Pete Carroll would have been proud of the activities that took place at Virginia Mason Athletic Center on Saturday, March 28, when roughly 50 high school and youth coaches gathered to partake in USA Football's Heads Up Football Player Safety Coaches Certification Clinic.
Last summer, with the help of then-defensive passing game coordinator Rocky Seto - who was promoted to assistant head coach/defense earlier this year, Carroll released an instructional video that made waves around the NFL. Its purpose was to teach coaches, players, and fans outside the organization about the Seahawks' tackling technique that takes the head out of the play to increase safety while still maintaining the toughness and physicality that Seattle's "Legion of Boom" defense is known for.
USA Football's coaches clinic at Seahawks headquarters passed on several of Carroll's proper tackling techniques. The session also advised in the handling of concussion recognition, appropriate equipment fitting, heat preparedness, and cardiac arrest awareness.
"The involvement of the NFL, the Seattle Seahawks and USA football is what is making these changes possible in youth and high school football," said Bothell High School head coach Tom Bainter, who conducted last month's clinic and whose Cougars won the 4-A state championship this past December. "The NFL's funding and willingness to want to improve football and make it a safer game is of paramount importance.
"The Seattle Seahawks, with the way they support youth and high school football in our state through different outreach programs, is vital to improving health and safety issues in football locally."
The clinic served as a starting point for Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) efforts to certify every high school and youth football coach in USA Football's Heads Up tackling components.
"I believe we will continue to see continued growth in making football safer as more and more programs, coaches and players are introduced and instructed on the pillars of safety within the Heads Up Football program," Bainter said.
To learn more, check out www.usafootball.com.