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USA Football Magazine Issue 4 Fall 2007

USA Football Magazine Issue 4 Fall 2007

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USA Football Magazine Issue 4 Fall 2007
USA Football Magazine Issue 4 Fall 2007

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coaching center
issue 4
Fall 2007
14 Practice Planning
By Tim Polzer
16 coaching Membership Profle:
Quinton Askew
17 coaches in the crowd
18 concession stand success
By Ed Passino
20 communication
By Bill Lemonnier
22 offciating Membership Profle:
David Price
24 all-Weather hydration
By John Reynolds
26 concussions
6 Coaching
Responsibly
rutgers coach greg schiano offers
tips on leading players of all ages
in a responsible manner
9 Liberty Mutual
Responsible Sports
Program
usa Football Joins liberty Mutual for
responsible coach/Parent Program
By Nathan Boudreaux
10 Team USA Wins Gold at
World Championship
From USA Football Staff Reports
Features
league enhanceMent center
oFFiciating center
2 Kickoff
3 audibles
4 usa Football Wire
12 Player spotlight:
calvin Johnson
28 usa Football
resources
30 usa Football
Pigskin Portraits
32 gear up
dePartMents
Front Cover
AP Photo/DAviD J. PhilliP
health & saFety center
1
USAFootball.com
Chairman
Jack kemp
Executive Director
Scott Hallenbeck
Usa football
editorial staff
Managing Editor
natHan boudreaux
Contributors:
bonnie downing, damon pHillipS,
ed paSSino, Steve alic,
JoHn reynoldS, larry cenard,
deno campbell, Jenny Hofler
To contact USA Football:
(703) 918-0007
traction media staff
Publisher
rudy J. klancnik
Editorial Director
tim polzer
Designer
william bridgefortH
Traction Media
Editorial Offces
7115 Tartan Trl.
Garland, TX 75044
Tractionmedia@aol.com
Editorial Department Phone
(972) 896-8006
Custom Publishing
(972) 898-8585
USA Football Magazine is published by Traction
Media, LLC©. All rights reserved. Traction Media
does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Publisher
assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited
manuscripts or art. No part of this magazine may
be reprinted or otherwise duplicated without the
written permission of the editor.
dear readers,
by now you’re well into your season and enjoying your involvement with america’s
favorite sport. although the season is already underway, we at uSa football continue to work
diligently to make your job as an administrator, coach
or ofcial easier.
we encourage you to take advantage of the great
resources at www.uSafootball.com, including our
coach’s guide and health and safety information for
parents.
looking back on 2007, there are a lot of exciting
happenings to report. prior to the season nearly 4,000
coaches from across the country attended one of our
18 ‘coaching Schools’ and more than 25,000 youth
football supporters participated in 10 youth football
open House events held in conjunction with dick’s
Sporting goods, Te Sports authority and under
armour.
Tis year uSa football also welcomed 12-time nfl
all-Star rod woodson and new york Jets head coach
eric mangini to the family. woodson is our play football campaign spokesperson, while
coach mangini enthusiastically endorses our coaching education program.
Speaking of the play football campaign, uSa football this year gave away nearly 1,000
registration Help kits, 7,500 celebration kits and approximately $500,000 in equipment
grants to worthy youth and high school programs nationwide. Trough our nfl partnership,
uSa football public service announcements aired during nationally-televised preseason
games. uSa football feld stencils or end zone banners were also on display in every nfl
stadium.
i also proudly report that our frst-ever u.S. national team won the gold medal in the
world championships of american football in July. you can read more about the team on
page 10.
as always, be sure to log on to www.uSafootball.com for all the latest news and
information about youth and high school football.
Have a great second half of the season!
Sincerely yours,
Scott Hallenbeck
2 USA Football Magazine
How to Defend
Three-Receiver Sets
When facing trips on one side
what is the best pass defense
to defend it? Likewise, what is
the best defense to defend two
receivers on each side?
– Pablo Chavarin, assistant
high school football coach
San Diego, Calif.
I don’t know if there is
a “best” pass defense for
either. I always preach to my
kids about not being out-
f lanked. I use the battlefield
analogy to make them
understand that if the
offense is trying to make
the field unbalanced there
is a reason for that. With
that being said, we use two
or three different coverages
for both offensive sets. The
safest coverage would be
what we call “Cover-4”
for both sets. We keep the
defensive backs evenly
spaced across the filed and
they each have one quarter
of the field to cover when
the opposing team has two
receivers on both sides of
the ball. When they line
up in trips, we take the
backside safety and cheat
him towards the inside trip
receiver. We then ask the
three DBs closest to the trips
to play from the far side hash
mark to the sideline where
the trips are aligned. The
backside corner plays the
single receiver one-on-one.
– Deno Campbell
USA Football High School
Coaching Task Force
I struggle sometimes with
play calling. I am fnding it
harder and harder to fgure out
the right play for the down and
the yardage situation. I fnd
myself calling too many of the
wrong formations. Do you have
any advice?
– Jaimel Hill, youth football
coach
Mesa, Ariz.
Successful plays result more
from successful execution by
the kids than plays called by
the coach. Tere is no magic
formula for what to call in
any given down and distance
situation. However, if you script
the frst 10-15 plays of a game
and chart what the defense does
against certain formations and
motions, it will give you a more
comfortable feel for what may
work later in the game. Te key
to scripting your frst group of
plays is to vary the formations
and show motion if you use it.
You should stick to the script
and have an assistant or two
closely monitor how the defense
is reacting to the ofensive sets.
Your script should have a good
balance of inside runs, outside
runs, and various pass plays. If
timing rules in your league do
not allow for a long script, then
shorten the script to 5-8 plays.
I am a frm believer that the
fewer plays you have the more
efcient your ofense will be.
When in doubt on what to call,
call the plays that your kids
run the best. Work on them
in practice and try to perfect
every detail of what each
player does. Great execution by
all 11 players on the feld will
make you look like a Hall of
Fame coach.
– Larry Canard
USA Football Youth
Coaching Task Force
My son’s helmet fts very
tight and is painful to take off.
The next size up seems too
big. Any tips on helping with
this? He has begun to focus
on that pain vs. the game.
– Bryan Potter
Tere are a couple of
things you can do to ensure
the proper ft of a football
helmet. Most helmets will
come with instructions for
ftting the helmet although
these can vary depending on
the manufacturer. Generally
speaking, the frst step is
measuring the circumference
of your child’s head to ensure
their head size fts the size
range of the helmet. Using the
guidelines provided by the
manufacturer, make sure the
helmet “sits” appropriately
on your child’s head. Tis
can include checking the
alignment of the ear holes, the
distance from the front end
of the helmet to the eyebrows,
and the distance from the
bottom of the helmet to the
base of the skull. You may
also need to try different
cheek pads to ensure proper
contact between the helmet
and your child’s face. Finally,
if the helmet has an air
bladder, adjust the amount
of air in the helmet. You
should only add enough air
to make the helmet snug, not
tight. Do not try to make a
helmet that is too large fit by
adding more air.
– John Reynolds
USA Football Health &
Safety Consultant
audibles
E-mail address:
tractionmedia@aol.com
Mailing
address:
USA Football, attn: USA Football Magazine,
8300 Boone Blvd., Suite 625, Vienna, VA 22182
3
photo: cynthia hobgood
Overweight Athletes:
Good For Line Or Bad
Down The Line?
