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Inside: Make the Tackle Progression Model work for you


Practice Planner 2.0

Coaching tools make building practices, playbooks easy




with USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck PAGE 4

FEB 2012

A tackling circuit reinforces fundamental skills Page 12 Coaching Schools instruct in classroom, on eld Page 14 Takeaway-Giveaway: Parents as head coaches Page 18 Meet a Member: David Weller Page 19

The Art of defeating blocks Page 30 Read a Player Academy attendees impressions Page 31 Players, parents enjoy membership benets Page 32


Tips on treating minor on-eld injuries Page 34

See whats new with League Afliation Page 22 Meet your USA Football Regional Manager Page 25 USA Football teams with ACC for FUNdamentals Page 26 NFL FLAG is a ready-made system for leagues Page 28

USA Football courses strengthen crews Page 35

USA Football helps coaches build a better practice PAGE 6 Background checks add to a leagues security PAGE 8 A look back at International Bowl Week in Austin PAGE 10

NaVorro Bowman

ootball topics, including favorite football coac

Gridiron list links leagues nationwide PAGE 20

SCOTT CARNEY Beaver Boosters Beaver, Pennsylvania

WILLIAM CHEVERINO Western Athletic Sports Unied Program Las Vegas, Nev.

J Cha Foot C



A lot of patience

Keep intere

Getting everybody on ge to one page parents, To take our own egos Makin out of it part o coaches and kids Mark Capuano, Moon Bill Parcells Area (Pa.) High School Right on the eld Right on the football eld Tony In the Go ov the te Fake pitch N

Quick-hitter grid PAGE 24

Facts, Stats and Figures PAGE 36

Going over each I go over my playbook players responsibility as much as possible with the individual at Play-action pass
Sweetness: The E i ti Lif f W lt

Football Marketplace is a one-stop shop PAGE 37-38

USA Football Magazine

Power dive Anything that i l h t b ild

Dear members, Somehow, Americas favorite sport becomes more exciting every year. And the people making it go are you players, parents, coaches, commissioners, game ofcials and volunteers. The passion we have for our sport energizes us. That is what makes football Americas game. Another great football attribute innovation is woven into the fabric of USA Football. People in every role within the football community put our digital resources to work to advance their skills and gain a competitive edge. USA Footballs Practice Planner 2.0, new for summer 2012, will be a gamechanger and warrants the cover story of this issue. Organized coaches will become even more so, practices will be more efcient, and players will be better prepared than ever to perform at their full potential. Also covered in the following pages: USA Footballs continued commitment to our gold-standard adult volunteer background check program, insight on defeating blocks from San Francisco 49ers all-star linebacker NaVorro Bowman, exciting news about the U.S. National Team program and more. As always, your USA Football regional manager (page 25) is ready to serve you. Call or email him to learn how USA Football the NFLs only youth football development partner in the leagues 92-year history can help you and your league deliver the best possible football experience. In addition, youre a toll-free call (1-877-5-FOOTBALL) or a mouse click away (usafootball.com) from our member services department, located in the heart of Downtown Indianapolis. Thank you for your dedication to the worlds greatest game and the teamrst values it exudes. Heres to another great year of football together.
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Executive Director: SCOTT HALLENBECK



We want to hear your thoughts about USA Football Magazine. Write to us at magazine@usafootball.com today.

Scott Hallenbeck USA Football Executive Director

USA Football Magazine








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Practice Planner, Playbook help coaches get organized

Upgraded USA Football tools provide online assistance for any level
By Joe Frollo

very new year brings with it an exciting set of goals, challenges and discovery. For youth football coaches, that means fresh ways of teaching Americas favorite sport to the next generation of young athletes. Whether you are a rookie walking into your rst huddle or a veteran who has paced countless sidelines, USA Footballs Practice Planner 2.0 and Playbook designer will launch this summer to help smooth preparation and coordinate efforts to make any coachs job easier in 2012. Youth coaches have a limited amount of time to work with their players, said Andy Ryland, USA Football manager for football development. By streamlining the practice schedule, picking the right plays and developing a playbook that is ageappropriate, coaches will make the most of that time. The Practice Planner is adaptable to both tackle and ag for any ages. USA Football coach members can utilize prepopulated practice plans or create their own with the help of USA Footballs Drills Library. From warm-ups to skill development to station drills and more, coaches can predetermine the length of time spent on each segment and monitor the level of contact, keeping their practices crisper and players safer. Coaches can download the practice plan to print it out, email it

USA Footballs Practice Planner and Playbook allow coaches the exibility to build plans ahead of time so they can spend more time with their players working on skill development.

or send it to another coachs mobile device, Ryland said. The drive behind the Practice Planner is to create structure to practices so coaches can create something new at home and bring it with them to share with assistants before hitting the eld. New coaches can follow USA Football-recommended plans that take them from preseason sessions through a 12-week season.

Experienced coaches can use these as a baseline adjusting lessons to suit their needs or start from scratch and build it on their own. Like a teachers lesson plans, the Practice Planner allows a coach to introduce new content at the players pace, Ryland said. These plans can then be saved so they can be used year after year to develop skill sets for new players as they come along.

USA Football Magazine

Game days also get a boost through the USA Football Playbook, designed to make discovering new plays simple. Coaches start by choosing an age group, which then reveals formations that are appropriate for that level. From there, coaches can select any number of plays through the formations. Through its online content, the plays provide specic instructions and movement for each position, By clicking on each individual position, coaches can see each players movements and so coaches can see each players responsibilities in the USA Football Playbook. responsibility within the whole. eld. This USA Football innovation Put your mouse over the tight allows coaches to be more innovative end, click it, and you will see the tight Click on the next but not overcomplicate ideas that are end blocking down or running a pass position and it too much for their players, Ryland route, Ryland said. Click on the instantly shifts said. This is a tool coaches will come next position, and it instantly shifts to to that persons to rely on but still retain enough that persons responsibilities. exibility to adapt to individuality. The Best of all, the USA Football responsibilities. most experienced coaches can use Playbook is built to go with you. Andy Ryland, manager of this to help them grow their program Coaches can use it on iPads, smart football development while helping new coaches build a phones, other tablet devices or get a solid foundation. printer-friendly version to carry to the


Were committed to helping student athletes become stronger and more determined achievers. Thats why PNC is proud to be the official bank of USA Football.
Stop by any PNC branch, call 1-877-CALL-PNC or visit pnc.com.

