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Training Course May Be Required For Youth Football Coaches

Youth football coaches in Indiana would have to take a two-hour training course under a proposal to be introduced in next year‘s legislature.

Little league football coach talks with his team after a game.

Photo: John VanderHaagen (Flickr)

Little league football coach talks with his team after a game.

The Senate approved a bill this year requiring any coaches playing on municipal fields to complete an online course covering issues from proper coaching demeanor to tackling methods designed to minimize the risk of head injury.

The House opted to study the issue instead.

Senator Travis Holdman, R-Markle, the bill‘s author, says he‘s hopeful a year of reviewing the issue and the course will lead to passage next year.

“There are a lot of club sports that have third and fourth graders that may not be connected with any organization.  It’s just folks that have gotten together in the community but they’re using city parks to do this so we’re trying to empress upon on local government folks that they need to reduce their risk,” Holdman says.

Former Broad Ripple High School and Purdue linebacker Rosevelt Colvin, who played 10 seasons with the Chicago Bears and New England Patriots, now coaches youth football back home in Indy. But he says he “didn‘t trust the process” enough to let his son play until he saw the course created by USA Football.

Colvin says “You have guys that are  volunteering their time.  You can’t knock them going out there and helping ‘Johny’ put his helmet on, put his pads on, because these kids, these young boys need father figures these days but they need to be trained properly so they are telling these young men where to go.”

USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck says the NFL and NCAA have endorsed the program but Holdman says the state still needs to require it to make sure unaffiliated club sports are covered too.

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