Our top priority as a youth football program is player safety. We take this very seriously and each year we work hard to improve awareness and train the many volunteers that make this program possible. This year we will require all of our head coaches go through a Heads Up Football comprehensive player safety and coach education program. The program covers Shoulder Tackling & Blocking skills, concussion recognition & response, equipment fitting, sudden cardiac arrest, heat illness prevention, coaching 101, and more.
Last year we began hiring trainers to be present at all home games for 5th & 6th graders. We will also have a trainer or two at each home and away game for the 7th & 8th grade teams.
Our head coaches will go through the above mentioned Heads Up Football training but we also require all assistant coaches go through an online certification for concussion awareness. Understanding the signs and symptoms of a concussion and the stages of recovery should a child have one is extremely important. We do not take this lightly. Every member of our program lives by this motto: "When in doubt, sit them out" For more information about concussion awareness please see link below titled, "Concussion Management Guidelines".
Heads Up Tackling
Understanding how to properly tackle is essential to improve head safety in football. Third grade through your senior year at South we will be teaching Hawk Tackling. We spend a portion of almost every practice working towards perfecting this tackle. Additional information on Hawk Tackling is included below in a pdf, titled "Hawk Tackling - SC". Also, here is a link to a YouTube video that does a good job explaining what we are teaching -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HihjPApzCg
Heat & Hydration
Football starts in late August, one of the hottest months in Michigan and without the proper hydration our young athletes could face something severe as a heat stroke if not properly monitored. It is important to hydrate your athlete and equally important as a program to ensure we understand the signs and symptoms that heat and lack of hydration can cause.
A very important part of safety is properly fitted equipment. As a program we do not provide equipment. So it is very important that parents understand what goes into fitting helmets and shoulder pads. We have an equipment page under our General Information menu that has links to different equipment manufacturers, fitting guides and additional information about what we as a program require.