USA Football Magazine


Ray Anderson Executive V.P. Football Operations National Football League Jason Belser Senior Regional Director NFL Players Association Joe Browne Senior Advisor to the Commissioner National Football League Tom Cove President and CEO SGMA International Jim Delany Commissioner Big Ten Conference Carl Francis Director of Communications NFL Players Association Discounted adult volunteer background checks are available through USA Football and NCSI. Alexia Gallagher Director, NFL Charities and Youth Football Fund National Football League Bob Gardner Executive Director National Federation of State High School Associations Roger Goodell * Commissioner National Football League Scott Hallenbeck * Executive Director USA Football Merril Hoge Retired NFL Player and ESPN NFL Analyst Desmond Howard Retired NFL Player and ESPN College Football Analyst Mark Meana Chairman Fairfax County (Va.) Youth Football League Carl Peterson Chairman USA Football DeMaurice Smith * Executive Director NFL Players Association Grant Teaff Executive Director American Football Coaches Association Mike Wilcox Chairman and CEO Wilcox Financial/Wilcox Sports Management * Ex-ofcio Board Member

Background checks offer peace of mind

By Joe Frollo

ince 2007, USA Football commissioner members have been able to purchase National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI) searches in two national criminal databases as well as all state sex offender registries and county records at a discounted rate. USA Footballs subsidy program offers youth football leagues a $25 screening check for its volunteers at $15, good for two annual reports. USA Footballs nancial assistance toward background checks for youth leagues has resulted in more than 62,000 screenings since 2007. In 2011, 19,506 background checks were conducted through USA Footballs program with NCSI.
USA Football Magazine

Of those, 1,264 (6.5 percent) drew a red light, including felonies, alcoholrelated driving offenses and lesser crimes of force, controlled substances or a sexual nature. Once a league sets the screening guidelines, the process becomes one between NCSI and the individual, said Trish McGonnell, NCSI cofounder, president and CEO. This protects privacy and also eliminates the need for leagues to make value judgments. Leagues dont have to collect social security numbers, addresses or anything, McGonnell said. We follow up with the coaches and the courts. This means there are no awkward conversations between administrators and volunteer applicants.

I choose performance, so I use Cutters.



Coefficient of Fricion [CoF]
Maximum Grip Allowance

X40 C-TACK Revolution


Vapor Jet






Standard Procedure for Testing New Football Gloves, August 2011.



The Official Glove of




The third annual International Bowl was broadcast live on CBS Sports Network to more than 98 million homes. The game can be viewed online at www.usafootball.com/InternationalBowl.

Deep in the heart of Texas

By Joe Frollo

Frank Epitropoulos (left) of Upper Arlington, Ohio, and SeVon Pittman of Canton, Ohio, became Buckeyes during the USA Football Signing Day Breakfast. They and 53 other 2012 International Bowl players ofcially joined their college program in the largest event of its kind.

More than 200 athletes from 11 states tried out for the U.S. Under-19, Under-17 and Under-15 national teams during a two-day trials at Burger Stadium in Austin. Each player performed football drills for high school, college and NFL coaches and scouts who served as evaluators.

SA Football hosts more than 80 events across the United States each year. In January and early February, USA Football brought the sports community from all corners of the U.S. and the world to Austin, Texas, for the 2012 International Bowl, a Signing Day Breakfast for 55 Division I-college bound athletes, U.S. National Team Trials and a FUNdamentals clinic where U.S. Under-19 players and coaches helped more than 200 children learn the basics of the game. Capped off by a 35-29 International Bowl victory by the IFAF World Team, an exciting week of football in Texas state capital marked numerous successes in advancing the game domestically and abroad. USA Football continues to put its mission in motion, building the sport at its grassroots level, improving a players football fundamentals at all levels and further strengthening the game internationally. Here are some photos from the events.


USA Football Magazine



When a tackler buzzes his feet, he comes to balance while still gaining ground toward the ball-carrier.

Developing a tackle circuit for your practice

By Nick Inzerello

lright, coach. By now youve probably begun to think about the 2012 season and identied what areas your team needs to improve on. If so, youre well ahead of the game, and the entire team will benet from the work you are putting in now. The offseason is a time to evaluate and identify areas of improvement, so take a moment to think about whether your team missed a lot of tackles this season. Be honest with yourself, talk with your staff, watch some lm if you

have it and determine whether this is an area you would like to improve. A teams ability to rally to the ballcarrier and bring him to the ground is the difference between good and great teams at every level. There are moments in every game when your defense will depend on linebackers and defensive backs to make open-eld tackles and prevent big plays that affect momentum. To improve your teams ability to make more tackles, start with USA Footballs Tackle Progression Model, which divides the skill into ve fundamentals that must occur in

every tackle and should be practiced daily within a scheduled tackle circuit.

Breakdown position: A position of control a defensive player uses after sprinting to the ball-carrier;

Buzz the feet: A players ability to close the gap on the ball-carrier, preparing for the hit position;
l l

Hit position: The position or correct posture a defender uses for the moment of impact;

The shoot: An upward strike of the hips and arms that forces the head


USA Football Magazine


up at the point of contact, driving the feet through the opponent;


Rip: Throwing the arms up and under the opponent, grabbing cloth and securing the tackle.

