Former Vikings CB John Swain hosts Heads Up clinic for coaches

Monday's Heads Up Football news:

* KSTP-TV in St. Paul, Minnesota, reported on a Heads Up Football coaches clinic hosted by former Minnesota Vikings cornerback John Swain.


But training like the one that took place Saturday is meant to teach safer techniques.


"You're teaching them a basic position, which is always your hips down, head up, chest up," Heads Up Football Master Trainer Matt Gegenheimer said.


"You still tackle, but you're using more of the shoulder pads versus the helmet," Swain said, adding that if youth ever "see stars" like he did, he immediately points them to the bench. "You've got to take these kids out of play with any head injuries," Swain said.


Gegenheimer agreed. "If you don't diagnose it and you rush them back into playing, they're five to six times more likely to get a repeat concussion and an even worse concussion," he said.


* KCNC-TV in Denver reported on a Heads Up coaches clinic in Lakewood, Colorado.


"In our association we deal with kids form second grade all the way up to eighth grade," Brian Goodwin with the South Jeffco Sports Association said.


Goodwin said Saturday's training session for coaches is about investing in the future of football.


"Just be a lot more fun in that way and not caught up in the fear of everything that's going on right now," he said.


Goodwin and dozens of other metro coaches met at Lakewood High School to learn to prevent injuries on the field and keep the sport as safe as possible -- and still fun.


"A lot of times we have to actually teach kids how to put their helmet on their head," USA Football master trainer Wayne Voorhees said.


Voorhees said the class reinforces proper tackling mechanics, reducing helmet contact, and education on concussion recognition and response.


"We are trying ot change the whole way of doing things," he said.


* The Tennessee Titans reported that fundamentals were emphasized at their Heads Up coaches clinic.


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."


* WROC-TV in Rochester, New York, featured a Heads Up coaches clinic.

* KVOA-TV in Tucson, Arizona, reported on a coaches clinic in its community.

-- Bill Bradley, contributing editor