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usafootballLansing Recreation Director Steve Colt told the Town Board Wednesday that the regional league has decided to mandate a nation-wide program of USA Football called 'Heads Up Football'.  The program seeks to certify youth football coaches in safety protocols applied in all aspects of the game so they can teach kids proper techniques so that kids can have fun playing with less chance of getting hurt.

"It's another item we can add to our youth football package to increase safety and show parents that this is the safest level of football you can play," Colt said.

'Heads Up Football' boasts more than 90,000 coaches working with over 600,000 players in over 2,014 organizations nation-wide.  423 of them are in New York State.

The training covers the proper fitting of football helmets and shoulder pads, five fundamentals of proper tackling, hydration and learning to combat heat illness and both protecting players from concussions and learning to recognize them and what actions to take when a player has one.  They are taught about symptoms they might observe in players, or that players might complain of that may mean the player has a concussion.  Coaches are trained to put safety first, and not send a player back in when he might have a concussion, and also how to gradually get players back into the game safely.  Programs are offered for youth football coaches as well as high school coaches.

"All head coaches will become certified, and the Parks and Recreation Department is encouraging all coaches to become certified in this town-wide training course prior to the season's start," Colt said.

USA Football is the official youth football partner, a 501c3 not-for-profit organization attached to the National Football League (NFL).  It focuses on educational programs that help develop the game, and annually distributes a million dollars in grants for league volunteer background checks and equipment purchases.

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