Dedicate 20 minutes each practice to a tackle circuit by setting up four stations for your players to rotate through every ve minutes. Divide your players and have one assistant coach run each station, creating a series of tackle progression drills found within the USA Football Film Room, coaching membership resource. With stations running simultaneously, blow the whistle every ve minutes so players rotate to a new drill within the progression.

A teams ability to rally to the ballcarrier and bring him to the ground is the difference between good and great teams at every level.
Nick Inzerello, director of football development

Another option is to set up the circuit in a progressive manner in which players remain at one station with the same coach and the drills change every ve minutes. This approach works best early in the season to ensure your players master every step of the tackle in accordance with the progression. Once you feel your players have learned the technique of the tackle progression, you will want to transition your drills to simulate the types of tackles your players will need to make during a game. These include the angle and openeld tackle drills that also can be found within the Film Room. Nick Inzerello is USA Footballs director of football development.
USA Football Magazine



Coaching Schools to focus on blocking and tackling

By Joe Frollo

SA Football Coaching Schools are going back to the basics in 2012. Alongside the high-quality instruction that participants have come to expect, the one-day clinics will include sessions specically designed to help coaches learn how to properly teach blocking and tackling with instructions and techniques geared toward specic age groups. The focus on footballs most basic fundamentals will assist coaches in becoming better teachers, said Nick Inzerello, USA Football director of football development. In turn, players

USA Football Coaching Schools combine classroom learning with on-the-eld workouts.

will improve and cut down the risk of injury. Knowing how to teach the proper technique of blocking and tackling is a skill every football coach should understand, Inzerello said. The Coaching Schools follow USA Footballs Player Progression Development Model that helps

coaches teach the sport at their teams particular age level. Coaches are grouped as part of Under-8, Under-10, Under-12 or Under-14 for sessions specic to the ages they coach. Participants learn the proper ways to teach football fundamentals, improve organization and incorporate new offensive and defensive schemes through both oneld and classroom instruction. For more information, visit: www.usafootball.com/coach.


USA Football Magazine


Quick tips: Teaching the proper three-point stance

By Joe Frollo

efore performing even the most basic of football skills, a player must start out in the right position. For offensive linemen, tight ends and fullbacks, that means getting down into a three-point stance. Teaching this should be the goal of early practices, and coaches should reinforce it throughout the season. Start with the feet shoulder-width apart and both knees bent, then rest the forearms on the inside of each thigh. Keeping the head up and back

straight, reach forward and place both hands on the ground slightly in front of the shoulder pads. Finally, lift one hand and rest that arm on the inside of the thigh, keeping both shoulders level. Younger players are encouraged

to place the hand down that is most comfortable. In time, coaches will designate the appropriate down hand for the position. Remember that most young players learn by seeing and copying, so use simple language and demonstrate the entire process so the players know what they are trying to do. From a proper three-point stance, they are ready to start the play.

USA Football now offers League and Club Insurance.


For more information visit: www.usafootball.com/league-and-club-insurance

USA Football Magazine



Online courses give coaches the instruction they need

By Joe Frollo

ith a focus on fundamentals and safety, USA Football is committed to providing the best in coaching education. With tackle, ag, high school and age-based courses available, USA Footballs online video-based instruction courses are full of animated plays as well as quizzes showing proper technique and form. Starting with the Level 1 Tackle Certication Course, which is available with every coaching membership, USA Football helps coaches develop their coaching philosophy, understand the game and

teach the proper fundamentals, USA Football Membership Director Gary Del Vecchio said. This course also serves as an introduction to the Player Progression Development Model, a system that ensures that players get the best and most appropriate training for their age. Completing the Level 1 course automatically certies coaches with USA Football and makes them eligible for USA Footballs general liability insurance. Returning coaches take

a recertication course as an annual refresher. From there, coaches have access to all of USA Footballs resources and can continue to Level 2 courses to enrich their learning and focus their approach to the ages they coach, Del Vecchio said. Better educated coaches lead to better instruction and that leads to kids having more fun playing a game they love. Visit www.usafootball/coach for more information.


USA Football Magazine


Coach, player relationships

Parent-coaches should treat all players like their kids
By Larry Canard

Family members dont always make the best coaches

By David Marco

There are many challenges to being a youth football coach. Coaching your child should not be one of them. As the coach, your responsibilities and goals should include: teaching fundamentals in a safe manner; teaching the importance of commitment, responsibility and teamwork; and nding positions and roles in which each player can be successful. With those goals in mind, the head coach must communicate them to his assistants, players and parents, not just in words but in actions. The players and their parents must understand by your actions that every player is treated fairly and that all of them are in positions that will make them successful. Coaches who treat every child like they are his own nd the best results. It is equally important that the parent-coach treats his child in a healthy manner. The player should not carry a heavier burden because he is the coachs child. Football, like any other sport, promotes positive values and relationships, including families in the team structure. They should be embraced, not avoided.

Favoritism or the appearance of it in youth sports is an important issue that receives little or no discussion. Whether true or not, it is often assumed that a parent-coach gives his child special treatment, including increased playing time and key roles on the team. When it happens, its obvious to everyone and good for no one. While parents should be encouraged to coach and help the team as much as they can, the ideal situation is one where the head coach is not related to any of the players. Teams that dont have this option must ensure that the nepotism does not infect the group. For example, a dad should never refer to a player as son. An uncle should never call a player nephew. I call all of the players on my team by their last names, and I require any parent-coaches to refer to their children by their last names, too. I strongly urge teams to run a meritocracy. It doesnt matter which players are likeable. It doesnt matter who the coach is related to or friends with.


USA Football Magazine

Meet a USA Football Member

David Weller
By Jeff Fedotin

Name David Weller Place of Residence Hedgesville, W. Va.

