NASHVILLE, Tenn.** – The Tennessee Titans understand the importance of educating coaches, parents, and youth about safety principles regarding the game of football. This is why the Titans support Heads Up Football, USA Football's national initiative to help make the sport of football better.
"Heads Up football is an important initiative to our ownership and administration and we want to do what we can to make sure the game of football is safe." said Titans Director of Community Relations Tina Tuggle. "We want to make sure that coaches are learning valuable information, pertinent in the continual growth of our sport."
The Tennessee Titans host USA Football's Heads Up Football Player Safety Coaches Clinic at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Lynne McCracken)
More than 100 youth football league coaches and administrators from across Tennessee and Northern Alabama received helpful information on concussion prevention and recognition Saturday at Saint Thomas Sports Park.
The Titans hosted their annual all day USA Football Heads Up Football Player Safety Coach (PSC) Clinic. The workshop included sessions on properly fitting equipment, discussing concussion awareness, heat and hydration and participating in interactive Heads Up tackling training and drills. All the components are designed to make the game of football safer for youth nationwide.
Each session was taught collaboratively by USA Football Master Trainers, Billy Elmore of West Memphis High School, Jimmy Wallace of Rock Hill, SC and Tennessee native Ricky Upton of Maryville High School.
Jimmy Wallace coached football for 40 years and is a passionate football advocate. Coach Wallace considers Heads Up Football invaluable to the sport and believes in the importance of Player Safety Coaches. Wallace feels each coach should continue training, learning and reviewing the clinic material to stay sharp.
"We are hoping when the coaches leave here today, they take the information they received and study it," said Wallace. "There was a ton of information disseminated today and it's hard to digest in one eight-hour clinic. So a coach really has to take what they have obtained here today and apply it."
By completing the clinic, the more than 100 youth football league representatives will become certified player safety coaches. This certification lends the ability to share and teach other coaches, as well as the parents of the participating youth.
"Player safety coaches play such an important role in Heads Up football because the amount of time and overall number of kids they affect," said USA Football Southeast Regional Manager, Evan Lindsey. "There are about 100 coaches participating in today's clinic, representing 5-8 teams with an average of 20-30 kids per team. That adds up to thousands of kids being affected from this clinic alone, which is mind blowing."
Hosting and inviting coaches to events like the PCS Clinic, the Titans want to greatly impact Tennessee's youth football community and look forward to encouraging the growth of football safety education. Coach Mario Parson of the Memphis-based Southside Wildcats youth football team gained a lot from the event.
"I thought the clinic was inspiring," Parson said. "The event motivated me to return to my community and make certain to go the extra mile to ensure the kids are safe."
About USA Football
USA Football, the sport's national governing body in the United States, inspires participation and ensures a positive experience for all youth, high school and other amateur players. The independent non-profit hosts more than 80 football training events annually for coaches, players and youth football league commissioners. USA Football is the official youth football development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams and manages U.S. national teams for international competition. Endowed by the NFL and NFL Players Association in 2002 through the NFL Youth Football Fund, USA Football distributes $1 million annually in equipment grants and offers youth league volunteer background check subsidies. Former NFL team executive Carl Peterson is USA Football's chairman.