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Player Safety Coaches Clinics with USA Football

Heads Up Football is USA Football's national initiative to help make the sport of football better and safer. USA Football is a comprehensive collection of resources, programs, applications and promotions to create change and address the complex challenges of player health and safety in youth and high school football.

Key Components of Heads Up Football include:

Education & Certification

The only nationally accredited courses with content created by football experts and health professionals. Give your coaches the best in coaching education. After completing an age-based course, coaches will earn certification, receive a certificate, appear on the USA Football National Coaching Registry and become eligible for coaching insurance benefits.

Equipment Fitting

It is essential that every player has a properly fitted helmet and shoulder pads. League administrators, coaches and parents should be able to recognize equipment that fits properly and check the fit of equipment throughout the season. Improperly fitted equipment can place an athlete at greater risk for injury.

Concussion Recognition & Awareness

Education is the first step to help protect players from concussion. Coaches and parents should know what to look for on the field and encourage attention to concussion symptoms.

Topics include:

  • What is a concussion?
  • Signs and symptoms of a concussion
  • What to do when a concussion occurs

Heat & Hydration

Heads Up Football strengthens its commitment to player safety by adding a heat and hydration training curriculum – with assistance from the Korey Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut. Targeted education for coaches and parents increases the emphasis on prevention, recognition and basic treatment of athletes. Best practices reinforce heat and hydration related safety at all levels. Defining and recognizing the heat illness Practical strategies for heat illness prevention Guidelines for practice and play in warm environments

Heads Up Tackling

USA Football's Heads Up Tackling℠ is a step-by-step protocol to teach the core principles of the skill and sets a new standard in player safety. The program utilizes five fundamentals through a series of drills to reinforce proper tackling mechanics and teach players how to properly tackle with a focus on reducing helmet contacts.

The Detroit Lions Football Education Division is a strong proponent of USA Football's Heads Up Football program. Much of the Heads Up Football curriculum is integrated within Detroit Lions Football Education programs such as Summer Football Camps and Academies, Moms Clinics, and Lions Coaching Academies and Coaches Clinics.

The Lions' Director of Football Education, Chris Fritzsching, is also a Regional Master Trainer for USA Football. Chris assists USA Football in conducting Player Safety Coach Clinics around the country for those organizations interested in becoming Heads Up Football Certified. The Detroit Lions strongly recommend your youth football organization become Heads Up Football certified.

For more information on Heads Up Football or the Heads Up Football certification process, visit