Indiana News

USA Football Renews Quest to Require Certification of Youth Coaches

Senator to reintroduce bill mandating online training course

9/13/2013


Indianapolis native and former New England Patriots linebacker Rosevelt Colvin (right) with Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle). (WIBC.com photo: Eric Berman)

Youth football coaches in Indiana would have to take a two-hour training course under a proposal to be introduced in next year's legislature.

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The Senate approved a bill this year requiring any coaches playing on municipal fields to complete an online course covering issues from proper coaching demeanor to tackling methods designed to minimize the risk of head injury. The House opted to study the issue instead. Senator Travis Holdman (R-Markle), the bill's author, says he's hopeful a year of reviewing the issue and the course will lead to passage next year.

Former Broad Ripple High School and Purdue linebacker Rosevelt Colvin, who played 10 seasons with the Chicago Bears and New England Patriots, now coaches youth football back home in Indy. But he says he "didn't trust the process" enough to let his son play until he saw the course created by USA Football.

USA Football executive director Scott Hallenbeck says the organization emphasizes a back-to-the-future '70s-style tackling technique, hitting opposing players not helmet-first but with an upward lunge of the shoulder. He says the group wants to standardize not only technique but terminology at all levels of football to make instruction smoother.

Hallenbeck says every major coaching organization, the NFL and NCAA have endorsed the program. Holdman says the state still needs to require it to make sure unaffiliated club sports are covered too.

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