Big Players Require Special Attention,
Management
Overweight athletes are more apt
to face on-feld medical issues such as
heat illness, asthma,
sudden cardiac death,
and musculoskeletal
trauma, as well as
cardiovascular problems
and osteoarthritis when
sports are over, according to a session
presented at the 54th Annual Meeting of
the American College of Sports Medicine
(ACSM). Sports medicine physicians
outlined management techniques for
overweight athletes, noting optimal
treatment for excess weight includes a
combination of ftness, nutrition and
behavioral therapy.
Overweight athletes are typically
involved in sports where size and mass
are important, such as football, says John
P. Batson, M.D., chair of the session. Tis
situation is most concerning when young
athletes are overweight but do not continue
athletics into adulthood, and are thus
prone to problems associated with elevated
weight, which tend to worsen as activity
levels decline.
– Medical News Today (6-13-07)
Organizations Take
Measures to Prevent Poor
Behavior by Coaches
It’s a familiar scene: A coach or manager
gets ejected for disputing a call. Ten come
the endlessly replayed dirt-kicking, base-
tossing theatrics that make him an overnight
celebrity. What’s worse, youth sports
experts say, is that a disturbing number of
youth coaches are modeling their behavior
afer these and other displays. To combat
inappropriate behavior, organizations
in Maryland and across the country are
educating players, parents and coaches, and
requiring that coaches be certifed.
Te vast majority of youth coaches
are volunteers, and that while most do a
commendable job, all could beneft from
more education about coaching methods
and the intricacies of the game.
– Baltimore Sun (7-5-07)
City Expanding Tackle
Football Program to
Fourth Graders
An $11,900 grant from the National
Recreation and Park Association and USA
Football allowed the city of Fort Collins to
expand its Junior All-American tackle to
fourth-graders this fall.
Ben Stratton, the city’s youth football
coordinator, said the grant allowed the city to
purchase helmets, shoulder
pads, football pants with pads
and jerseys to outft up to 200
fourth-graders. Te equipment
costs about $100 per child,
Stratton said, noting that the city will have
tackle football gear to accommodate up to 1,000
fourth-, ffh- and sixth-graders this fall.
– Coloradoan (7-12-07)
7-on-7 Football Becomes
More Than a Passing
Fancy in High School
Seven-on-seven passing leagues are putting
players back on felds in June and
July rather than August. High
school coaches, in many states,
are overseeing the teams. National
tournaments are being held with a
competitive qualifying process. Te National
Federation of State High School Associations
regards the leagues as practice only.
In a 50-state survey, USA TODAY found
42 states and the District of Columbia have
high schools that play 7-on-7 football during
the summer.
– USA Today (7-18-07)
Gillette Stadium to
Host High School
Championships
Gillette Stadium will host six of the
Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic
Association’s seven annual high school
Super Bowls. Te
Patriots will host
the games rent-
free and will cover
costs for the day.
Te games will be played on December 1
this year.
MIAA Deputy Director Bill Gaine said
that the group’s research found “at least fve”
states hold playof games at NFL stadiums.
– Boston Globe (8-9-07)
4 USA Football Magazine
Playoffs
Travel
Lodging
Meals
Entertainment
Official Fundraising
Partner of
Rich Kane/icon SMi
6 USA Football Magazine
S
even years ago, Greg Schiano came to Rutgers
University with a vision: Transforming Rutgers into
one of college football’s strongest programs on and
of the feld. At his introductory press conference, Schiano
said, “We’re going to win at Rutgers and we’re going to do
it the right way.” Te right way worked. Schiano and the
Scarlet Knights became one of the surprise teams of 2006,
fnishing 11-2 and defeating Kansas State in the Texas
Bowl, Rutger’s frst bowl victory in school history.
As the coach responsible for one of the biggest
turnarounds in NCAA football history, Schiano was
named 2006 National Coach of the Year and Big East
Coach of the Year.
Improving the Scarlet Knights win-loss record was
not Schiano’s only accomplishment at Rutgers. His
dedication and respect for the game and his players, and
responsibility to his community earned him the frst-
ever Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year honor. With the
safety of children on his mind, Schiano donated $100,000
to charities – half to National Center for Missing and
Exploited Children and half to Athletes in Action.
Prior to the season, Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year
spokesman and ABC/ESPN college football analyst Kirk
Herbstreit sat down with Schiano to discuss coaching
responsibly (To learn more about how you can be
recognized as a “Responsible Coach” check out page 9).
Herbstreit: How do you create a climate at Rutgers
where players aren’t afraid and aren’t looking over their
shoulder every time they make a mistake?
Schiano: I think it’s our older players passing it down. Our
older players talk to our younger players about just letting
it fy. All preparation is done in practice and in the meeting
room. But when you get out there in the game, just let it fy.
Herbstreit: Here’s a tough one for you: An ofcial
makes a questionable call. Your players look up to you as
a leader and other youngsters in the community look up
to you as the foundation of this program. How do you
CoaChi ng
Responsibly
Rutgers coach greg schiano ofers tips on leading
players of all ages in a responsible manner
(L) ABC/ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit, (C) Rutgers
University head coach Greg Schiano and (R) Chairman, President
and Chief Executive Offcer of Liberty Mutual, Ted Kelly.
7
maintain your cool enough to realize you can’t cross the
line even though this guy just made a mistake?
Schiano: I think there are some Big East ofcials who
will read this and laugh. But as I’ve done it longer, I’ve
fgured out that all eyes are on me. First of all, it’s a person
that you’re yelling at, so look at it in that light. And you’re
supposed to be setting an example. If I do it now, it is
controlled and for a reason. I couldn’t say that my frst
couple of years as a head coach. I was too emotional, just
got too into the game to the point that I wasn’t thinking. I
think you’ve always got to be thinking as a head coach.
Herbstreit: Competition makes sports great and
individuals better. How do you get your players to
compete, but not to the point where they forget that this
is a team sport?
Schiano: Tat’s tricky. I think it all stems back to the
relationships you build in your program, the accountability
you have in one another and believing that the program is
frst. When you coach in the NFL, you don’t see that because
it’s a business. And let’s face facts, so is college football. But
it is neat to see 18-22 year-old kids helping one another even
though they’re going out and trying to win the same jobs.
Herbstreit: How do you try to prepare your players to
be better citizens when their playing days are over?
Schiano: We try to give them opportunities to get
involved in the community. Inevitably I get e-mails,
letters and pictures from the community and I always
try to praise that model. I’m always going to stand up
in front of the team and tell them, “I got this note guys,
I’m really proud of you, great job.” You’re learning how
to help other people and I think that our kids now do a
really good job.
Herbstreit: When young players are facing their frst
big game, is there anything that can help them cope with
their emotions prior to going onto the feld?
Schiano: I’m a big believer of staying in the moment.
When players buy into the buildup and hype of a big
game, they come out and fnd the game speeding by
them. Tey’re living in the last play. Tey’re worried
about the next play. Tey can’t stay in the moment. I
tell them to stay in the moment, relax and have fun.
We train year round to have 12 opportunities to play so
when I talk to the team, I say, “All that hard work is so
that you can have fun on twelve Saturdays.”
coaching Responsibly
Responsible coaching Tips
from CoaCh GreG SChiano
Keep your head – As a head coach, all eyes are on you. You’re supposed to
be setting the example. I think you’ve always got to be thinking as a head coach.
