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Health & Safety

1. HEAT PREPAREDNESS & HYDRATION

The environment, equipment and intensity can place athletes at risk of heat illness. Heat illnesses represent conditions resulting from heat stress, which can be imposed by a number of factors but usually result from the environment or the body creating this heat load itself. Heat illnesses can range from minor to severe, and in particular, exertional heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency.

 

Prevention

Ways to help prevent the occurrence of various exertional heat illnesses.

  • Have athletes undergo a period of heat acclimatization

  • Encourage athletes to arrive at practice hydrated

  • Allow athletes unlimited access to hydration during activity

  • Modify practice when environmental conditions become extreme (allowing additional rest/hydration breaks, reducing the intensity of practice, reducing the time of practice and reducing the equipment worn during practice)

  • Practice at an intensity that is appropriate for the fitness level Encourage athletes to speak up when not feeling well

Fluids for hydration

Sports drinks contain electrolytes, sugar and water, which give athletes important nutrients during exercise. While water is appropriate during all types of exercise, sports drinks are recommended for use during intense exercise that is greater than 60 minutes or during intense exercise in the heat.

 

2. EQUIPMENT FITTING

Helmet Fitting

A properly fitting helmet is a key step in reducing the risk of concussions. Learn how to fit your players' helmets.

Select your helmet manufacturer to visit their website and find fitting guides.

Riddell Schutt

Shoulder Pad Fitting

Provide players optimal protection with a proper fit. Learn how to fit your players' shoulder pads.

Select your shoulder pad manufacturer to visit their website and find fitting guides.

Riddell Schutt Xenith

 

3. SAFE CONTACT

 

Safe Tackling (Heads up Tackling):

Why Teach Safe Tackling?

The Safe Contact tackling technique creates fundamentally sound tacklers which is a critical element of football. This technique emphasizes making contact with the chest and front shoulder while the primary technique taught in Safe Contact carries over to all situational tackles. The technique also increases defensive turnovers.

What is Safe Tackling?

This technique teaches tacklers to keep their head up and initiate contact using the chest and front of the shoulder pads. It emphasizes using the hips and hands to generate power through the tackle. The posture as well as angle of the ball carrier will determine which approach the tackler takes towards the ball carrier.

How is Safe Tackling taught?

Safe Tackling teaches the skill of tackling through a reverse progression module. The skill is broken down into four components that are taught from least complex to most complex. Each stage of the progression model is also taught using a whole-part-whole method meaning that the whole skill is first demonstrated before being broken down into its individual elements. Following working on the individual elements of the movement separately, the whole technique is then put back together.

Safe Blocking (Heads up Blocking):

What is Safe Contact Blocking?

Safe Contact Blocking technique emphasizes making primary contact with the hands. This technique creates fundamentally sound blockers which is a critical element of football. The primary blocking technique taught in Safe Contact carries over to all situational blocking. The technique also carries over to all positions.

About the technique

This technique teaches blockers to keep their head up and initiate contact during blocks using their hands. It emphasizes using the hips and hands to generate power through the block. The posture as well as angle of the tackler will determine which approach the blocker takes towards the tackler.

How is Safe Blocking taught?

Safe Blocking teaches the skill of blocking through a reverse progression module. The skill is broken down into four components that are taught from least complex to most complex. Each stage of the progression model is also taught using a whole-part-whole method meaning that the whole skill is first demonstrated before being broken down into its individual elements. Following working on the individual elements of the movement separately, the whole technique is then put back together.

 

WHAT IS A CONCUSSION?

A concussion is a brain injury that cannot be seen on x-rays, CT scans, or MRIs. It affects the way your child may think and remember things, and can cause a variety of symptoms. We take concussions very seriously in Lions football. All coaches take part in the making headway concussion awareness programs as well as adhere to safe contact coaching methods across all ages of players.