Concussion Safety and Proper Tackling in Youth Football

A longtime marketing professional and the current owner of Santa’s Enchanted Forest in Miami, Brian Shechtman works closely with a number of vendors and charitable organizations throughout the region. Brian Shechtman also serves as a volunteer football coach at the University School of Nova Southeastern University in nearby Davie, Florida, where he teaches his players about the importance of concussion prevention.

In youth football, perhaps no topic has received more attention in recent years than concussion safety. To help players avoid unsafe practices, youth football coaches often begin by highlighting the importance of proper tackling technique. Instead of using the helmet as the “tip of a spear,” common practice for many beginning football players, players learn to keep their feet and engage with the shoulder, all while driving their feet through the tackle. Not only does this technique reduce the impact to the head of the tackler, but it also increases the likelihood of bringing the ball carrier to the ground. When it comes to safety and effectiveness, teaching proper tackling technique is a win-win.

Tips for Coaching Middle School Football

A business owner based in Miami, Florida, Brian Shechtman has contributed to his community as a volunteer football coach at a local school. At the University School of Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida, Brian Shechtman coached the sixth-grade team to a 2010 Tri-County Championship win.

The coach of a sixth-grade football team has many factors to consider. Players at this level are still children whose self-esteem and sense of talent are developing. For this reason, experienced coaches stress the importance of motivation and patience. In addition, coaches must be able to treat their players with respect and encouragement and be willing to praise them for their effort.

Coaches also need to be aware of the way they behave when players make mistakes or play poorly. This involves modeling a positive attitude. Children need to know that they can learn from their mistakes and move forward without negative feelings. This attitude also translates into showing players how to win and lose graciously, as well as how to treat players on both teams with fairness.

When players require constructive criticism, coaches need to remember that children at this age are vulnerable to the opinions of their peers. Coaches can praise publicly, but should correct privately. When making use of this philosophy, skill building becomes a group activity, as all players participate in running, tackling, and tactical drills.