact.
Coaches learn and are assessed on CDC concussion recognition and response through USA Football’s Level 1 Coaching Certification Course.
Coaches, parents and players are taught concussion-related protocols at the start of the season at a league-wide clinic and have them reinforced throughout the season.
All coaches within a youth program are trained to teach the game’s fundamentals by completing USA Football’s nationally accredited Level 1 Coaching Certification Course.
Coaches, parents and players are taught proper helmet and shoulder pad fitting.
Appointed by each participating Heads Up Football youth organization. This individual ensures compliance with Heads Up Football’s player safety protocols, including coaching certification and conducting safety clinics for coaches, parents and players.
USA Football’s Heads Up Tackling technique was developed with contributions from USA Football’s Tackle Advisory Committee, which includes Northwestern head coach PAT FITZGERALD, UCLA head coach JIM MORA, former NFL running back MERRIL HOGE, Miami Christopher Columbus High School head coach CHRIS MERRITT and sports psychologist DR. DAVID YUKELSON.
USA Football, the sport’s national governing body, leads the game’s development, inspires participation and ensures a better and safer experience for all youth, high school and other amateur players. The independent nonprofit is the official youth football development partner of the NFL, its 32 teams and the NFL Players Association. USA Football manages U.S. national teams within the sport for international competitions and provides more than $1 million annually in equipment grants and youth league volunteer background check subsidies. Endowed by the NFL and NFLPA in 2002 through the NFL Youth Football Fund, USA Football (www.usafootball.com) is chaired by former NFL team executive Carl Peterson.
South Portland Youth Football
We have pulled together the links to view the training videos on the new recommended way to teach heads-up tackling. This method of tackling is reported to reduce head/neck injury risks, which in turn reduces the risk of concussions.
Step 1 - Breakdown
Step 2 - Buzz
Step 3 - Hit
Step 4 - Shoot
Step 5 - Rip
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