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The Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS) has partnered with USA Football to advance youth and high school football player safety by endorsing USA Football's Heads Up FootballSM program.
PFATS includes more than 100 certified athletic trainers who serve NFL teams. The group promotes best medical care practices that are common to sports medicine, exercise science and nutrition.
Nearly 2,800 youth football leagues representing approximately 600,000 players in 50 states and Washing ton, D.C., registered for Heads Up Football in 2013 in a commitment to their young athlete's health and safety. The program is being piloted on the high school level this fall in 35 schools spanning 10 states.
Created by Indianapolis-based USA Football, Heads Up Football delivers coach certification, safer tackling techniques, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concussion recognition and response protocols and proper equipment fitting instruction.
"Athlete safety is advanced through education, and that is the heart of USA Football's Heads Up Football program," PFATS President John Norwig said. "Education converts awareness into action. This program is establishing needed standards and behavior modification built upon the best medical science and research. Young athletes deserve this level of commitment. We are proud to endorse it."
"PFATS will help our nonprofit office further develop a better and safer game for young athletes who enjoy the fun, fitness and other rewards that football affords," USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck said. "We value their trust, partnership and continued leadership in athlete care and injury prevention."
USA Football's five primary elements of Heads Up Football:
|Heads Up TacklingSM||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.|
|Coach certification||All coaches complete USA Football's Level 1 Coaching Certification course.|
|Concussion recognition and response||Coaches learn and are assessed on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concussion recognition and response protocols.|
Coaches, parents and players are taught concussion-related protocols at the start of the season and have them reinforced throughout the year.
|Player Safety Coach||Appointed by each participating Heads Up Football hight school or youth program. This individual is trained by USA Football to implement Heads Up Football's player safety protocols, including coaching certification, and conducts safety clinics for fellow coaches, parents and players.|
|Equipment fitting||Coaches, parents and players are taught proper helmet and shoulder pad fitting.|
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
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USA Football and PFATS. "Professional football athletic trainers society officially supports USA football's heads up footballsm program." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 24 Dec. 2013. Web.
24 Apr. 2014. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/270598>
USA Football and PFATS. (2013, December 24). "Professional football athletic trainers society officially supports USA football's heads up footballsm program." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
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