Many of the nation’s high school football coaches are endorsing USA Football’s Football Development Model for youth leagues nationwide.
The National High School Football Coaches Alliance, comprised of high school coaching associations across 41 states, has approved the model that aligns with the American Development Model designed by the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).
The Alliance represents the country’s largest group of state high school football coaches associations.
USA Football is the sport’s national governing body and a USOPC member.
“Even beyond our game, USA Football’s model is what youth sports should look like and will help young players be better prepared to play in high school,” said Alliance President Rob Younger, who also serves as the Oregon Athletic Coaches Association’s executive director. “This is such a smart framework. It meets athletes where they are and opens an exciting path to play football for life, whether it be recreationally or competitively like what’s played on our level.”
As a new approach to coaching, learning and playing football, the Football Development Model helps coaches develop the whole athlete based on a child’s age and stage of development. The framework introduces smarter and safer play and is centered on fun and fundamental skills while reducing contact.
Coaches teach athletes based on their age, skill level, and the version of the sport they play, from non-contact (flag) to contact (11-player tackle).
The council that oversees application of the FDM is composed of current and former football coaches and experts across neurology, sports science, coach education and other disciplines.
Last year, Alliance members hosted more than 80 youth football events nationwide, including player clinics and education-based summits for coaches and league organizers. Before the nationwide shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, Alliance members planned more than 100 events for coaches, parents and players in 2020.
“High school football coaches associations are vital members of America’s football family — their endorsement of the Football Development Model means a great deal,” said USA Football CEO/Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck. “When the time comes for the football community to responsibly return to play, our model will have the sport return for our kids in a better, smarter and re-imagined way.”
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