I have been a volunteer football coach and President of the Westport PAL Football program for the last 17 years. I have been a certified US football coach and a league affiliate for the last several years. In 2007 I began to look at concussion in youth football and how (if anything) we can do to make the game safer and the experience of kids a better one. In 2007 PAL football recorded 30 concussions in one season. In the 2011 season we recorded a record low of 5 concussions in practice. Since that time, I have helped implement a policy in the Fairfield County Football League that all coaches must have concussion training annually. As I do not have any children, my goal is help get as many children playing the great game of football and make it as safe as possible.
We brought in Chris Nowinski to conduct training’s on concussions for all the PAL coaches, parents and players at least 4 times a year. In addition to these training’s, We reduced the amount of contact in practice, changed how we taught the game of football, added a trainer and implemented a new tackling system.
Click for a copy of an independent study by Sports Legacy Institute to show the success Westport PAL has had in reducing the amount of concussion in youth football.
I am more than happy to discuss this with you further and help in any way we can to help make the experience for our youth a better and safer one.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Carmen A. Roda
Director of Youth Sports