USA Football brings concussion prevention to Canastota
It's no secret, every year football players at every level become stronger and faster. With that, concussion numbers have been on the rise.
So what's being done to curb the trend on the latter?
For starters, USA Football, which is now in its third year is bringing its "Heads Up" program around the nation.
The organization, which is based in Western New York was in Canastota over the weekend teaching football coaches just that, to have their players keep their heads up.
Technology in helmets has improved tremendously, and recent rule changes have been enforced to help keep players safe. But Master Trainer for USA Football Ken Stoldt says that's not enough.
"There's kind of been this myth that you know we just can go out and get better equipment and everything's gonna be good. The best equipment in the world doesn't prevent all injuries. What we need to do is educate everybody including coaches parents players everybody involved to make this a safer game" Stoldt says.
So the coaches that made it to Canastota on Saturday, all 31 of them, learned first hand how to perform the drills. You can see them at work in the video player, but every administrator I spoke with says the hands-on lessons go hand-in-hand with awareness.
"In the past, people weren't aware of kids actually getting concussions so they just sat out temporarily. Now, they're more aware of it and hopefull this training will help the awareness of it and also help prevent concussions from happening" Tri Valley Football President Chris Birmingham tells me.
The movement is definitely catching on, too.
In just three years of existence, USA Football's member groups has grown exponentially from 400 football organizations to around 1,800 today. The movement is also backed by the NFL and even the CDC.