Local youth football organizations making sure players are ready for contact

Local youth organizations are doing everything they can to make sure their players are ready for contact -- with the football season right around the corner.

News 12 Staff

Aug 23, 2019, 12:14 PM

Updated 1,732 days ago

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Local youth organizations are doing everything they can to make sure their players are ready for contact -- with the football season right around the corner.
Players in the New Jersey Suburban Youth Football League are actually learning how to take their head out of the game.

“As we all know, parents are concussion oriented, they are afraid of concussions, which they should be because it's their child,” says NJSYFL Commissioner Russell Yeager. “We wanted to take that fear out of play by doing things better, leaving the old school behind and bringing in new methods.”

As commissioner of the league, former police officer Yeagar considers himself the protector.
He’s partnered with seven-year NFL veteran, and Tip of the Spear Founder, Scott Peters, to teach youth players a new technique.

“When I played it was like use your face, use your face mask and that makes no sense, we have hands, we have thumbs, we can grab people, we can hit with our shoulders,” says Peters.
Tip of the Spear clinics were put on every night this week and by the time the final one wraps up tonight, nearly 1,500 players in the league will know how to properly block and tackle without using their heads.

“This is not a concussion problem perse, this is a lack of information problem so we're trying to share that high level information, make it easy for kids to understand so it becomes second nature, truly evolves the game in a way we can all embrace where it doesn't compromise the physicality of football,” says Peters.

The mandatory training isn’t just for the players. Coaches and referees are also taught the proper techniques -- and for Peters and Yeager, it's the perfect way to create an environment where football can be sustainable.

“We're teaching the most precious commodity in our country, which is our future, they are our players, we're not coaching the NFL athlete, we're coaching the future doctors, the future fathers, the future police officers and we need them healthy,” says Yeager.

The clinics were for youth players, grades four through eight, from 24 local towns.


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