Football season is underway and although it is one of the funnest sports to play it is also one of the most dangerous. Not just for the NFL players but also for the little leaguers’ across the nation. I actually have a nine-year-old son who is playing Little League football right now and has played a couple of years in the past however this year I had to make a few adjustments because they were not meeting certain requirements I know were important, which brings me to the topic of “heads up tackle”. I initially signed him up with an organization until I found out that they were teaching them to tackle with their head down. I had a friend in high school passed away playing football so I am very much aware of this danger. Not to mention my ex-husband is a former NFL player and current college football coach so my family is aware of what the surroundings should be like.
Board president for Lone Star Football Alliance is the organization responsible for introducing “heads up tackling” a program partnered with USA football. “There’s a certain way that they position their bodies to make impact without the head being the first thing that makes contacts”, explained Erick Endicott who has coached youth sports for 28 years. He has seen fewer injuries since they began to use this technique. According to reports on Fox 26, Dr. Alysia Robichau of UT Physicians and Memorial Hermann says, of heads up tackle, “there’s less head contact. That should be less head injuries.”Dr. Robichau address some of the injuries could vary, “You may have more neck injuries, you may have more hyperextension injury depending on which way they’re getting shoved, you may have more rotator cuff [injuries] and for youth sports their shoulders aren’t completely developed.”
Dr. Robichau recommends parents follow these helpful tips if their children are playing football:
- Make sure the league has a medical professional on the sidelines during games to asses injuries, rather than a coach or parent.
- Ask your child’s coach about their strategy regarding tackles and concussions, ensuring a child is forced to sit out if they show symptoms such as dizziness or vision trouble.
- Ask your child’s doctor if they handle concussions. If they do not, ask for the name of a doctor who does, so you can reach them quickly if your child sustains an injury.
Needless to say, my son is now playing for a wonderful organization that keeps their players’ safety first, as it should be! Read the full report here.
*Sidenote, yes that’s my kid on this story🙂