CROWN first impact while in the act of making a tackle is the PRIMARY cause of all catastrophic injuries on every level of football competition. Remove the CROWN from the collision and eliminate avoidable injuries.
In 1997, my 12-year-old son Steven (my only son) told me that he was ready to play tackle football. In that moment, I experienced several emotions. The first was one of pride: my little man finally wanted to be like his Dad and play football. I had shown him and his older sister, Ranae, my old tapes on the VCR since they were babies.
The other emotion was one of fear. A fear of seeing my little man not getting off of the ground due to a catastrophic injury to his head, neck or spine.
So, I told him, "Okay, but, I'm gonna help out!" So I took him up to the park where the Tri-City Falcons practiced and signed him up. I'm a former UCLA Bruin corner back from '77-'78. The league president was a Bruin fan and knew my name. It was another great moment when he said, "Bobby Hosea, didn't you just play at UCLA 10 years ago?" and I said with great pride, "Nah, it was 20 years ago!"
I asked if I could help out coaching and, in pretty short order, I was named the Head Coach. Now, I became very afraid. I just went from a father scared to death for one little boy, to having 25 new sons to worry about. So I did what any man that used to bench press 335 pounds would do: I prayed!
I never wanted to see any of those little boys not be able to get up because of me. Kids play for their coach if they know their coach loves them and my kids know that I love them more than the game of football. And, if you really knew me, you would say that I love football more than anything. Nope, I love people more.
Anyway, like I said, I prayed for guidance because I had no clue how to get all these little boys on the same page, they were all so different. Some were experienced, others had never played before. Some were aggressive naturally and others were passive and timid. All I could do was say...Lord help me!
This is the truth! I woke up one morning with a burning idea in my mind, a vision that was clear as day. So I went to the hardware store, Builders Emporium back in those days, and I asked for the pipes you put under the grass for sprinkling. I ended up in my garage with PVC pipes, fittings, glue and a saw.
Three and a half hours later, I had built this little contraption that I called Dip-N-Rip-Sticks. I called it that because when you Dip and Rip, you Stick that dude when you do it right. Well, that's what I told the kids when I carried about 4 sets of the Dip-N-Rip-Sticks out to practice the first time. To be honest, I had no idea what else to tell them.
Anyway, all these years later, a June 2011 scientific research study commissioned by the LA84 Foundation, one of the largest funders of youth sports in America, has proven that my Dip-N-Rip-Sticks Tackle Training Technique lowers helmet-first impact by 43% compared to the traditional tackling technique. That 43% reduction is the elimination of 100% of the CROWN from the collision.