July 24, 2014
The risk of football head injuries continue to make national news and more and more parents are afraid to get their kids involved. But an NFL program and an Orange County football camp are working together to change that.
It's a problem a lot of coaches are tackling. They want to teach football without full contact.
Coach Ron Rose heads up the Orange County Youth football camp and local NFL “Heads Up” program.
He has worked to develop a way to teaches kids as young as four how to tackle the right way, without injuring themselves or another player.
When asked what he learned, Ryder Rose told us "you keep your head up and tackle by the legs."
For parents like Scott Gustafson that that are out to see their kids practice it seems like not that long ago that full contact football was the name of the game.
"When we were warming up we would smash helmet to helmet, there was a lot more focus on hitting. And now I think they're more on getting your arms out of the way. Arms up, head up."
But with study after study and lawsuits showing the damage that football head injuries have caused players, coaches like Ron Rose are working hard to teach their kids to protect their heads.
"If we can start them at a younger age and teach them the fundamentals of tackling, teach them the right way to do things, it's just going to make the game safer from start to finish."
Coach Rose aims to get kids of all ages out of the field having fun while staying safe and that makes the program a popular one for parents like Ashley Bosford.
"The Heads Up program the big part is to make sure that all kids that play understand the rules from the beginning by making sure they do the best that they can making sure that everybody plays safe and plays smart."
He's hoping these lessons stay with them for all of their playing years.