American Youth Football, a national youth partner of the NFL, will now require all coaches on its regional/national track (more than 50,000) to take the new, free “Football Tackling” course introduced on the NFHS Learning Center last month.
AYF, with more than 650,000 youth members in 3,000-plus cities, is the only youth football program with members in all 50 states and several other countries. AYF, which was started in 1996, offers all-inclusive football and cheer divisions for children ages 6-14.
The “Football Tackling” course will be mandatory for coaches in the national track involving about 7,000 teams and 50,000-70,000 coaches, and it will be optional for coaches on the local track.
“The NFHS Football Tackling course was a natural fit for our youth coaches’ education requirement,” said Craig Karahuta, AYF vice president of football and cheer operations, in a statement from NFHS. “It helps educate our coaches on the three fundamental concepts of tackling. We look forward to having AYF football players learning the proper techniques prior to playing high school football. This opportunity should help bridge the gap in what is being taught on the youth level versus the high school level.”
The “Football Tackling” course, which was a joint production between the NFHS and the NFL, is designed to assist interscholastic coaches in teaching, evaluating and programming proper tackling techniques.
The course is one of several projects resulting from the NFHS-NFL partnership that was announced in September 2020. This first-ever partnership was aimed at promoting the growth, understanding and support for football at the high school level.
“We are pleased that American Youth Football has made this commitment to ensure that youth football coaches are teaching the proper tackling techniques,” said Dr. Karissa Niehoff, NFHS CEO. “We thank AYF, as well as the NFL, in helping to bridge the gap between the youth and high school levels.”