Stay in the moment – Teach your team to stay in the moment,
especially during big games. Remind your players that they’ve worked really
hard in practice, so games are to be enjoyed. Tell them to relax and have fun.
Treat ofcials with respect – It’s a person that you’re yelling at. I couldn’t say that my frst couple of
years as a head coach. I was too emotional and just got too into the game to the point that I wasn’t thinking.
Build relationships – Everything stems back to the relationships you build in your program, the
accountability you have in one another and that the program is frst. I think there is a diference between
a program and a team. When you have a program, they know the program comes frst.
c
f
d
e
8 USA Football Magazine
Tis season USA Football is teaming up with Liberty
Mutual Insurance Company to launch Responsible
Sports™ - a program dedicated to championing and
celebrating youth coaches around the country.
As part of the program, Liberty Mutual
announced the “Responsible Coaching Awards”
which recognizes youth football coaches
demonstrating responsibility, integrity and excellence
both on and of the feld. Responsible coaches from each
state and the District of Columbia will be honored for
their volunteerism, dedication and responsibility to the
game through the “Responsible Sports” program.
League administrators, coaches and parents are
encouraged to nominate “Responsible Coaches” in their
communities. Each state winner will receive a $500
cash donation for their organization, as well as special
recognition at www.responsiblesports.com and www.
USAFootball.com.
“We are excited to partner with Liberty Mutual on
the ‘Responsible Sports’ program because it fts directly
into USA Football’s core values,” said Scott Hallenbeck,
Executive Director of USA Football. “Trough our online
coaching education programs and coaching schools
across the country, we’re helping teach the football
fundamentals, as well as creating a
positive and fun environment
for youngsters.”
Anyone involved with
youth football – coaches,
parents, ofcials and volunteers
– are encouraged to visit
www.responsiblesports.com,
where they will fnd coaching
resources, helpful tips for
parents, advice from experts,
and community spaces to share
ideas and thoughts. Coaches and parents can
both take a short online tutorial to become
recognized as a “Responsible Coach” or
“Responsible Sports Parent.”
In addition, Liberty Mutual is awarding
“Responsible Sports Community Sports
Grants” to 20 communities nationwide.
Organizations directing the most coaches
and parents through the Liberty Mutual
Responsible Coaching or Responsible Sport
Parenting online course will win a $2,500
grant to help defray the cost of coaching
education, new equipment and feld maintenance.
“USA Football has taken a leadership role in creating
an environment in which athletes can compete and
grow into responsible young adults, and one that fosters
mutual respect among players, coaches and parents,”
said Greg Gordon, Vice President of Consumer Markets
at Liberty Mutual. “With their direction and guidance,
our “Responsible Sports” program can efectively deliver
support and resources to community-based football
programs nationwide.”.
To help your organization qualify for a “Community
Sports Grant” or to nominate a “Responsible Coach” in
your area, log on to www.responsiblesports.com.
USA Football Teams with Liberty Mutual
for Responsible Coach & Parent Program
By NathaN Boudreaux
Nom
iNate a
CoaCh today
at
www.responsiblesports.com
9
Team USA Wins Gold at
World Championship
From USA FootbAll StAFF reportS
Tis summer, the United States’
Senior National Team, managed by
USA Football, defeated Japan, 23-20, in
double-overtime to win the gold medal
in the 2007 International Federation
of American Football (IFAF) World
Championship in Kawasaki, Japan.
Team USA, which defeated Korea
(77-0) and Germany (33-7) in pool play
to advance to the gold medal game
against Japan, participated in the six-
team tournament for the frst time.
Japan won each of the previous two
tournaments in 1999 and 2003.
Led by veteran NFL and college
head coach John Mackovic, Team USA
took a total of 45 players on the 28-day
trip which included 15 days of training
camp on the campus of San Jose State
University. Te 45 players on the Team
USA roster were all recent graduates and
were nominated by their collegiate head
coaches. Te team represented every
level of college football ranging from
NCAA Division I to NAIA players.
“In looking back with what
happened from the formation of our
team, our practices, and our training
camp and the World Cup
play, I don’t know if there
is anything that I would
really say we would
change,” Mackovic said
about his experience as
Team USA’s head coach.
“Te players did a great job in coming
through and our coaches did a great job
as well. I think they all deserve a lot of
recognition for what they were able to
do in such a short period of time.”
Team USA placed 13 players on
the All-Tournament team, including
tournament MVP running back Kyle
Kasperbauer of Nebraska-Omaha.
In addition to the Senior National
Team’s appearance in the World
Championship of American Football
every four years, USA Football also
plans to add an Under-19 Junior
National Team made up of select
high school players to participate in
international competition beginning
in 2009.
For the latest information about USA
Football’s National Teams, log on to
www.USAFootball.com.
photos courtesy of usa football
Kyle Kasperbauer
Team USA All-Star RB
10 USA Football Magazine
team USa player Spotlight
Craig Coffin
Position: Kicker
school: Southern Illinois University
Major: Recreation
Future Plans: To keep trying to play
football, but if not, get a job at a golf resort.
“Playing for Team USA was a very
rewarding and fun experience that I will
never forget. Winning was very important to me, but the memories and
the friendships that I made is what I will take away from this opportunity.”
adam austin
Position: Quarterback
school: University of Arizona
Major: Interdisciplinary Studies
Future Plans: Possibly keep playing
football, but if not, I plan to get into
coaching.
“Putting on that jersey was a great
privilege. I don’t think a better team could have been put together to
really represent our country and the sport we created. Representing
our country and our game was an amazing feeling.”
dan adams
Position: Linebacker
school: College of the Holy Cross
Major: History
Future Plans: Currently working
for Sun Life Financial in Boston as an
employee benefts group representative.
“I am very thankful for the
opportunity to play for Team USA. It was the most rewarding and
exciting experience of my playing career. Te coaching staf was
great and the team meshed together very well despite the little time
in training camp. It was a great way to end my career and something
that I will always remember.”
dustin dlouhy
Position: Defensive End
school: University of Montana
Major: Finance
Future Plans: Ofered a chance to
play football in France but decided to
take a job with Corporate Pita Pit USA,
in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho.
“At this age in my life, I would have to say playing for Team USA
was one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had. Tere is
no doubt in my mind that our ability to bond as a team, as Americans,
was the sole reason we were able to win the World Championship.”
