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Mar, 2017

USA Football News

Practices, like every aspect of football, continue to evolve.

With player wellness now a paramount concern, many states, school districts and teams are reshaping how practice time is spent, limiting the amount of full contact allowed each day or eliminating it altogether.

This means that coaches need to accomplish all the same goals through practice but with fewer player-on-player hits and a more attentive eye than ever toward safety.

They need to practice efficiently and purposely. They need to Practice Smart.

USA Football is proud to announce the release of Practice Smart, an 11-chapter video course that helps high school coaches shape their practices in order to reduce unnecessary contact while continuing to build fundamentals and enhance skill development.

Four-time Florida high school football state champion Robert Weiner, head coach of Plant (Tampa, Fla.), teams with Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dungy to share with fellow coaches what they’ve learned and how they’ve built their programs to optimize practice time.

“When you are talking about organizing practice schedules, the first thing a coach needs to be able to understand is the different levels of contact for each drill,” Weiner said. “USA Football has done a great job of defining those so as a coach, you can categorize your drills and strategically apply them to your practices, which in turn will allow your team to not only be safer and healthier but also a better football team on the field with better chances to win more games." 

The course includes breakdowns on USA Football’s Levels of Contact; controlling contact on offense, defense and special teams; and drill progression.

“As a coach, I understand the need to train your players to the highest level and to perform well on game day,” Dungy said. “To be great, we had to be efficient in our use of contact in our practices in order to manage energy level, injuries and recovery. The idea of limiting contact as a way to better your players really changed my coaching style.”

The course costs $10 and like all USA Football courses, it can be taken at a coach’s leisure, saving where you left off to pick right back up when you are ready to resume.

Coaches can sign up for the course—and view all of USA Football’s available courses—here.

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