Valley high schools hope to make football safer

Posted: Updated:
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)

Some Valley high schools are doing their part to keep student athletes safer.

Over the years, there's been a growing concern over concussions and other serious injuries in football, especially at the high school level. Now, one Valley school district is making changes in hopes of keeping players safer on the field. Phoenix Union High School District is implementing a comprehensive football safety instructional program. It's called, "Safe Football" and it will be used at all ten football schools. 

Safe Football was founded by former ASU and NFL lineman Scott Peters. Under the program, he will train every football coach and player in the district annually, over the next three years.

Through proper technique training, players will hopefully avoid serious injuries, such as concussions.  Players and coaches will learn the Safe Football techniques, from pre-snap stance to the point of impact for blocking, engaging blockers, tackling and tackle avoidance, without using their helmet as a tool for contact.

Peters developed the program in 2009 and has worked with over 400 teams, including college and professional groups.  He worked with the University of Washington in 2012-13, and while the Huskies improved dramatically both offensively and defensively, it was in the training room where the real results were realized.  None of their players suffered a concussion or "stinger" for the entire season.

Safe Football instructors start with three-hour clinics for coaches at the freshman, JV and varsity levels.  Following interactive demonstrations, the coaches are tested in their ability to re-teach the techniques and drills to receive certification.

The coaches' clinics are followed by two-hour on-site player camps, led by Safe Football instructors.  Players are then taught Safe Football techniques through a series of fun, engaging and progressive drills designed to use the hands and shoulders, not the head, to apply and resist force on the field.

Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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