2007 ifaf World
Championship
tournament results
Pool Play
Japan 48, France 0
Germany 32, Korea 2
Sweden 16, France 14
USA 77, Korea 0
Japan 48, Sweden 0
USA 33, Germany 7
Medal GaMes
5th Place Game: Korea 3, France 0
3rd Place Game: Germany 7, Sweden 0
Gold Medal Game: USA 23, Japan 20
(2OT)
2007 World
Championship of
ameriCan football
all-star team
offense
QB Yuichi Tomizawa, Japan
RB Kyle Kasperbauer, USA
FB Cody Childs, USA
WR Marc Soumah, France
WR Shoei Hasegawa, Japan
TE Brian Tompson, USA
OT Brad Poston, USA
OT Haruhisa Hiramoto, Japan
C Kris King, USA
OG Shawn Robinson, USA
OG Ken Izawa, Japan
defense
DE Dustin Dlouhy, USA
DE Jeremy Van Alstyne, USA
DT Yasuo Wakisaka, Japan
DT Takayuki Yoneda, Japan
LB Demetrius Eaton, USA
LB Ola Rugeland, Sweden
LB Kentaro Azuma, Japan
CB Rob Rodriquez, USA
CB Matthias Weil, Germany
S Kenny Chicoine, USA
S Oliver Flemming, Germany
sPecialists
PR/KR Bobby Awery, USA
K Craig Cofn, USA
in july, usa
Football brought
together a group of
45 young men to
don the team usa
jersey and compete
in the World
championship of
american Football.
the players came
from every corner
of the united
states – from small
schools like Mary
hardin-Baylor
(ncaa Division
iii) to national
powerhouses like
the university of
Michigan.
regardless of
where they played
college football,
the group knew
they had to become
a team quickly.
after two weeks of
training camp on the
campus of san jose
state university,
the team boarded
a fight for japan to
represent the united
states in the World
championships of
american Football for
the frst time ever.
team usa
captured the gold
medal by winning
three games in
six days, but the
lessoned learned by
these athletes on
their journey across
the globe went far
beyond the football
feld.
11
Name: Calvin Johnson
Height: 6-5 Weight: 235 Position: Wide Receiver
Birthdate: Sept. 5, 1985
Hometown: Tyrone, Ga.
Professional: Detroit Lions
Selected by the Lions as the No. 2 overall
pick in the 2007 NFL Draft
College: Georgia Tech
Two-time All-America who claimed the 2006
Biletnikoff Award (nation's top receiver) and
2006 ACC Conference Player of the Year. He
was named first team All-ACC three-straight
years (2004-06)
High School: Sandy Creek (Ga.) High School
First Team All-State selection and was
ranked among the top 100 prep players in the country
by numerous magazines and recruiting websites
D
etroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson is playing his
frst season in the NFL afer a stellar career at Georgia
Tech, where he set numerous school records and was
recognized as the 2006 Biletnikof Award winner as the best
collegiate receiver in the country. Johnson, the No. 2 overall
selection in the 2007 NFL Draf, spent a few minutes with USA
Football prior to the start of the season.
USA FootbAll: How has your NFL experience been so far?
CAlvin JohnSon: Te biggest thing is just adjusting to the
playbook and everything. As far as the system part of it, conditioning,
and getting adapted, I’m good. I’m just learning the playbook.
USA FootbAll: How old were you when you frst started
playing football?
CAlvin JohnSon: I was in the seventh grade – 13, I think.
USA FootbAll: What was the name of your frst team?
CAlvin JohnSon: It was the Flat Rock Middle School Eagles
back in my hometown of Fayetteville, Ga.
USA FootbAll: When you frst started playing what position
did you play?
CAlvin JohnSon: Actually, I was a cornerback and running
back.
USA FootbAll: Where their any coaches that you had that
really made an impression on you?
CAlvin JohnSon: All my coaches have really had a big impact
on me. My middle school coaches taught me a lot of stuf about the
game of football. From high school to college and now in the NFL,
every coach has had an impact on me – all of them have really done
tremendous things for me.
USA FootbAll: Did you play any other sports growing up?
CAlvin JohnSon: I played football, basketball and baseball. I
pretty much did everything when I was younger.
USA FootbAll: What lessons has football taught you?
CAlvin JohnSon: I learned to work hard at an early age and
that’s carried me to where I am today.
Icon SMI
12 USA Football Magazine
USA FootbAll: What advice would you give to a youth or high
school football player?
CAlvin JohnSon: Number one, you must have good grades,
especially if you want to play in college. You have to have good
grades along with the talent.
USA FootbAll: As a professional athlete how have you handled
being a role model for kids?
CAlvin JohnSon: I like having that responsibility. It’s not just young
people but adults as well. Tey really look up to you. I just try to go out
there and conduct myself in a positive and professional manner.
AP
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[ ]
Practice Planning
Makes Perfect
Practice planners get the most out of your team’s preparation
By Tim Polzer
Prior proper planning prevents poor performance. It’s an important tongue
twister that’s simple to remember, but not always easy to execute. Providing
your team the optimum in coaching is an ever-changing process that calls for
organization on the practice feld. But running a tight, efcient practice is easier
said than done.
One of the most efective – yet least understood – coaching tools is a practice
planner. A simple piece of paper can be the foundation for running your players
through a quality, organized practice. It should
be your guide from start to fnish, scheduling
time periods for everything from stretching to
scrimmaging and conditioning.
“A practice plan is as important to coaching
football, as footballs, helmets and shoulder
pads. Tere’s a reason why football has so
many practices in ratio to the number of games
played. Tere is so much to cover and work on
in preparation for the start of a season and each
game,” says Larry Canard, Youth Football Coordinator
for USA Football and long-time youth football coach.
“Without an organized plan, a coach is lef with the
option of ‘winging it’ and this will not maximize the
practice time he has, and raises the risk of sending kids
out to play a game that they are not prepared for.”
Many coaches at all levels of football have realized the benefts of using a practice
planner. In memorializing the late Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh, Baltimore
Ravens coach Brian Billick mentioned his use of Walsh’s practice planners as one of the
keys to his success. Tose practice plans helped Billick and Walsh earn four Super Bowl
rings between them.
Coaching responsibilities
When creating your practice planner, don’t forget to designate responsibilities for
your assistant coaches. Assign each coach a drill or task during each segment of your
practice so that your staf is utilized to its utmost efciency.
Once you have completed your practice planner, allow enough time and enough
copies for your staf to learn their responsibilities. Don’t waste valuable team time
huddling over a practice planner while your players wait for instructions.
“Come to practice with plans and goals,” says Josh Jones, coach of the Falcons, 13-
year-olds in the Knox Metro League of Knoxville, Tenn. “I see coaches trying to decide
what to do next in the middle of practice.
Tey’ll waste 5-10 minutes between drills
thinking of new ones. ”
age groups
Coaches of entry-level age groups
should not look at practice planners as
a tool for more accomplished players.
Te need to devote more time teaching
beginner fundamentals makes a planned
practice even more vital for younger age
groups.
“I have used practice planners at
every level of play. That includes 7-8
year-old ‘ankle biters’ on up to high
school varsity players,” Canard says.
“The surprising thing to most people is
that practice plans are essentially the
same. They all have a f low and routine
to them. The tempo of practice may
change a bit with older kids, but the
A sample practice
planner might include the
following segments:
• Warm-upandstretching
• Introductionofnew
offensive plays
and defensive
assignments
• Individualtechniques
• Specialteams
• Group/Positionwork
• Fullteamwork
• Conditioningand
cool down
14 USAFootballMagazine
basic fundamentals taught, and the drills
are pretty much the same.”
Watch Your Tempo
Tempo is important key to consider
when designing your practice planner. Be
sure to allow enough time for teaching
fundamentals and scripting plays, while
maintaining a good pace that won’t test your
players’ attention spans.
“Te key to a great practice plan is
to keep things on a tight schedule. Even
schedule out water breaks,” Canard says.
“Spending too much time on one thing will
lead to boredom and diminishing return.”
Once you’ve mastered your frst practice
planner, don’t put your team on cruise control.
Your practice planner should evolve along with
your team. Alabama coach Nick Saban, who won
a national championship at LSU, said he takes
“14 or 15” practices to install a regular plan.
