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Pros Train Regional High School Coaches On 'Heads Up Football'

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BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma -

Football players are bound to take some big hits, but it's how players take those hits that's concerning the NFL -- so much so that the league is re-training high school coaches how to tackle.

The USA Football training -- paid for in part by the NFL was in Green Country on Saturday.

Where a player's head is can make all the difference in a game and in preventing a concussion.

“Heads Up Football” is about just that -- keeping your head up in a tackle to avoid injury.

It's a collision sport undergoing a crash course on tackling to prevent concussions.

High school football coaches from Oklahoma,Texas and Arkansas came to Broken Arrow to learn how to keep players' heads up when tackling.

"There's going to be some injuries, but we're going to try to teach them the proper techniques to do the hitting, to try to cut down on as many injuries as possible, especially concussions,” director Harley Rutherford said.

Heads Up tackling means going into a tackle with your head up... never taking a hit with your head down.

Former Dallas Cowboys player Willie Pile is leading the training on behalf of USA Football.

"We're taking a stand against what people think football should look like and what it should be like and we're going to create a universal language, a universal mantra, of teaching kids how to tackle properly and try to make the game better and safer," Pile said.

Coaches at the training are now "player safety coaches."

They'll go back to their teams and teach what they learned.

The NFL is even reimbursing some coaches for coming.

"USA Football... through the NFL... will reimburse my stay for the night, so that's how serious they are about us coming to these events,” Little Rock coach Rickey Williams said.

This coach says parents are also serious about coaches getting this Heads Up training.

"The first thing they ask: Are you Heads Up certified? And I said, 'Yes, we are.' Because they want to know that the coaches that are teaching their children are properly certified to teach them how to tackle," Williams said.

Coaches also learned how to keep players hydrated in heat and how to make sure pads and helmets are fitting properly, which are very important as we're a few weeks away from the start of high school two-a-days.

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