USA Football’s Heads Up Football Program Features Former NFL Players as Master Trainers and Ambassadors

NFL legends Ruben Brown, Merril Hoge and Barry Sanders, among others, partner with USA Football

More than 140 former NFL players will serve as Master Trainers and Ambassadors to teach and reinforce USA Football’s Heads Up Football program to youth leagues and high schools nationwide during the 2014 season.

Approximately 5,500 youth football leagues representing nearly 1 million players in addition to more than 750 high schools have registered for Heads Up Football for better and safer play this season. The program has been endorsed by leaders in medicine, child advocacy and athletics.

Of USA Football’s 78 Master Trainers, 17 played in the NFL, bringing knowledge and insight gained from competing at the sport’s highest level. Master Trainers lead full-day instructional sessions for high school and youth programs nationwide, teaching Heads Up Football’s curriculum to high school- and youth league-appointed Player Safety Coaches.

In addition, 127 former NFL players will serve as Heads Up Football Ambassadors, visiting practices and games of teams that participate within the program. Ambassadors strengthen awareness and reinforce Heads Up Football’s messages and standards.

“USA Football establishes important standards rooted in education, which is so important for young players,” said Master Trainer RUBEN BROWN, a nine-time Pro Bowl selection at guard for the Buffalo Bills and Chicago Bears (1995-2007). “I’m a father – nothing is more important to me than the health of our kids. Heads Up Football is changing for the better how coaches are prepared, players are taught and safety is addressed, and it’s exciting to see so many other former players share this commitment.”

Heads Up Football encompasses USA Football’s accredited Level 1 Coach Certification Course, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concussion recognition and response, medical expert-approved heat and hydration protocols, equipment fitting instruction and Heads Up Tackling techniques for safer play.

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