By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
August 23, 2013
Across the U.S., football players of all ages are gearing up for their respective football seasons. This year, however, they’re doing it under an updated set of safety standards. Two weeks ago, leadership from the NFL, Pop Warner, and USA Football announced Heads Up Football, a new, comprehensive youth football membership program developed by USA Football and supported by the NFL to further advance youth player safety.
While Pop Warner and USA Football focus intently on physical health and safety, they also focus on family health and wellness and behavior – establishing good patterns early for lifelong success, sound decision-making abilities and tactics, and the importance of academic rigor.
According to Dr. Richard Chaifetz, founder of ComPysch Corporation and an expert on behavioral issues, “the experience that kids have early in life shape them for who they are in the future. We’ve seen what happens to athletes who have the wrong type of experiences and never learn the right way, and how difficult it is for them to fit in to the rules of society.
“If you can set those high standards early,” Chaifetz continues, “and you help kids understand why the standards exist, what the consequences are, and what they can achieve if they follow those standards and differentiate between good and not good behavior, everyone is better off for it.”