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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Former NFL Player, Current ESPN Analyst Merril Hoge Hosts "Heads Up Football" in Fort Thomas


Merril Hoge will spend some time with the Fort Thomas Junior Football League tonight after their games at Highlands High School. 
Hoge will join other past NFL players such as Barry Sanders, Randall Cunningham, David Fulcher, Jake Plummer and former Highlands High School standout, Marty Moore.  
More than 900 youth football leagues across the United States representing more than 200,000 players and 30,000 coaches nationwide have committed to the health and safety of their young players by adopting Heads Up Football, a new USA Football pilot program for the 2013 season dedicated to making the game better and safer.
The Heads Up Football program promotes a positive youth football experience and advances player safety by providing coaching education and teaching resources that benefit players, parents and coaches. Heads Up Football aims to take the head out of the game.
USA Football is the official youth football development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams.
Heads Up Football is comprised of five primary elements:
Heads Up Tackling
·     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.
Coaching certification
·     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.
Concussion recognition and response
·     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 leaguewide clinic and have them reinforced throughout the season.
Player Safety Coach
·     Appointed by each participating Heads Up Football youth organization. This individual is trained by USA Football to implement Heads Up Football’s player safety protocols, including coaching certification, and conducts safety clinics for coaches, parents and players.
Equipment fitting
·     Coaches, parents and players are taught proper helmet and shoulder pad fitting.
Seventy-eight former NFL players also will participate in the program as Heads Up Football Ambassadors, working with youth leagues to reinforce the Heads Up message.
Youth coaches of participating leagues will be trained in Heads Up Football techniques before leading their teams this season. All head coaches and assistant coaches are required to complete USA Football’s accredited Level 1 Coaching 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 of contact, and teach proper fundamentals.
Parents can help ensure their youth football players are participating in a better and safer brand of football by visiting www.usafootball.com. Youth leagues can register online today for Heads Up Football and to have their coaches certified

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