USA Football Membership Info for bio box avid Weller started coaching youth football Coach with a simple goal to help kids develop Name Chris Abderhalden their skills and enjoyment of Americas League Eastern Panhandle favoritePlace of Residence Lenox, Mass. sport. Youth Football League Fifteen years later, hes still at it and still guided by How long have you that original Football Memberships Coach, CommisUSA focus. Weller, who coaches in the Eastern Panhandle sioner? coached? 15 years Youth Football League in West Virginia, recently Full-time job spoke to USA Football about whyYouth Footballhis League Berkshire County he volunteers Astime and how he learns as much from the young Freghter/paramedic for the sociation athletes he instructs as he hopes they do from him. City of Martinsburg, W. Va. How long have you coached? Eight years as a Why is coach for Lee Youth Football for character youth football important and three years at Lee High School. development? To get them socially interactive so that they can succeedFull-time job Construction manager and when they get through high school What is your favorite USA Football into the world. membership benet? Its an opportunity for them to develop those The multitude of information thats available to kinds of skills. you and the wide array of information. It covers all angles of the game. Did the development of one particular kid stand out? I had a youngster who was deaf. The other coaches Would you recommend USA Football to other coaches? didnt want him, and I jumped at the opportunity. Absolutely. I try to promote it every chance I get. With a few modications, this player went from real reserved and not a very social person to What is your proudest moment in coaching? blossoming into an outgoing individual. Just seeing the kids develop, and thats what my goal is. What is your favorite part of coaching? Winning is important to everybody. Otherwise Every child out there learns differently. Its a you wouldnt be in this sport, and you wouldnt challenge to cater how we coach and meet the be coaching. needs of each individual. If you take winning out of the equation, just seeing kids develop into ne young men How has USA Football helped you as a coach? and being able to watch them going into high I was at a point where I was actually getting school and be successful, thats probably my complacent in going to the same type of thing proudest moment. year after year. We went to a few coaching clinics and started going to a lot of the offensive line classes and looking at the offensive line videos and that type of thing, and it renewed my passion for coaching. It gave me a new outlook.

USA Football Magazine


Find what you need at The Gridiron List

By Joe Frollo

SA Football is creating a free football database of information, opportunities and proles that anyone can access. Call it the ofcial football directory. Call it a Craigslist of football. Call it an ultimate, unlimited bulletin board. We are calling it the Gridiron List, and you can nd it at www.gridironlist.com. Visitors to the Gridiron List can share camps to attend, facilities to rent, equipment to buy and sell, events, leagues, tournaments and anything else commissioners, coaches, players, parents, ofcials and fans would need throughout the youth football season.

The Gridiron List is a way for the football community to interact with each other no matter where they call home.
Chris Dean, USA Football
The site also includes a national coaches database that allows users to connect with colleagues near and far. The Gridiron List is a way for the football community to interact with each other no matter where they call home, said Chris Dean, USA Football senior director of digital, football development and marketing.

The Gridiron List (www.gridironlist.com) brings coaches across the nation together to share ideas or buy/sell equipment.



Look for exclusive offers for USA Football members or Call 866.393.5464 Ext. 178 for Full Details


USA Football Magazine


Players, coaches, parents and administrators come together in one digital huddle through USA Footballs League Afliation, improving organization and communication throughout the community.

League Afliation brings the entire league together

Youth Football League, one of the best values his league has found is USA Football League Afliation. The Western Pennsylvania league that includes ve clubs and about 500 players receive help with coaching education, practice planning, communication, registration and much more. Coaches can directly engage players and parents through the Internet,

By Joe Frollo

ike all good youth football administrators, Scott Carney looks to get the most out of anything his youth football league does. Equipment, insurance, ofcials and other routine expenses are all part of his annual budget. For Carney, president of the Western Pennsylvania


nding different ways to teach the sport to young athletes. With every player a member, we were able to use the Drills Library to remain in contact with the players at home, Carney said. We had a couple of kids that any time wed try to teach them a new block in practice, they visually didnt quite get it. By sending them to usafootball.com to watch the blocks

USA Football Magazine

in sort of a virtual classroom, they came around much quicker and much easier. League Afliation brings commissioners, coaches, players and parents together to one website to enjoy benets for the entire league. From age-appropriate coaching instruction to ofcials education to coach-player interaction on individual team pages, League Afliation makes it easy for league leaders to do their jobs. As the ofcial youth football development partner of the NFL, NFL Players Association and the Atlantic Coast Conference, USA Football offers innovative coaching education and player development resources on specically tailored web pages to exchange practice schedules, plays, game lm, photos and fundraising information. Through myCOACHs and myPLAYERs pages, coaches can upload lm or post drills to help players reinforce what they learn on the practice eld. The online USA Football Film Room shows techniques by position and age level, while an exclusive NFL Films Library showcases the games fundamentals at the highest level. A detailed league operations guide includes a compilation of best practices, and the commissioner dashboard allows administrators to manage their leagues everything from registration to scheduling to coaching education. It gave us access to a lot of tools we otherwise would not have had, said Mike Nichols of the Mid-County Football Association outside St. Louis. We could teach techniques at practice then have players watch them again at home. It gave us a lot of things we would have struggled with to nd on our own. To become a League Afliation member, a league must register each of its players and coaches and ensure that every coach head and assistant completes the standard tackle certication course or recertication quiz. From there, leagues can educate their coaches, players and parents with all the tools USA Football offers. The parents really liked this, Carney said. By sitting with their kids and watching the drills, they learned about the sport, too. Whether its a dad who played football all his life or a mom new to the sport, they want to know what their child is learning.

USA Football Magazine


With members in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., USA Football recently caught up with four members from across the United States. Below are their straight-ahead thoughts on football topics, including favorite football coaches and stadiums.



NAME: ORGANIZATION: RESIDENCE: Skill most needed to coach

SCOTT CARNEY Beaver Boosters Beaver, Pa.

