(Photo/Video Credit: Miami Dolphins)
With the growing concern of football being a dangerous game to play, the NFL has taken many steps to make the game safer. On Saturday, the Miami Dolphins along with Heads Up Football did their part in educating parents on football safety.
On Saturday, the Dolphins teamed up with Heads Up Football to hosted a record 300 parents at their fourth annual Mom’s Clinic at the Baptist Health Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University. Unlike previous years, the clinic welcomed both mothers and fathers as they were all educated on football safety.
Former Dolphin and Manager of Youth Programs and USA Football Trainer Troy Drayton was on hand as he talked to parents about proper techniques and the importance of keeping kids hydration.
“We are here educating families. Having both decision makers is a work in progress to a better and safer game. One thing we are trying to do is inform these parents, who then can make sure that their kids are playing safe and tackling properly and training them more on what signs to see,” Dolphins Manager of Youth Programs & USA Football Master Trainer Troy Drayton said. “This event has grown a lot, when you think about when we first started we had about 75-80 people and now we are 300 people strong. We are getting into the roots of change, and for us, that is what we want to do. One of our pillars of Youth Programs is health and safety and aligning with USA Football and its initiatives is an important element for us.”
Dolphins Athletic Trainer Shannon Osborne also talked to parents about the importance of nutrition, heat and hydration and equipment fitting. Parents also took part in drills that showed proper tackling techniques and were taught the correct and safe way for kids to tackle and protect their bodies.
Dolphins Equipment Manager Joe Cimino showed parents the right way helmets and shoulder pads should fit their children to help prevent injuries. Dolphins kicker Andrew Franks was also on hand to demonstrate the correct way to wear helmets and shoulder pads.
“I think it is really important understanding the aspects of how to make the sport itself safer,” Franks said. “Setting these standards early is really important for youth football in general.” “From a player’s standpoint, having your parents around supporting you – the parents have the most contact with their kids and how they play and how to influence those safety protocols.”
Susan Harrington, who is a mom of three boys, said she has learned a lot about football from the information she received from the clinics.
“The first week of practice change my whole perception. Coming here today and seeing all the people here today and what I experienced in this is definitely amazing and it is really informative,” Harrington said. “I took notes on the whole session.”
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