The Miami Dolphins, in partnership with USA Football, hosted a Player Safety Coach (PSC) Training at the Baptist Health Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University. The Dolphins covered the cost of training for the football coaches prior to the beginning of spring football practices across South Florida. Forty-nine schools from across Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties were represented.
The Heads Up Football® training began with a classroom session that focused on equipment fitting, concussion education, sudden cardiac arrest response and heat and hydration preparedness. The lessons were led by USA Football Regional Master Trainer & Christopher Columbus Head Football Coach Chris Merritt, Regional Master Trainer and St. Xavier (Cincinnati) High School Head Football Coach Steve Specht, Miami Dolphins Senior Director of Youth Programs & Master Trainer Twan Russell and Miami Dolphins Youth Programs Manager & Master Trainer Troy Drayton.
“As certified Player Safety Coaches, tonight’s participants are now equipped with the proper knowledge and tools to implement the Heads Up Football® health and safety protocols within their teams or leagues,” Miami Dolphins Senior Vice President of Communications & Community Affairs Jason Jenkins said. “We are proud to partner with USA Football on this project with a shared goal of certifying 450 PSCs and aiding 1,500 Coach Certifications in South Florida by August.”
Following the classroom instruction, the coaches moved to the field for demonstration of a new USA Football Shoulder Tackling system designed to unify the approach to tackling at all levels of the sport.
“Hopefully this (program) brings more validation to our profession as high school football coaches,” Merritt said. “It promotes to the community that we’re doing the best that we can to provide the safest environment for football, that we are making the game safer and better.”
Hosting a USA Football PSC Training is a continuation of the Miami Dolphins Youth Programs mission to transform the lives of youth football players by instilling core values and reinforcing safety standards with the instructors of the game that help to increase football participation.
“I would like to thank the Dolphins for putting themselves in the situation of helping us out, because this is really important to me,” Coral Gables Head Football Coach Tim Neal said. “I think that not only does it allow us to put our kids in better situations of not being injured, but it also puts all of the coaches on the same page. It unites us in a way where we understand as far as what’s right and the right way of doing things.”