WILLIAM CHEVERINO Western Athletic Sports Unied Program Las Vegas, Nev.

JIM PERRONE Chaska Chanhassen Football Association Chaska, Minn.

KENNY BRASWELL Heart O Texas Youth Football Waco, Texas


A lot of patience

Keeping the kids interested

Patience Having to meld players different skill sets Grant Teaff At Mondays practice Perform the Lords Prayer 31 Dive Bootleggers Boy, by Barry Switzer Remember the Titans Cowboys Stadium The techniques and tools they provide to coaches Hooters hot wings

Getting everybody on Biggest challenge to one page parents, To take our own egos Making everyone feel out of it part of the team coaching coaches and kids Favorite coach Best place to celebrate a win Pregame ritual Mark Capuano, Moon Bill Parcells Area (Pa.) High School Right on the eld Right on the football eld Tony Dungy In the locker room Go over pointers with the team Fake up the middle, pitch it to either side None specically

Going over each I go over my playbook players responsibility as much as possible with the individual Play-action pass Power dive

Fourth-and-goal at the 1 Favorite football book Favorite football movie Favorite football stadium Favorite USA Football benet Favorite tailgate food

Sweetness: The Anything that Enigmatic Life of Walter involves how to build Payton, by Jeff Pearlman a team

Brians Song

The Replacements The Blind Side or The Longest Yard Cowboys Stadium Online information for coaches, players and parents Barbecue bratwurst Jack Murphy Stadium (now Qualcomm Stadium) Online coaching resources Hot wings

Three Rivers Stadium The communication and the support that we get Primanti Bros. sandwiches

USA Football offers resource-packed memberships to give coaches, game ofcials, youth league commissioners and players an edge. Learn more at www.usafootball.com.


USA Football Magazine


Americas favorite sport is powered by you dedicated youth league commissioners, coaches, game ofcials, players, parents and volunteers. For each of you, there is a face and name to place in your football Rolodex: your USA Football Regional Manager. USA Football regional managers are equipped and trained to work for you. Each has the experience needed to help you make your league or team even stronger with USA Football resources. Contact your USA Football regional manager to learn about League afliation, the nearest USA Football Coaching School, Player Academy or State Leadership Forum. Stay in touch with your regional manager, whether it is to share news about your league or team or to ask about member resources. You may also contact our ofce through usafootball.com or by phone at (877) 5-FOOTBALL. Let us know how we can serve you better. Together, well ensure that teamwork and leadership continue to serve as the laces binding our favorite game.



Great Lakes


Bassel Faltas

Joe Owens

Mike Cuzzone

Ed Passino

(317) 489-4426 bfaltas@usafootball.com

(317) 489-4436 jowens@usafootball.com

(317) 614-7738 mcuzzone@usafootball.com

(317) 489-4437 epassino@usafootball.com

Pacic Mountain




Matt DeLuzio
(317) 489-4421 mdeluzio@usafootball.com

Dave Fanucchi

Deno Campbell
(317) 489-4422 (240) 351-7392 dcampbell@usafootball.com

Rick Peacock

(317) 489-4427 dfanucchi@usafootball.com

(317) 489-4438 rpeacock@usafootball.com

USA Football Magazine




Photo courtesy the Atlantic Coast Conference

A USA Football FUNdamentals clinic helped youngsters test their skills and improve their abilities during the ACC Championship Weekend.

Putting the fun in FUNdamentals

By Rick Peacock

he Southeast Region is coming off one of its most exciting seasons in years. Kids in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina enjoyed new and exciting opportunities to experience their favorite sport. A great day of football united USA Football, the Carolina Panthers and the Atlantic Coast Conference for the sports betterment during the ACCs Football Championship Game on Dec. 3. While Virginia Tech and Clemson competed for the ACC title, youngsters from across the East Coast descended upon Charlotte, N.C. Young players tested and sharpened their football skills at the USA Football FUNdamentals clinic
USA Football Magazine

at the Panthers training complex as part of championship game festivities. And while kids in Charlotte were on the eld, USA Football directed this same excitement at the Big Ten Football Championships Fan Fest in downtown Indianapolis. Charlotte area youth coaches, all of whom completed USA Footballs coaching education program, worked with USA Football staff to lead the ACC clinic. Kids moved from station to station to receive fun football instruction before performing their skills for friends and family. James Michaels of Winston Salem, N.C., said his son Corey took part in the 2010 fun and was determined to return, excited to learn how much

he had improved while growing six inches in the past 12 months. I couldnt do some of the drills last year, but this year I buzzed through them and did really well it was fun, said Cory, whose next goal after the clinic was to get into the stadium for a hot dog. His father, James, said that they will be sure to return for more in 2012. In addition to the ACC, NFL and its 32 teams, USA Football enjoys relationships advancing the sport with the Big Ten, Mid-American Conference and The Patriot League. Rick Peacock is the USA Football Southeast Regional Manager, covering North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida.



USA Football-afliated leagues throughout Texas took part in the inaugural Texas Youth Football State Championships.

