A.J. Sliman, right, of the Katy (Texas) Youth Football league, practices Heads Up Tackling
technique last fall. Sliman suffered a concussion in a game the year prior. (ESPN Photo)
The “solution” (or at least one of the solutions) put forth for the concussion problem is to change how the game of football is played, namely adjusting tackling form in a “safer” direction.
Here’s an interesting story that made the front page of Espn.com just recently.
Questions about Heads Up Tackling By Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada
The bulk of the discussion on concussion issues centers on changes to equipment (ie. helmets and mouth guards etc) and the rules (tackling form, penalties for head to head contact, possible elimination of kickoffs etc) but interestingly, almost nothing is being said in the media in regards to changing the players themselves, which is essentially the thrust of our efforts.
It IS certainly possible to considerably strengthen the musculature involved which, in turn, helps dissipate the forces involved.
While we agree that the “heads up” movement is a step in the right direction, one of the flaws is that it ONLY deals with tackling while head to head contact is going on at many positions every single play.
As a former nose guard, I knew this full well – so any attempts to change the rules will only go so far in this regard (at least in my humble opinion.)
The article asks many of the right questions, hopefully the right folks are paying attention.