If you are an athletic director, football coach, game official or parent concerned about reducing the number of concussions and catastrophic head, neck and spinal injuries in the sport and have 25 minutes to spare, my non-profit, Train 'Em Up Academy, has produced an enlightening, empowering and powerful video, called "Wide-Eye'd Blind."
Why do I call it that? Because as a nation, we are literally standing by, with our eyes wide open but blind to the fact that our greatest resource, our young people, are suffering needless injury in the name of sport.
For some reason, we can't see what the real problem is when it comes to football-related brain, neck and spinal cord injuries. For some reason, we refuse to address a fundamental problem: the way our kids are taught to tackle.
Instead of teaching our kids proper tackling technique, we persist in teaching them whatever our fathers' coaches taught them, and it is this lack of knowledge that is harming athletes and their families. Change our behavior and we will save our children and the game of football. If not, the game will die.
Don't think we are up to the task? Of course, we are. It wasn't too long ago that kids practiced two-a-days in the sweltering heat of August in full pads without water breaks because their coaches wanted to "toughen" them up. The result were an alarming number of heat stroke deaths and lots of kids needlessly being subjected to milder forms of heat illness.
Once kids started getting more frequent water breaks, practices were moved to the early morning and the evening instead of the hottest part of the day, and the duration of practices in full pads and helmets was limited, heat stroke deaths diminished dramatically. We changed our behavior and saved lives.
Yet, despite the fact that there are millions of brain injuries in football each season, we still don't make tackle safety certification mandatory for coaches and players.
The SOLUTION exists now! We just need to start using it!