PHILADELPHIA, PA, August 27, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Concussions are dangerous injuries and few coaches know the hazard better than Robert Saman
. A former football player and current coach, he knows he's suffered a few concussions over the years, but he admits he never realized the risks until his wife suffered one in a car accident. Today, he works hard to prevent his players from receiving concussions during games.
Football is a violent sport, and with players running full speed into each other head injuries are bound to happen. But proper tackling techniques and a new method introduced by Heads Up Football, a campaign led by USA Football and the NFL to eliminate head-first tackles. An article
published by the Dallas Morning News lauded an initiative that is teaching young football players to tackle differently and prevent concussions.
The article notes the prominent position concussions have assumed in the media. It reads, "More than 4,000 former NFL players are trying to sue the league over concussion-related injuries and issues, and they claim the league withheld information about the harmful effects of concussions. After former NFL players Andre Waters, Junior Seau, Dave Duerson and Ray Easterling committed suicide, they were found to have suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated blows to the head."
Young football players are especially at risk. When they are learning to tackle, it is easy to use improper form and lead with the head. Repeated concussions are the most harmful, which is precisely the impetus for the Heads Up Football program. Older players were instructed early on to "wrap up" opponents when tackling. The new method does not instruct players to "hug" during a tackle, but rather use an uppercut-type motion.
"As a defensive coach, teaching players to tackle properly is especially important," Saman said. "The Heads Up Football program is a great way for youth football leagues to teach safety and learn to recognize concussions. It really is the least we can do to keep our players safe."
According to the article, 32 high schools across eight states are piloting high school versions of Heads Up Football this season. Proactive coaches can teach their players these techniques without formal participation in the program, however. Furthermore learning the warning signs of a concussion and implementing proper protocol to prevent further injury is imperative. Coaches must teach players the proper way to tackle during practice and repeat the drills until good form is second nature. Robert Saman knows the benefits young men receive from playing football outweigh many possible injuries, but implores coaches to take every precaution to keep their players safe.
Robert Saman is a high school history teacher and football coach with 20 years of experience. He is passionate about teaching young people teamwork, personal responsibility and integrity. After his wife suffered a severe concussion in a car accident, Saman realized the risk many of his players assumed each time they took the football field. He has since dedicated himself to preventing concussions for his players. Saman is an advocate for proper treatment, diagnosis and prevention of concussive injures.