Picking up the pace in practice can
get your players better used to game-day
conditions when you and your coaching staf
won’t have time to explain between plays.
Evaluating Your Plan
And as coaches look ahead to the next
opponent, be sure to review your practice
planner. Like any game plan, your team’s
preparation will change along with its success
and challenges. Many coaches begin planning
their next practice soon afer their last game.
“Te best time to evaluate a practice plan
is afer the game,” Canard says. “Did you
accomplish what you worked on all week?
Are there things you need to spend more
time on in the coming week?”
Te answers to these questions can plan
out a great week of practice and perhaps
your team’s next victory.
USA Football provides an excellent
practice planner template for all age and skill
levels. Check out coaching membership at
www.USAFootball.com.
When designing your team’s practice
planner, consider the following questions:
• Whatareyougoingtocoverthatday?
• Howmuchtimeshouldyouallocateto
eachpracticesegment?
• Whatmethodsordrillsoryougoingto
useinyourinstruction?
15
Quinton Askew
What do you enjoy about coaching youth football? I enjoy working
with the youth in Baltimore and teaching them the skills to be a good football player
and the life lessons to be a productive member of society.
What is your most cherished youth football memory? When
I coached the 7-9 year
old players and had a
team — with 50 percent
of the players who had
no football knowledge
— go undefeated and
no ofensive points were
scored on us the whole
season. Tey were even
teaching other teams’
players how to line up and
block during the games.
Why did you get
involved With youth
football? Football saved my life as a youth and taught me lessons of respect,
teamwork, sacrifce and commitment that have carried on with me. My football
coaches were mentors to me when I had very few male role models in my life. I have
a passion for working with youth and feel it is my duty to be a positive mentor for our
youth and give back what was given to me.
do you use any coaching philosophy? My philosophy is academics
before athletics and teamwork. All my players and parents know that school work
is a priority in our youth football organization and being involved in athletics is a
privilege. We focus on teamwork because I feel an organized and well-taught team can
be successful against the most athletic teams anytime.
is there something unique about you that you’re coaching
peers and players don’t knoW? I was the Scholar Athlete recipient of my
graduating class.
Why did you Want to become a member of usa football? When I
logged onto USAFootball.com looking for more football knowledge, I was surprised by
the detailed content and abundance of information it had for youth football coaches.
Tere are not a lot of sites that dedicate most of its information to youth coaches along
with guides to help with enhancing your organization.
What benefits have you
already taken from usa
football’s membership program?
Te benefts I’ve taken have been increased
football knowledge and outstanding
organizational management tools. Te
practice planner has been key to keeping
our teams organized, and the drills library
is a good teaching tool for our beginning
coaches and interested parents.
Would you encourage other
coaches/administrators to join
usa football? if so, Why? Yes.
I would encourage every youth football
coach, administrator, board member
and parent to become a member of USA
Football if they have a vision to enhance
their youth organization, help their
coaches become better and increase overall
productivity from the persons who are
involved with their program.
coaching MeMbership profile:
Usa football MeMber since: JUly 2007
resiDes: baltiMore, MD.
USA Football Coaching
Membership
members of usa football receive a
number of innovative products geared
exclusively for coaches.
• Online coaching course
• Online practice planner
• Online interactive playbook
• Online drills library
• USA Football membership card
• Pro Football Hall of Fame pass
• USA Football magazine subscription
• Access to “Ask the Expert”
to join, log on to www.usafootball.com
16 USA Football Magazine
Clayt Birmingham
TEAM: University of Wisconsin-Stout
LocATion: Menomonie, Wis.
yEArs coAching: 11
WhAT do you Enjoy MosT AbouT
coAching fooTbALL?
Teaching the
student-athletes
about life through
the sport of
football.
do you hAvE
A spEcific
coAching
phiLosophy?
Treat others the way you want to be
treated.
WhAT WAs ThE ExpEriEncE LikE
bEing A pArT of ThE TEAM usA
coAching sTAff?
It was one of the best experiences
in my life. Great experiences come
when you are around great people. I
got the opportunity to work with and
learn from some great coaches and
players. USA Football and Coach (John)
Mackovic put together a training camp
and trip that was frst class.
do you hAvE Any AdvicE for
youTh fooTbALL coAchEs?
Wins and losses aren’t important. Be
a great teacher, coach with energy, and
make this great sport fun for kids.
WhAT do you Enjoy MosT AbouT
coAching youTh fooTbALL?
I take pride when I see the development
of young athletes. Teir facial expression
when they fnally get it gives me such pride to
know they have learned something.
do you usE Any coAching
phiLosophiEs?
My high school coaches inspired me to be
a coach and I have adopted their philosophies.
My coach, Gordon Weisenburger, once said
to my fellow teammates and me, “Take care
of yourself and the team will take care of
itself.” Tis philosophy has been in my mind
ever since.
Why did you WAnT To bEcoME A
MEMbEr of usA fooTbALL?
I wanted to learn more about the coaching
aspect and found USA Football to be very
helpful, and it has become my No. 1 coaching
resource.
WhAT bEnEfiTs hAvE you ALrEAdy
TAkEn froM usA fooTbALL’s
MEMbErship progrAM?
Te practice planner blows my mind
away. It makes it so easy for me to get
organized and my practices have become
more productive and fun. Te drills section
has become my bible in football coaching.
WhAT do you Enjoy AbouT coAching
youTh/high schooL fooTbALL?
I think to just have the opportunity to
make a living being around the game of
football is a gif from God. Everyone who
ever played the game knows how special
their senior year in high school was. I tell my
assistant coaches, “We get to have our senior
year over again every year!”

Why did you gET invoLvEd WiTh
youTh/high schooL fooTbALL?
As long as I can remember, football was
the motivating force in my life. I always put
my coaches on a pedestal, next to my father,
and they were the most infuential men in
my life. I wanted to take on that role.
do you usE Any coAching phiLosophy?
Use the game of football to build a better
young man.
WhAT AdvicE WouLd you givE To A
firsT-TiME youTh fooTbALL coAch?
Understand the big picture and make
the game fun. Football is a tremendous
tool to teach life skills. Sometimes we as
coaches become blinded by pushing kids to
win. Football is not just about winning. It is
bigger than that. When the game becomes a
burden and not fun, kids quit. As coaches,
we need to prevent this.
Kevin Kush
TEAM: Boy’s Town High School
LocATion: Boy’s Town, Neb.
yEArs coAching: 20
manuel gomez
TEAM: 9
th
and 10
th
Grade Team
LocATion: Los Angeles, Calif.
yEArs coAching: 19
17
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For the Mid-State (Tenn.) Youth Football League, fundraising comes by way of a fried
flet of whiting, a touch of hot sauce, a couple slices of white bread, some onion, and a warm
thank you.
Over the years, the sandwich, rooted in Southern cuisine, has become a stable at
concessions stands for the youth
football program that serves
more than 5,000 boys and girls
throughout Nashville and central
Tennessee.
“One of the keys to success for
any concession stand is identifying
a specialty item that people
look forward to and can only
get at your concession stands,”
says Mid-State Youth Football
League president Ron Word. “Te
specialty item for us it our fried
fsh sandwich. People throughout
the area, who don’t have any
youngsters playing youth football,
show up at our concession stands
for the sandwich – it’s been a great
money maker for us.”