By Joe Frollo

State associations are a labor of love

t the start of each new year, youth football leaders around the nation come together at USA Football State Forums to discuss the state of the game in their regions. The goal is simple share ideas and best practices to build the grassroots level of the sport. But many league commissioners wanted a way to remain in contact with the colleagues from across their state or region, staying in close contact more than just the one day a year. With guidance from USA Football regional managers, state associations were born and now two years into the program are starting to ourish.

under league champions bracket. This was evident during 2011 in Our season would have been over Texas, where the North Texas and when we won our division of the South Texas state associations came Central Texas YFL, but when we had together in a matter of months the opportunity to play at Baylor, that to plan, organize and execute sold it for us. a postseason state Pulling together a tournament for their To learn about statewide youth football teams. your state tournament in 10 Two weeks of regional association, contact months is a difcult tournaments were your USA Football task. Doing it in a state followed by a daylong Regional Manager as large as Texas can be championship event at (Page 25) downright daunting. Baylor Universitys Floyd But through volunteer Casey Stadium in Waco. bases in four cities, the rst Texas This was a huge deal for the Youth Football State Championship players and their parents, said proved to be a good case study for Marcus Kallman, head coach of the future Lonestar State tournaments as Austin Town and Country Warriors, well as a model for others to follow. which nished second in the 10-andUSA Football Magazine



A ag football opportunity for everyone

By Walter Doerschuk

ith NFL FLAG powered by USA Football, kids can feel like they are suiting up for their favorite NFL team while learning valuable skills within Americas favorite sport. Leagues and community programs across the United States are signing up for the premier ag football experience, which includes reversible NFL team-branded jerseys and ag belts for each player as well as two NFL youth footballs for every 10 children registered. The $20 player registration fee also includes a USA Football player membership, which delivers youth ag football resources to educate players and parents on the games

fundamentals as well as player health and safety material and eligibility for NFL FLAG regional and national tournaments. Its the gold standard of ag football, said Sam Rapoport, USA Football senior manager of ag and female football development. Kids can play in NFL jerseys and become better players with USA Footballs digital resources. More than 169,000 children age 5 to 17 participated in NFL FLAG in 2011. Chris and Alicia Lawrence operate Blue Chip Athletics and Blue Chip Gridiron Girls in Central Florida, leagues that serve low-income residents who love the NFL and want their kids to play football. It benets us because it keeps registration costs lower than the

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overhead is going to be, and it allows us to invite more kids, Chris Lawrence said. As USA Football members, coaches can take USA Football coaching education courses, which provides instruction in game play as well as concussion awareness and safety issues. Downloadable playbooks and online practice planners are available to assist coaches while leagues receive insurance benets. NFL FLAG powered by USA Football promotes physical tness as part of NFL PLAY 60, the leagues youth health and tness campaign.


USA Football Magazine


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We build mouthguards that t, protect and perform better. We build condence that helps you play harder, play smarter and focus on your game.



The Art of using hands to avoid blockers

By Joe Frollo

efeating a block starts with the eyes. A defender has to see whats coming before he can do anything. From there, the tackler takes a short power step with the foot nearest the blocker while keeping his pad level even or below the blockers, using his hands, shoulder and forearm to defeat the block and get to the ballcarrier. The most important thing when taking on a block is leverage, said Deno Campbell, USA Footballs Mid-Atlantic regional manager and the assistant head coach/defensive coordinator at Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha Catholic High School. The catchphrase I use is you want to have your eyes on chin. That will put you six inches lower than the blocker and in a good position to get past him. San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman, a member of the 2011 USA Football All-Fundamentals Team, said defeating any block means not letting a lineman

into his chest. By seeing the block coming, he can extend his hands to get off the block and make the play. If he is double-teaming down on a tackle trying to come up to me I can knock him back into the tackle and make the play, Bowman said. If hes coming (straight) toward me, I just sit within the scheme of the defense. Jeff Donnel has coached at Arvada (Colo.) Pomona High School and in the Arvata Midget Football Association. He regularly works on hand drills and bag drills to reinforce good techniques and stress the importance the feet play in beating blocks. Players have to bring their feet with them so they can roll their hips, Donnel said. Once in control of the situation, Donnels players use a shrug to get past the blocker. A shrug involves jerking the offensive lineman away from the direction you want to go much like sharply turning a steering wheel with two hands. You want to separate from the blocker, and the shrug pushes the blocker away while taking you in the direction you want to go, Donnel said. Thats Learn from toward the ballth www.usafo e pros at: carrier and o all-fundam tball.com/ in position entals-team to make the tackle. Photo courtesy the San Francisco 49ers


USA Football Magazine


Player Academies produce better, safer players

Blake Folden is an 8-year-old from Jefferson, Md., who attended the 2011 Player Academy in Oakton, Va. Here is what he learned from USA Football and put into action during the season with the Brunswick Junior Railroaders
By Blake Folden

like football because, like my dad says, it is the one sport that requires every player to do his job, then regroup and do it again for the success of the team. You must always respect your coaches. They put a lot of time in to help you become the best player you can be. Whether at practice or before a game, football starts with conditioning and dynamic stretches carioca, lunges, side lunges, drum majors, high knees. These open up your lungs and warm up your muscles to play some football. We all like to win, or we wouldnt play. But win or lose, its about having fun and learning to improve your game. Always congratulate your opponent. Having a good attitude shows respect for the other team. It is important that everyone on the team plays by the rules. That keeps us

all safe. Football isnt just about size. It requires a lot of heart and hustle. My

teammates and I always hustle on and off the

eld. This makes our opponent see that we never give up or tire out. It also allows us to run more plays and improve. an On offense, everyone has to block so the play works successfully. su The quarterback has to drop back quickly from the line, and ba running backs have to hit the ru hole hard, exploding out of the ho backeld. You should always ba run with your head and eyes ru up, scanning the eld. up This keeps you safe and allows you to get more yards. al On defense, always know where your opponent is coming wh from and beat him to the fr hole. We tackle by using our ho brain, not our heads. Tackling br fundamentals keep fu us safer and improve our skills. The better ou our angle, the better ou chance of stopping the ch ball-carrier sooner. ba Offense, defense and special teams all these sp things come together to thin make football great. ma
USA Football Magazine



Grow your game through a player membership

By Joe Frollo

ootball is a game of sights and sounds, action and excitement. It is about building a sense of teamwork, respect and sportsmanship through hard work and discipline. Youth football players and their parents can learn all those things, sharing them with family and friends through a USA Football player membership. Whether through League Afliation or individually signing up, USA Football player memberships include resources to help any young athlete improve his or her skills in Americas favorite sport. Through individualized myPLAYERs pages that can be designed to t a familys preferences, players and their parents can: l learn the games basics through a Football 101 resource; l see the latest information on health and safety issues, including concussion, heat emergency preparedness, nutrition and injury prevention; l watch videos and drills posted by their coaches or through USA Footballs

