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Heads Up Football is the safer way to practice and play. USA Football has worked with leaders in both medicine and sport across the country to create a full-featured program that any league or school can use to address key safety issues — and ensure that every coach understands and knows how to implement each component of the program.
Starting as three pilot programs in 2012, Heads Up Football is now used by more than 7,000 youth and high school programs, setting the highest standards in the sport and giving the football community one voice when it comes to safety.
Athletic directors are responsible for the safety of their student-athletes. Heads Up Football is a valuable tool, reinforcing and building on your efforts to enhance the safety of players, inspire the involvement of coaches and gain the support of parents and the school community.
Commissioners know that safety comes first — both for the players on the field and their parents on the sidelines. Having a Heads Up Football program in place, with teams led by USA Football certified coaches, goes a long way toward showing that youth football is being taught the right way and that parents feel confident about your league.
Heads Up Football ensures that every coach is thoroughly trained in fundamental aspects of football safety, injury prevention and injury recognition.
That’s why one of the key features of the program is Coach Certification — using the only nationally accredited courses in the sport with content created by football experts and health professionals. It is available for middle school and high school coaches through NFHSLearn.com and for youth coaches at usafootball.com/certification. As an added benefit, coaches with valid USA Football certification are eligible for coaching insurance up to $1 million.
Education is the first step in concussion awareness and player protection.
Targeted instruction puts the emphasis on prevention, recognition and basic treatment of athletes with best practices for heat and hydration safety at all levels.
Coaches, schools and leagues learn how to put procedures in place to quickly react in the case of cardiac events — the No. 1 cause of death for children and teens during exercise.
Equipment that doesn’t fit or isn’t worn right can increase the risk of injury. That’s why every coach gets guidance in how to properly fit helmets and shoulder pads.
A step-by-step guide, featuring former Seattle Seahawks Assistant Head Coach Rocky Seto, teaches the core principles of proper tackling and helps set a new standard in player safety.
My son plays youth football, and the No. 1 thing we taught him is safety. I think Heads Up Football is tremendous. It’s a critical part of our game. It’s something we take very serious as college coaches, and I obviously take very serious as a dad of a child playing football.
Urban Meyer - Head Coach Ohio State (Big Ten)
The OSAA is excited to partner with USA Football in implementing the Heads Up Football program. Our primary goal is always to try to ensure the health and safety of our student-athletes. This educational program will provide all of our coaches with the knowledge, the training, the skills and the techniques to teach the game of football with safety as the top priority.
Tom Welter - Executive Director, Oregon School Activities Association
USA Football is an important member of the high school football family. We encourage our member state associations to employ Heads Up Football’s comprehensive hands-on and online curriculum and are encouraged by how the program continues to be embraced and adopted.
Bob Gardner - Executive Director, National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)
Our state association and member schools continue to emphasize the importance of coaching and teaching proper techniques and skills that are necessary to maximize safe play and minimize all risks involved by students participating in contact sports. Heads Up Football provides continuing education to our coaches that increases the awareness of important standards for participation in order to properly play the game.
Don Hinton - Executive Director, Mississippi High School Athletic Association (MHSAA)