With more and more children
playing youth football, league
presidents and administrators, like
Word, are continuously exploring
and fnding new funding
opportunities to keep up with the
growing demand and costs of shoulder pads, helmets and other protective equipment. One
constant, however, has been the concession stand.
According to Jef Callahan, a board member of the Junior Football League of Central
Illinois, a properly managed concession stand can supply funding for an assortment of
operating costs from equipment purchasing to the post-season banquet.
“Our concession funds help cover additional equipment costs and give us fexibility
in our budget management to prepare for future growth,” says Callahan, the club
commissioner of the McLean (Ill.) Cougars and a 22-year veteran of youth sports.
Vienna (Va.) Youth Football
commissioner Al Hirsch echoes
Callahan, stating, “Te funds we raise
through concession stand sales has
allowed us to keep pace with our growing
population, while also giving us the
ability to purchase new equipment (such
as video cameras, step over bags and
dummies) for our coaches.”
Successful concession stand
operations, however, is one of the most
challenging tasks for a youth football
program.
“Obviously funds derived from
concession sales are very important
for youth football organizations,”
says Word, who has been involved
with youth football for more than
two decades. “For a great number of
organizations [concession stands]
are the principle fundraiser. Most
organizations have other fundraising
such as selling [candy], but those are
one-time situations that don’t add
income consistently. Tat’s why a good
concession operation is extremely
important. It is, however, a challenging
task and should be a priority of the
youth program.”
When arranging your concession
stand operations and other fundraising
plans, remember an organized, simple,
yet efective, approach is the best way
to develop a strong bond between your
community and youth football league.
Basic steps of a successful
concession stand include:
Budget goals and predictable fundraising results are critical to your
league’s health By Ed Passino
Concession Stand
Success
18 USA Football Magazine
Appoint a Concession Stand
Manager
“Establishing a concession manager
should be a top priority during the of-
season,” Word says. “Tis is a 12-month job,
it’s a not a position that a person takes just
before the start of the season. Tis should
be a permanent position within your league.
Tis person is responsible for the overall
operations of the concession stand. You need
someone who is capable, dependable, and
knowledgeable.”
Responsibilities for this person include
working with the director of football
operations or event manager for your youth
football program. Additionally, this person
appoints one representative (typically the
team mom) from each team to schedule duty
for the concession stand.
“It’s important that everyone associated
with your program – coaches, parents,
volunteer staf – knows how valuable the
concession stand is to the youth program
and therefore does their part in volunteering
time. In our program every team is
responsible for supplying volunteers to assist
throughout the day,” Word says.
Specialty Food
It is important that the youth football
program connect with the local community
and families of their players and cheerleaders.
One way to do this while adding sales to your
concession stand is by selling a specialty item
that the community enjoys.
For Mid-State Youth Football it is a fried
fsh sandwich. An Italian sandwich loaded
with Italian cold cuts, such as, salami,
pepperoni and ham, is the specialty food
item for the McLean (Ill.) Cougars of the
Junior Football League of Central Illinois.
Hotdogs prepared by a local establishment,
the Vienna Inn, is top seller for Vienna (Va.)
Youth Football.
“Our approach it to always keep it
simple,” says Callahan. “We have had
success selling Italian sandwiches made by
a local restaurant. People who attend our
games look forward to those sandwiches.”
Word acknowledges, “We do something
that you don’t fnd at a typical concession
stand. People look forward to coming to our
concessions stand because they know there
are going to be some things there that are
unavailable elsewhere. We have people from all
over town showing up at our concession stand
for the fsh sandwich – ofen times they stay
to watch the games – this defnitely helps add
value to your program and your bottom line.”
Consistent Menu
While developing a specialty food
item may be a bit of a challenge initially,
having a consistent menu should not be a
problem. Establishing a consistent menu
and purchasing the appropriate amount
of menu items is typically the job of the
concession stand manager. Common steps
to ensure consistency include: analyzing
what sold well last season, keeping a tally
of non-perishable items that can be bought
and stored throughout the of-season, and
constructing a weekly concession stand food
purchasing list.
“A consistent menu is key for success
– it should be a process that is planned
out throughout the of-season and
consistently updated during the season by
the concession manager,” says Hirsch, who
views the concession stands operations as
part of the overall youth football experience
for youngsters, family members, coaches
and volunteers.
Check with local health
department offcials
Anytime there is food involved it is
important to consult with local county
health department ofcials. In most cases,
each concession stand must have a person
in charge (concession stand manager) that
has attended a Food Safety Workshop
recognized by the Health Department.
Additionally, the local health department
will have operating guidelines for
concessions stands. In most counties there
is no charge for the Food Safety Workshop.
It is advised that both the concession stand
manager and the league’s director of football
operations or commissioner attend the
workshop as one person who has attended
the workshop must be present at all times
during concession operations.
Thank your volunteers
and customers
It is important that the concession stand
manager thank all volunteers for their
assistance in providing a great environment
for all associated with the youth football
program – parents, players, coaches,
administrators, and volunteers. Additionally,
customers should be thanked for their
contribution to the program. Decorating
your concession stand with league and team
colors, logos, photos, and sponsorship groups
helps parents and community members feel
they are part of something special. In return,
they are more apt to give back by volunteering
or assisting in other activities that beneft
the program. Tis sense of belonging creates
a positive environment which makes each
Saturday feel like a festival.
“We do this for the kids; and [the concession
stand is] part of the youth football experience
the kids have,” says Hirsch. “When our kids
aren’t involved with their games they hang out
at the snack bar, play, socialize and watch the
other games. So, the concession stand is part
of the overall atmosphere of the event. Leagues
should take advantage of this environment by
centering their football events and festivals near
the snack bar.”
Keys to Winning
ConCessions
• Suffcient volunteer staff
• A responsible concession stand
manager
• Proper Health Department paper work
• Adequate facility
• Friendly service
• Properly cooked food
• Consistent food and price menu
• Reasonable pricing
19
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Communication is the Key
Sharpening communication skills aids interaction with coaches, players and fans
By Bill leMonnier
Sports ofcials at all levels need to be profcient with the rules of the game, proper
mechanics, and judgment calls. Local associations devote most of their annual meeting
time to these areas. Little time, if any is spent on our people-skills of communicating
with coaches, players, and fans. Successful ofcials know the importance of these
skills and realize they make the diference between a really good ofcial and an
outstanding ofcial. Let’s take a look at some communication skills that can make you
an outstanding ofcial.
signals and announcements
Whether the game is televised or played on some remote part of the planet, ofcials
are critiqued and judged by their appearance. It is imperative that ofcials look
professional when walking on the feld. Tey must carry themselves with confdence
especially when the game is on the line and the “big call” needs to be made. Right or
wrong, the referee sets the tone for how a crew is viewed. Signals need to be crisp and
clear. Announcements need to fow and be informative, especially on unusual play
situations. Lazy signals and stuttering
announcements leave the coaches, players,
and fans wondering if you even care to be
there or if your crew has ever done this
before. Signals and announcements are
like being a salesman. If you want fans
to buy into your profciency, give them a
product they have confdence in.
interaction with Coaches
It takes a lot more skill not to argue
with an irate coach than to fre back at
him. Work to difuse situations rather
than pouring gas on a lit match. Conficts
are not arguments. Your job is to resolve
Communication skills can prevent
misunderstandings between offcials,
coaches and fans.
