BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Dozens of local football coaches spent Tuesday learning proper tackling and blocking. The drills are part of an effort to protect local athletes from concussions.
“Now, all of these tackling drills and everything that we’re doing are designed to get the body in the proper position and at the last minute sliding the head, changing the aiming point from the top of the shoulder to the front of the shoulder so they’re not leading with the crown of the head,” said Ken Stoldt, USA Football Master Trainer.
The Heads Up Football Player Safety Coach Clinic drills are designed to limit the amount of trauma that a players head takes on the field.
“It’s difficult to take a player that’s been in high school tackling a certain way or in college a certain way for many many years and change habits that they have,” said Stoldt.
USA Football Master Trainer Ken Stoldt says keeping a players head out of the way is one of the most important ways to prevent a concussion. But if one does happen, immediate action needs to be taken.
“The same thing we fight at the high school level or that we battle against is kids don’t want to miss time playing so they’re reluctant to sometimes approach us with conditions that they’re having,” said Mark Layer. Clarence high school varsity football coach.
Local coaches learned concussion recognition, response, and prevention methods to pass on to players and parents.
“Sometimes with a concussion the signs or symptoms might not show up for a day or two so it’s really difficult to pinpoint so you just have to be aware and alert to your surroundings, notice kids that are doing things out of habit, kids that are confused and acting clumsy. these are all signs there might be an issue,” said Stoldt.
Stoldt says by raising awareness and getting everybody involved including parents, coaches and kids youth participation is up and injuries are down.