I am often asked my opinion on things that involve football. The questions range from how to find which player position best suits a child to who I think will win the Super Bowl, and pretty much everything in between. I have many thoughts on the game, on coaching, and on improving performance, so I am starting Passing Thoughts to share some of those thoughts. I welcome your comments and conversation. –KR

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Heads Up at Riggs Premier Football

Have you heard about Heads Up Football (HUF) and the "better, safer game" for youth football programs? The NFL has been promoting the program since last fall, youth leagues around the nation are adopting HUF techniques, and Coach Riggs has written several blog posts about it, most recently 'Heads Up: Coaching for Change". The culture of football is changing to become more proactive with injury prevention, and HUF seeks to introduce that philosophy to every level of the game, starting with our youngest athletes.

Changing the culture of football requires change at every level and in every part of the country.  
Teaching Heads Up tackling
Athletes in the Sioux Falls area are fortunate to be on the forefront of that culture change, and we want parents, athletes and coaches to understand what this development in the sport means for them. Many people and organizations have been involved in bringing HUF to SD athletes. Coach Riggs has asked each of those involved in the HUF transition to explain their part in bringing the program to South Dakota and to help parents and athletes understand how the changes affect them. Coach Riggs will share his interviews with representatives from SD Junior Football and USA Football, NFL Ambassador Brian Hansen, and Dr. Thayne Munce from Sanford Orthopedics/National Institute for Athletic Health and Performance. While their roles in bringing HUF to SD vary, they are all firmly behind this important movement to improve safety standards in youth football.

Coach Hermanson teaching tackling
RPF is also on board and focusing on fundamentals for all ages in July! We have our Think Football QB Clinic July 26th and an all ages 7 on 7 Tournament July 19-20, and we are also working to get athletes specifically trained in HUF techniques before the 2013 season! The SDJRFB camp July 10-13 for 2nd-8th graders, our Tackling Clinic July 16-17 for all ages, and a Non-contact camp for K-5th graders July 29-31 are designed to specifically train area athletes on proper fundamentals the HUF way. No matter which events athletes choose in July, they are guaranteed careful emphasis on fundamentals and technique. We believe that is an essential component of teaching the sport to promote the changing culture.

There are many benefits to be realized from training and certifying coaches, increasing awareness of injury prevention, and improving athletic performance without affecting the competitive spirit of football. It is exciting to see this collective effort to improve safety in the sport, and we are proud to be part of that effort in South Dakota. Stay tuned for more on HUF during the month of June, and join us for our July camps and clinics to get a Heads Up on the 2013 season!

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