Youth football players ages 7-14, parents and coaches from around northern California visited Candlestick Park Saturday for the final stop of the inaugural "USA Football Protection Tour." The San Francisco 49ers along with Riddell, the sport's national governing body on youth and amateur levels, USA football, partnered for this Initial concussion awareness tour.
"We are excited to bring this one of a kind event to San Francisco in its first year", explained 49ers Youth Football Coordinator, Jared Muela. "As an organization we have always worked to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to youth safety and preserving the great game of football. This event helps us take another step in that direction. USA Football and Riddell have done a great job advancing this movement for many years now, and this event is a real testament to their work."
Over 500 youth football players and parents took part in the event which was spread over three sessions throughout the day. Each two hour session included a lecture with team doctors, drills for the participants and proper helmet fitting clinics.
Parents and Coaches took part in a lecture and Q&A session with doctors focusing on concussion awareness. They discussed their own experiences diagnosing concussions on the professional level and how it relates to the youth level. Simple tests were explained that any parent or coach could execute to determine if a player might show symptoms of a concussion.
While the parents and coaches were enjoying the lecture portion, the youth in attendance took part in tackling drills on Bill Walsh field. Here they were taught proper hitting techniques from current youth football coaches. The coaches followed USA football's Tackle Progression model to help properly educate the players on the correct way to tackle.
Riddell equipment representatives were on hand to properly fit helmets. Parents accompanied their kids during the fitting to be informed on the the exact size of the helmet their child needs.
Overall the protection tour was a huge success in educating different aspects of the game to players, parents and coaches. The San Francisco 49ers are excited to bring on this partnership with USA football and Riddell Equipment to be on the forefront in educating bay area youth football on concussion awareness. The 49ers are proud to have an event that helps educate its surrounding community on the signs and symptoms of a concussion, proper helmet fitting and proper tackling techniques.