20 USA Football Magazine
them before they escalate into no-win
situations. Remain objective. Your goal
isn’t to win the argument. You may be
wrong. Have some empathy rather than
take it personal. Let the coach talk without
interrupting and expect the same courtesy
in return. Remain calm, decisive and
assertive. Te coach just wants to be heard,
so hear him out. He’s not interested in what
you say even when you’re right. Disarm the
coach and get the game going!
Interaction with Players
Verbal communication with players
is critical throughout the game. It’s this
simple: treat the players with respect and
you’ll get respect back ten-fold, especially
when things get tense between opposing
teams or with your crewmates. Whether
the players are 12 or 22 years old, they like
afrmation and being treated like they’re
important. Invest a little time in this and
reap huge dividends.
Interaction with Fans
Probably the most difficult sales
job in the world is dealing with fans.
It’s easy to say ignore the boos, name
calling, and insults, but if you think
you’ ll work this game and not have it
happen, then you’re kidding yourself.
Don’t ever get into a debate or lecture
with a fan. If they’re distracting you from
officiating, use game management to take
care of the situation. Once you negatively
interacted with a fan, you’ ll incite the rest
of the crowd to join in. This eruption will
make the first one seem like child’s play.
Don’t think you can win a debate with
the fans.
Verbal communication with players should be helpful and respectful.
21
What do you enjoy most about officiating youth and high
school football?
I enjoy youth
football for the
teaching aspect,
and high school
because of the
purity of the
game.
What
position do
you Work?
I have
worked all
positions in
the past like
most everyone,
but I’ve been a
referee for the
last nine years.
What is your most cherished moment in officiating football?
I like to think I haven’t had my most cherished moment yet.
Why did you get involved With football officiating?
I got involved because of my love for the game.
hoW long have you been officiating?
I started ofciating youth football 30 years ago because a friend invited me. I’ve been
working high school ball for 26 years. I also referee men’s semi-pro football and
women’s full-contact (IWFL), as well as small college.
do you officiate any other sports?
I work fast pitch sofball at the college level, as well as high school.
Why did you Want to be a member of usa football?
I will be a part of any organization that will make me a better ofcial.
David Price
Officiating MeMbership prOfile:
Usa fOOtball MeMber since: JUne 2007
resiDes: fOrt pierce, alaska
OccUpatiOn: painting cOntractOr
USA Football Offciating
Membership
the usa football offciating program
has been endorsed by nearly every level
of football offciating from state and local
offcials associations to the collegiate
and professional ranks. as a member of
usa football, offcials will fnd valuable
tools needed for career development and
advancement. an annual membership to
usa football includes:
• Access to USA Football Weekly Quizzes
• Access to Ask the Expert online feature
• Online Offciating Course
• Online Rules & Interpretation
video library
• USA Football Membership Card
• Pro Football Hall of Fame pass
• $10 Honig’s Whistle Stop gift card
• 10% Honig’s Whistle Stop discount
• USA Football game cards
• USA Football bullet pencil
to join, log on to www.usafootball.com
What benefits of the usa
football officiating program
have helped you the most?
I like the online course and education
programs. I would recommend USA
Football to rookies and old veterans alike
because of the education and review
programs.
22 USA Football Magazine
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CALL 800-243-0398 TO REQUEST A GILMAN GEAR 2006-2007 CATALOG.
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Mech 3346 USA Football Ad 8/10/06 7:52 PM Page 1
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All-Weather
Hydration Safety
Photos by Cynthia hobgood
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By now, the heat associated with early season practices is
a distant memory for most of us across the nation. The cooler
temperatures and lower humidity of fall is often welcome relief
for athletes of all ages. However, some parts of the country
continue to see high temperatures well into October, while
others find themselves playing in 80-degree temperatures
one day and 50-degree temperatures the next. The transition
between the summer and fall seasons, while generally a
welcomed change, can bring on some additional concerns for
youth coaches and parents.
From an injury prevention standpoint, one of the primary
focuses during preseason football is hydration. So many of you
remind your players to drink lots of water and sports drinks to
stay hydrated. More and more coaches diligently monitor their
players for signs and symptoms of dehydration and take quick
action when a player seems to be in trouble. All of these steps
are critical during the hottest times of the year, but don’t relax
too much once it begins to cool off.
Maintaining hydration is important regardless of the
season. Your players are working hard and exercising at a
Proper hydration is important no matter the temperature
By John Reynolds
24 USA Football Magazine
high intensity regardless of the temperature. Stay
vigilant; keep an eye on your players for signs of
dehydration throughout your season and don’t
forget to remind them that staying hydrated is
essential in each and every athletic endeavor.
The change in temperature also necessitates
a change in something else: clothing. As the
temperature drops throughout the fall, it’s time
to break out the long sleeves, pants and in some
cases hats and gloves. Encourage your players to
dress appropriately for the weather. If they are
warm and comfortable, chances are good they will
have more fun and be more attentive than if they
are shivering and huddling together for warmth.
When it really begins to get cold and the wind chill
becomes a factor, covering any exposed skin helps
prevent frostbite. Athletic trainers recommend the
layering of clothes to keep heat in the body while
allowing for the removal of a layer or two should
anyone get too hot.
When temperatures f luctuate greatly from one
day to the next, we recommend that your team
members bring sweat pants and a sweatshirt in
case they get cold. Try to keep your team active
throughout your practices. Consider altering your
practice structure to limit the number of players
standing around, waiting for their turn in a drill.
During games, your focus is probably on the action
on the field, but don’t forget those on the sideline.
If possible, provide blankets for players sitting on
the bench.
Just as the football uniform includes a helmet,
shoulder pads and cleats, your cold weather
uniform must include appropriate clothing. Ask
your team parents for help in reminding players to
bring warmer clothes as the temperature begins to
drop. Wearing layers gives the player the option of
adding or taking away a layer should they become
too hot or too cold. Reinforce the importance of
staying hydrated. Even though it is colder, your
players are still losing water during activity which
must be replaced.
Fall is a beautiful time of year and the cooler
temperatures bring relief from the summer heat.
Staying hydrated and dressing appropriately will
help ensure your players enjoy the height of the
football season.
John Reynolds is head athletic trainer at George
C. Marshall High School in Falls Church, Va.
and is President of the Virginia Athletic Trainers’
Association.
Hydration Safety tipS

• Reinforce importance of staying hydrated to your players, coaches
and parents. Even though it is colder, your players are still losing
water during activity, which must be replaced.

• Keep an eye on your players for signs of dehydration throughout
your season. During games, your focus is probably on the action
on the feld, but don’t forget those on the sideline.

• Try to keep your team active during practices. Adjust your practice
structure to limit the number of players standing around, waiting
for their turn in a drill. If possible, provide blankets for players
sitting on the bench.

• Try to keep your team active throughout your practices. Consider
altering your practice structure to limit the number of players
standing around, waiting for their turn in a drill.

• As the temperature begins to drop, recommend that players wear
layers of warm clothing. Wearing layers gives the player the
option of adding or taking away a layer should they become too
hot or too cold.
25
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Heads Up on
Concussions
USA Football recently joined 25 other
youth sports entities to team-up with the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) to protect young athletes from
concussion.
