Atavus Educational Program Aimed to Improve Youth Football Safety: A blog around coaching and education of the sport.

The numbers are startling. Participation in youth football has dropped dramatically since 2010, with 1.25 million fewer kids playing football at all levels, in any form, across the country. That is a decline of nearly 30 percent — from about 3 million players to 2.2 million — according to an analysis of census data by the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS).

It’s no secret why this is happening: safety concerns have led many parents to worry about their children getting injured and whether playing tackle football too early will have long-term negative implications. Coaches, parents, and administrators have asked themselves what they can do to reverse the trend.

We understand why safety concerns have led to a drastic reduction in participation numbers, but we know how to address a significant segment of those issues.

Atavus offers various programs, tools, and services designed to help protect and promote the safety of young football players.

  • Tackling Education and Analysis: Through our educational materials and coaching service called the “Digital Tackling Academy,” Atavus focuses on teaching proper shoulder-led technique during tackling drills with youth athletes ages 10-14 (also adaptable for older players).
  • Risk Management: Atavus also offers a Risk Management dashboard to help identify the causes and reduce the risk of head injuries and other tackling-related injuries among young football players.
  • Technology Solutions: Atavus also offers a variety of innovative technology solutions that can help to improve the safety of football. These solutions include video analysis and biomechanical reporting.

We also know that it’s not just one thing but a combination of factors, including awareness of head injury risks, concern over CTE, lack of knowledge about proper technique, and lack of tools to help coaches teach proper technique.

The Atavus football training program is the first of its kind. It uses video analysis to collect data on player performance during practice and games so that coaches can use it to give informed feedback to their players. Coaches will be able to see how each player performs against their peers and make adjustments accordingly.

Atavus further accomplishes positive outcomes by providing the following:

  • An online platform that coaches can use to teach effective tackling techniques in a way that is easy to follow and understand in a common language
  • Video examples of proper execution of each technique so you know what you’re looking for when you watch your players practice them

The good news is that there are solutions to these problems, and they’re not all that complicated. If we can all work together – coaches, parents, and administrators – to find ways to address each of these factors, we have a chance at turning this around. In the meantime, if you’re interested in learning more about what Atavus does for youth football players or coaches who want help teaching their kids proper technique during practice sessions, please visit our Digital Tackling Academy page today!