Film Room Library, which shows techniques by position and age level;

l learn from the pros through an exclusive NFL Films Video Library that showcases the games fundamentals at the highest level; l upload videos of their own to share with family and friends; l post stats, game results and pictures; The USA Football player membership is designed to educate players and their parents about this great sport and link them with coaches, teammates, friends and family through a closed social network, said Gary Del Vecchio, USA Football membership director. Coaches invite players to join into a teamwide group in order to distribute information, drills, ideas, practice plans and game plans, then families decide through invitation-only access who has access to the player page. This way, players can learn from their coaches and on their own while sharing results and highlights with anyone they want. All with the click of a button. The player and parent pages are designed to accommodate every level of football experience whether you are a veteran of the sport or new to the game, Del Vecchio said. Whether you want to use it as an educational tool, a social network or both, it is built to suit your needs.


USA Football Magazine


Presented by

Rob Wynkoop:


By Josh Weinfuss

ob Wynkoop had been away from football long enough. Fifteen years after playing his last down as a defensive lineman for Taylor University in Upland, Ind., Wynkoop yearned for the camaraderie, the atmosphere and the team. As his life unfolded after college, Wynkoop saw the lessons that made his football teams successful just as important to having a successful career. Instead of shoulder pads and helmets while trying to sack the quarterback, Wynkoop now wears a suit and a tie while running the day-to-day operations of the Indiana state government as commissioner of the Indiana Department of Administration. The parts make up a much greater whole than one single

person, and you cannot be successful unless all 11 guys are taking care of their responsibilities, Wynkoop said. You need all those guys to work together, which is really like how life is. You need a team and not worry about who gets the credit. In 2007, Wynkoop returned to football as the defensive line coach at Arsenal Tech High School in Indianapolis. Being around the game again quickly became the highlight of my day, Wynkoop said. It didnt take long to learn that coaching the game wasnt the same as playing it he can roll out of bed into a three-point stance, Wynkoop joked. Wynkoop has been a USA

Football coaching member for years. He uses the Click n Create playbook as well as USA Footballs resources to teach the progression of a three-point stance and how to shed a blocker. Teamwork on and off the eld is critical to success, and football has been a way for players to stay on track in the classroom. Discipline is such an important part in being successful in everything you do, Wynkoop said. A lot of these kids dont have that growing up for whatever reason. Football teaches discipline, teaches you to be together, to be a team, be on time. In many respects, the only place these kids are getting it are on the football eld.
USA Football Magazine



Most injuries that take place on the football eld can be treated by coaches and volunteers. The key is to recognize the difference between the potential for serious injury and common sprains or cuts.

Most injuries can be treated at the eld

By Walter Doerschuk

o matter how serious, injuries need to be treated correctly. Most bumps, bruises and cuts sustained on a football eld can be handled by the coach or a parent. For those, Indianapolis St.Vincent Sports Performance outreach manager and certied athletic trainer Jon Grant makes a simple recommendation. I tend to follow a broad rule, which is: Do no further harm, Grant said. Grant suggests using the RICE method rest, ice, compress, elevate to treat non-threatening situations. After any non-threatening injury is initially treated, determine whether further medical evaluation is needed. If so, call 911 and leave it to the professionals. It doesnt matter what type of athlete they are, whether they

are an Olympian or a seventh-grader, Grant said. Are they able to function? Here are some suggestions from Grant on how to treat on-eld minor injuries: Sprains If the knee or ankle is deformed, it should be immobilized and considered an emergency. If not, the ankle or knee should be immobilized and wrapped. Wrapping or taping can help keep the injured area from moving. Contusions Applying ice helps start the healing process. After icing the contusion for three days, a hot and cold method should be applied. Fill a bathtub with hot water, load a bucket with ice and water and rotate the contusion between the two. The injured body part should be kept in ice for three minutes, then in the hot water for two minutes for

three rotations totaling 15 minutes. The hot and cold method should be done twice a day until swelling and pain decrease. Lacerations The rst priority is to stop the bleeding. Then put ice on the wound, use gauze pads to compress the wound and elevate it. Depending on how big the laceration is, the wound may need stitches. Facial lacerations Lacerations to the face tend to produce more blood and can cause people to overreact. To help keep the calm, put a towel over the injured players face and keep everyone else away. This also helps prevent the victim from going into shock. St.Vincent Sports Performance is the ofcial performance medicine partner of USA Football.


USA Football Magazine


USA Footballs ofcials certication course benets both young and veteran ofcials.

Ofcials Courses bolster a crews condence

By Joe Frollo

he best ofcials are the ones who go unnoticed. One way to help start along that path is education through USA Footballs ofcials certication courses. In 2011, CYO Indianapolis directed all 200 of its crew members to take the USA Football online course that provides up-to-date theoretical and practical knowledge designed to help ofcials improve their game. CYO Indianapolis coordinator of ofcials Jerry Ross said participants both rookie ofcials and veterans of the game came away impressed

with what they learned. It is important for all our sports ofcials to be educated and armed with as much knowledge as possible before they take the eld, Ross said. The course helped new ofcials get their feet wet and served to reinforce the returning ones. You saw through the season that it helped in terms of using the same signals and being in the right position to make a call. The two-hour certication courses include instructional video and 3D animations that illustrate proper techniques, signals and positioning. Quizzes are included in the course, and ofcials who pass receive a

certicate. Additional courses are available for crew sizes of two, three, four and ve. CYO Indianapolis will make the course a regular part of its ofcials training going forward, Ross said, encouraging individuals to take the three-person crew certication course as well. Feedback was very positive, he said. All the topics it covered can come up in games. Its user friendly, easy to navigate and presented in a way that both a veteran ofcial and a new ofcial can understand. For more information on the ofcials certication program, visit: www.usafootball.com/game-ofcials.
USA Football Magazine


