All school teams will implement USA Football techniques
Landon is one of only a few pilot programs around the country for USA Football’s Heads Up Tackling, a step-by-step protocol to teach the core principles of how to tackle and encourage player safety. The program utilizes five fundamentals through a series of drills to reinforce proper mechanics and teach players how to properly tackle with a focus on reducing helmet contact, according to its website.
Head varsity football coach Paul Padalino and 5th grade football coach Doug Nettles, who played in the National Football League, will lead the program at Landon and will conduct a clinic for all coaches at the school.
“Landon athletics has consistently been at the forefront of our athletes’ safety and health,” Padalino says. “This will provide boys who play football with the techniques and skills that enhance their safety. We will now teach how to tackle the same way from grade three all the way up to the varsity team.”
USA Football, which partnered with the NFL, implemented the program last year in many youth football leagues around the country. This year, high school teams were added to the program. Landon is one of the only schools to implement its techniques across all its teams at the same time.
“It is reaffirming to know that our varsity and junior varsity teams have practiced these techniques for a long time,” Padalino says.