Over 50 former NFL Players convened in Indianapolis this week, to use Lucas Oil Stadium as a training ground for the ambassador program for Heads Up Football. Heads Up Football is i new program for the 2013 season, dedicated to teaching youth about safety in the game. The program was developed by USA Football, and will use the former players as ambassadors to teach tackling mechanics and the reduction of head injuries.
USA Football, which was formed 10 years ago, focuses on the teaching and the development of youth football. USA Football is the official youth football development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams. More than 1,200 youth football leagues across the U.S., representing more than 250,000 players and 36,000 coaches nationwide, have committed to the health and safety of their young players by adopting Heads Up Football. Heads Up Football is looking to raise the amount of pilot programs in these youth football leagues this season, as there were only three such programs last season around the nation.
Using these former players to teach the new safety guidelines in football will help build the recognition of new initiatives that the NFL is trying to include in all facets of the game. These 54 former players must also be taught the new rules, as well. Their studies at Lucas Oil Stadium included concussion recognition and equipment fitting. These former players, which included former Indianapolis Colts Mike Prior and Ray Buchanan, will fan out across the country to teach these new initiatives to youth players and their coaches.
Ray Buchanan spoke about how things were when he played defense. “We were just taught to go out there and just make a hit, go out and make a tackle,” Buchanan told the NFL Network. “Yeah, they might say not lead with your head, but when you lead with your head and you knocked a guy out, they were patting you on your back on the sideline.”
It’s good to see some of the older generation learning to un-learn what they have been taught, in order to teach the next generation how to be as safe as possible in the game of football. If any of these efforts help reduce injury and concussions in the future, then it is definitely worth while.