By Bill Bradley, contributing editor
The Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society has endorsed USA Football's Heads Up Football program, the trainers' group announced Thursday.
The Heads Up Football program includes coaching certification, safer tackling techniques, concussion awareness education and proper equipment-fitting techniques.
The trainers' society is made up of 100 certified athletic trainers who work for NFL teams. It promotes best practices in medical care, exercise science and nutrition.
"Athlete safety is advanced through education, and that is the heart of USA Football's Heads Up Football program," Society president John Norwig said in a statement. "Education converts awareness into action. This program is establishing needed standards and behavior modification built upon the best medical science and research. Young athletes deserve this level of commitment. We are proud to endorse it."
More than 2,800 youth football leagues involving about 600,000 players in every state were registered with the Heads Up Football program this year. The USA Football safety program also was tested by 35 high schools in 10 states this season.
"PFATS will help our nonprofit office further develop a better and safer game for young athletes who enjoy the fun, fitness and other rewards that football affords," USA Football executive director Scott Hallenbeck said. "We value their trust, partnership and continued leadership in athlete care and injury prevention."