HS football coaches get concussion training

Posted at 7:17 AM, Jun 07, 2016

USA Football hosted a concussion clinic, part of their national "Heads Up Football" program, at Buffalo State College Tuesday morning.

"USA Football is a national organization, the only national accredited organization that deals with these issues," said Ken Stoldt a master trainer. 

During the clinic nearly 60 western New York high school football coaches had the chance to learn how to recognize and respond to concussions. They also got tips on how to properly fit player's equipment and recognize heat illness. 

The clinic isn't mandatory but Cleveland Hill's head coach says it's important to know how to keep players healthy. 

"We've been able to learn some progressions with tackling that help us to keep the head out of the game even more than we were doing before," said Head Coach Glen Graham. "It's a great reinforcement in terms of recognition of heat illness and concussion too."

Coaches also reviewed rule changes and illegal use of a helmet.

"The way you block, the way you tackle you can do it with your shoulders with your hands, keep the head out of the game," said Graham. 

The Heads Up program is in its fourth year. Clinics are held across the country and they're already benefiting the players.
"It's a 34 percent reduction in concussions thus far and again the sample is small," said Stoldt. "It's about 10 youth leagues they did last year but things are positive. Overall there's been a 70 percent reduction in injuries."

Here's a full look at the clinic's schedule and what coaches and trainers examined:

  • Heads Up Football overview, 9 a.m.
  • Equipment fitting, 9:15 a.m.
  • Concussion recognition and response, 9:35 a.m.
  • Heat stroke and sudden cardiac arrest protocols, 10 a.m.
  • On-field tackling fundamentals, 10:35 a.m.
  • On-field blocking fundamentals, 11:45 a.m.
  • Player Safety Coach overview, 12:35 a.m.