Heads Up Initiative Helps Local Coaches

By Alex Rose

Published 07/19 2014 06:46PM

Updated 07/19 2014 07:03PM

Plattsburgh, NY.- These kids playing football is their passion, but with all the concern over concussions, some parents may want to hold their kids back. That's where USA Football comes in.

“It's more of a systematic approach to safety," said USA Football Master Trainer Rob Currin.

Currin held a Heads Up football safety clinic in Plattsburgh on Saturday for coaches in the Adirondack Youth Football League.

"In order to change the culture of the game of football, I think we have to start at the primary level,” Currin said.

That change happens with the people coaching your kids.

“I think we have to get out of our ways,” said Adirondack Football League Player Safety Coordinator Chris DeAngelo. “Maybe the way we were taught years ago isn't always the right way."

The coaches were taught everything from concussion awareness to proper tackling techniques.

They then applied what they learned to the kids

“I mean these guys are the first ones in the door,” Currin said. “They're making the first impact on these kids in their football lives."

Some of the coaches are also parents, and feel optimistic this clinic will increase community involvement in local youth football.

"We're hoping our involvement in this program and having certified coaches will spread through the community and up our enrollment, and allow some of those parents who were a little hesitant to allow their children to play," DeAngelo said.

The bottom line is to make the game as safe as possible.

“But really at the end of the day, it's tough to argue something that makes things safer for kids," Currin said.

Coaches from both New York State and Vermont participated in the clinic.

The class included information on what a concussion is, signs and symptoms of concussions, and what to do when a concussion happens.

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