Topping the charts

uper Bowls XLV and XLVI were the most-watched television shows in U.S. history, both with 111 million viewers, according to Nielson. But Americas passion for the sport doesnt limit itself to one day a year. The Jan. 8 AFC Wild Card Playoff between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos drew 42.4 million viewers, most ever for a wild card game. The four NFL divisional games on Jan. 14-15 averaged 36.6 million views, an all-time high for that round. The two conference championships averaged 53.7 million, a 30-year high. Fans also tuned into the 2011 NFL regular season in record numbers as well, with NFL games earning 23 of 25 of the most-watched TV shows among all programming and the 16 most-watched shows on cable last fall. Heres a look at the top 10 most-watched shows of the nal quarter of 2011: 1, Miami Dolphins vs. Dallas Cowboys (CBS) Nov. 24 31.0 million 2, Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions (Fox) Nov. 24 30.2 million 3 (tie), Packers vs. New York Giants (Fox) Dec. 4 29.8 million New England Patriots vs. Broncos (CBS) Dec. 18 28.2 million 5, Two and a Half Men (CBS) Sept. 19 28.7 million 6, Cowboys vs. Patriots (Fox) Oct. 16 28.4 million 7, Giants vs. Patriots (Fox) Nov. 6 28.2 million 8, Cowboys vs. Giants (Fox) Nov. 6 27.6 million 9, New Orleans Saints vs. Packers (NBC) Sept. 8 27.1 million 10, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Broncos (CBS) Jan. 1 27.0 million Note: USA Football Magazine went to press prior to Super Bowl XLVI.

By the numbers International Bowl

The third annual International Bowl between the U.S. Under-19 National Team and the IFAF World Team was Feb. 1 in Austin, Texas. Players and coaches from 20 countries on four continents took part. Heres some other numbers to remember:

The number of miles traveled by the 124 IFAF World Team players and coaches to get to Austin, Texas enough to circumnavigate the globe at the equator 19 times



Percentage of youth players who have a parent coaching football

The children shall lead them

More than 4.1 million Americans played tackle football during 2011, with nearly 99 percent coming on the youth and high school level. Here is a breakdown where they competed: Youth 3 million (71.8 percent) l High school 1.1 million (26.3 percent) l College and professional 75,000 (1.8 percent)




USA Football Magazine

USA Footballs online Football Marketplace is your one-stop shop for football-related products and services. Shop everything from equipment to coaching DVDs and other unique training aides all on usafootball.com/marketplace
Rawlings Rawlings is the ofcial football of USA Football as well as the NAIA and NJCAA championships. Rawlings footballs meet specications for the NCAA and NFHS. At the youth level, Rawlings offers junior and pee-wee footballs, including the popular ST5 football. www.rawlingsgear.com (866) 678-4327 Cutters Cutters football gloves feature the ultimate combination of performance, durability and breathability with a snug, comfortable t, lightweight and classic look. www.cuttersgloves.com (800) 821-0231 BRAX Fundraising BRAX Spirit Cups gives football organizations and their supporters a unique fundraising opportunity. Choose cups from all 32 NFL teams, 30 MLB teams and more than 90 colleges. The 18-once cups are highlighted by amazing lenticular 3-D graphics and are durable, dishwasher safe and made in the USA.
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USA Football Magazine


Sports-Pride Sports-Pride produces the best in custom and stock helmet decals, awards stickers and car decals. Check out Monster-Hedz custom life size action cutout shots of your athlete perfect for walls, basements and garages and produced on semi-permanent backing so they are easy to move around the house. www.sports-pride.com (866) 540-0742.

Riddell Riddell football helmets and shoulder pads are the equipment that players at the highest levels demand by name. The Revolution Speed football helmet is a combination of protection, comfort and style that is taking the football world by storm. www.riddell.com (800) 275-5838 TSS Photography TSS Photography has been working with leagues, schools and other groups for more than 26 years, providing lasting memories to parents and children in communities nationwide. www.tssphotography.com (800) 321-9127

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Zumer Sport Products are made from authentic sports ball materials. Whether you play a sport, watch it or just love the uniqueness of our products and brand, you wont nd a more interesting array of products in any one brand. www.zumersport.com (805) 784-9191

Athletic Training Innovations (ATI) Increase your speed, quickness and power with next-generation training tools from Athletic Training Innovations. www.atinnovate.com (800) 549-0341


USA Football Magazine

Ftbol translates perfectly to Hispanic players, coaches

By Joe Frollo

erizon and the NFL are proud supporters of NFL FLAG powered by USA Football. To promote Hispanic participation in Americas favorite sport, Verizon visited with coaches and players of Hispanic descent at NFL FLAG powered by USA Football Regional Tournaments throughout the country. Get to know one of the sports proud participants by checking out her answers to why she loves football. Name Carola Pellegrino Hometown Denville, N.J. Age 13 Years playing football Four Favorite position Running back Favorite NFL player Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh Steelers Favorite tailgate food Hamburgers How did you become interested in playing football? My brother played football when he was little, and I would always practice with him and fell in love with the game. What have you learned through playing football that you didnt expect? Football involves a team effort. It doesnt matter if you have the ball or not, you still need to work as a team. What do you like best about playing football? You get to meet new people and make lots of new friends. What are your best football skills? Cutting and running with the ball. What makes a great football coach? A great football coach should be sincere and kind and denitely

have patience. What would you tell someone who isnt sure if they should play football? Give it a try. It is a lot of fun, and even if you think you are not good at it, you can still learn and try your best. What should people know about girls who play football? Sometimes, girls are just tougher than boys. To learn more, visit www.usafootball. com/verizon.
USA Football Magazine


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