Seventeen Tips to Improve American Football – Tips #6 and #7

It’s week 7 of the NFL season and with this post we are now officially caught up with our Seventeen Tips to Improve American Football series!

Tip #6 – We need practical certifications offered and required of our football coaches.

If you want to teach yoga, scuba diving, or even swimming, a practical, hands on course and certification is required, yet most football leagues and school districts don’t require any training whatsoever for football coaches and those that do require limited coursework usually offered online or in a classroom where theory is taught but practical, hands on instruction is not.  Football is a physically demanding sport which can be dangerous if not taught correctly.  Our kids deserve better.  Online certifications are a good step forward but we need more.  Talk to your local league or school district about requiring coaches to attend a practical, hands on course regarding football tackling and the coaching of a contact.

Tip #7 – Learn to tackle and practice… WITHOUT helmets and shoulder pads!

When I grew up playing tackle football, I was taught to use my helmet to my advantage, in fact I was told and taught to use it as a weapon.  With all we know now about head injuries and concussions, I’m hopeful that the old school teachings I received have been mostly abolished.  However, we still see many kids today using their heads to tackle.  Part of the reason is that they have never really worried about protecting it, placing all of their faith in the plastic helmet covering their skull.  I find that if kids practice tackling without helmets it helps to condition the player to keep the head OUT of the tackle and improves form.  So try practicing and drilling live tackling without helmets and see how quickly kids begin protecting their head from contact, much like rugby players do.  All of the drills and videos can be found on our site.  Check them out and be sure to share the link…. 

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