Te campaign, “Heads Up: Concussion
in Youth Sports,” expands eforts of previous
teenager-geared CDC campaigns to athletes of
all ages.
“We are committed to the safety of all
youngsters playing America’s favorite sport,”
USA Football Executive Director Scott
Hallenbeck said of the partnership. “Working
with the CDC is consistent with our goal
of partnering with category leaders for the
betterment of the game.
“Tis campaign places information about
how to identify and manage a concussion
directly into the hands of the people that need
it the most – coaches, parents, and athletes.”
A concussion is a brain injury caused by
a bump or blow to the head that can change
how the brain normally works. It is estimated
that as many as 3.8 million sports- and
recreation-related concussions occur in the
United States each year.
Te goal of CDC’s “Heads Up: Concussion
in Youth Sports” initiative – designed for all
youth sports – is to equip coaches, parents,
and fellow athletes with the information needed to recognize and
respond to concussions.
Tis information is conveniently concentrated in a free tool
kit, which contains:
• A clipboard with quick-reference information to recognize
and respond to a suspected concussion;
• Concise fact sheets for coaches, parents and athletes;
• A 5”x7” magnet with concussion facts for coaches and parents;
• A poster with safety information for coaches and sport
administrators; and
• A quiz for coaches, athletes, and parents.
Te “Heads Up” tool kit can be ordered or downloaded free
of charge by visiting the CDC’s website at http://www.cdc.gov/
ConcussionInYouthSports.
For more health and safety information, log on to
www.USAFootball.com
USA Football teams with CDC on concussion initiative
26 USA Football Magazine
USAFootball.com
USAFootball.com is the place to be for all things youth, high school and
international football. Ofering you the best of America’s favorite sport,
USAFootball.com delivers programs and resources endorsed by New York Jets
head coach Eric Mangini, 12-time NFL All-Star Rod Woodson, and NFL and Big
Ten game ofcials.
In addition, youth teams and leagues are encouraged to join USA Football’s
free web network and receive an unlimited number of customized websites
for your entire organization. Te websites enable coaches and administrators
to manage player rosters, practice and game schedules, post photos, and
more. To learn more log on to www.USAFootball.com and check out the free
administrator membership.
State Leadership Forum
Te USA Football State Leadership Forum is an annual gathering of youth football
leaders in each state to discuss topics impacting the sport. To have your youth football
league represented at our next state forum, call us at 1-877-5-FOOTBALL.
USA Football Membership
USA Football’s membership program enables administrators, coaches and ofcials to enhance their skills. Innovative tools and
resources help make your job easier, more rewarding, and ensures a great football experience for your players.
administrator coach official
• Eligible for equipment grants
• Customized websites for teams and leagues
• USA Football Magazine subscription
• Coaches background check discount
• Registration marketing kits
• Online coaching course
• Online practice planner
• Online interactive playbook
• Online drills library
• USA Football membership card
• Pro Football Hall of Fame pass
• USA Football Magazine subscription
• Access to “Ask the Expert”
• Online ofciating course
• Online rules & interpretation video library
• Access to USA Football weekly quizzes
• Access to “Ask the Expert”
• USA Football membership card
• Pro Football Hall of Fame pass
• $10 Honig’s Whistle Stop gif card
• 10% Honig’s Whistle Stop discount
• USA Football game cards and bullet pencil
• USA Football Magazine subscription
28 USA Football Magazine
Tis spring and summer USA Football logged nearly 100,000 miles traveling the country to help develop the game of football.
Youth Football Open Houses
Trough a partnership with Under Armour, Dick’s Sporting Goods and
Te Sports Authority, USA Football visited 10 markets across the country
from Pittsburgh to San Jose and sponsored “Youth Football Open Houses”
to further increase participation in America’s favorite sport.
Each “Youth Football Open House” event featured free interactive
games including a quarterback toss and vertical jump station, as well as the
opportunity to take a picture in an NFL uniform. Youth leagues from each
community were on hand to register players, and each event featured prizes
and giveaways, and autographs from an NFL player.
Coaching Schools
For the frst time, USA Football hosted 18
“Coaching Schools” this year to beneft nearly
4,000 coaches who instruct approximately
100,000 football-playing youngsters. Fifeen
of the 18 clinics were held in conjunction
with NFL teams at their training facilities or
playing stadiums.
By virtue of their overwhelming success,
USA Football will more than double its
number of coaching schools in 2008. Check
out the 2008 coaching school schedule next
February at www.USAFootball.com.
Offciating Clinics
Te USA Football ofciating department participated in 25
ofciating camps and clinics during the spring and summer. USA
Football’s ofciating program addresses a common shortage of
ofcials and provides educational resources for new and current
ofcials to improve.
Tis department reaches and encourages people with a passion
for America’s favorite sport to be part of the game as an ofcial. In
addition to clinics, USA Football’s ofciating program provides
online video call explanations, Q&A features, and many more
resources from the best in the business in the NFL, Arena Football
League and Big 10 Conference.
Keep an eye on www.USAFootball.com this February for a 2008
ofciating clinic schedule.
29
pigskin portraits
Arapahoe Youth League Football
(Englewood, Colo.)
Oakville Jr. Tigers
(Arnold, Mo.)
Howard County Warhawks
(Columbia, Md.)
Hunter James Kelly Youth Football League
(Buffalo, N.Y.)
AYF Billings Broncos
(Billings, Mont.)
Pop Warner Marshall Heights Bison
(Washington, DC)
Minnesota Bulldogs
(Minneapolis, Minn.)
30 USA Football Magazine
Reed Springs Rams
(Branson, Mo.)
USA Football
attn: Jenny Hofer,
8300 Boone Blvd., Suite 625
Vienna, VA 22182
E-mail: jhofer@usafootball.com
Send uS your photoS!
City Rec Jr. Rams
(St. Louis, Mo.)
Pop Warner White Oak Warriors
(White Oak, Md.)
Carmel Dad’s Club
(Carmel, Ind.)
Cheektowaga Little Loop Athletic Association
(Buffalo, N.Y.)
Springfeld Youth Football
(Springfeld, Va.)
Pop Warner Capital City Steelers
(Raleigh, NC)
South Boston Pop Warner
(Boston, Mass.)
31
Gilman Gear DiamonD Vest
The Diamond Vest is the standard vest for all chain crew members on
youth and high school games. The vests are fuorescent orange ultra-
light nylon with a diamond checkerboard pattern.
UnDer armoUr
FielD Player
GloVe
Form-ftted, lightweight,
multi-use ColdGear® glove,
engineered for moisture
transport and maximum
warmth. Grippy palm for
precise performance.
schUtt sPorts WeiGhteD
traininG Ball
A great training device for any football player who
handles the ball, the weighted training footballs helps
build muscle memory and strength for throwing along with
developing concentration and coordination. Offcial size
ball (weighed with either 2 lb. or 3 lb.) comes in red or
yellow with a black carry bag.
Gear UP
The latest, coolest, must-have, must-see youth football equipment, tools and clinics
schUtt sPorts yoUth
riB Protector
Designed to ft
Jr. Pro® Maxx™
and Wrecker™
Shoulder pads, the
Schutt youth rib
protector provides
added protection
to the mid-section.
The rib protector
includes an
attachment harness
for the shoulder
pads or can be
worn separately.
32 USA Football Magazine
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