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  • Writer's pictureTerry O'Neil

Teevens, Juels Storm into Connecticut

From left, Buddy Teevens, Terry O'Neil, Mike Juels address the NIKE/New England Clinic last Friday.

Undaunted by a howling Nor'easter, Practice Like Pros rolled into the Windsor Marriott Hotel, Windsor, CT, Friday for the NIKE Coach of the Year Clinic/New England.  Dartmouth Head Coach Buddy Teevens drove through the storm Thursday night after appearing at a NIKE clinic in Allentown, PA, andGamebreaker Founder/CEO Mike Juels somehow landed in Hartford Friday morning after a flight from Los Angeles.

Teevens is the singular Division 1 coach whose team tackles live only 10 days per year -- on its 10 gamedays.  Dartmouth tackles in practice more than any other team in college football -- 500 to 800 reps per year per defensive player -- but always against bags and dummies or onto crash pads, never live player vs. player.  It's been a successful formula -- the Big Green is 32-11 in its last 43 games, including an Ivy League co-championship in 2015.  Teevens told the audience, "When I recruit, I tell parents, 'Your son will never tackle or be tackled by another Dartmouth player during his four years."

Juels, whose Gamebreaker soft-shell headgear is worn by players at all levels from flag through the NFL, has a unique perspective on the game.  He has coached at famous Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, CA, his sons Jake and Nick are both UCLA football players, and his Gamebreakerventure is among the fastest-growing companies of its size in America.  He is distressed by declining participation in high school football.  He told coaches, "The big elephant in the room is participation.  We all know it, you all feel it in your programs.  And before that, the bigger issue is retention.  We need to stop the bleeding."

Clinic Director Frank Stamilio messaged last night:  "I really want to thank you for bringing your important message to New England coaches who attended my clinic.  You, Buddy and Mike did a wonderful job of showing us all how we can change the way we practice.  I also heard very positive comments from coaches about the great interaction with the Q&A segment.  If there is anything I can do in the future to help promote PLP, just let me know as you can count on me.  I look forward to working with you in the future."  

More from Ohio

Late-arriving reaction from PLP's February 10 appearance at the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association (OHSFCA) Clinic in Columbus: 

"I heard your presentation at the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association Clinic.  I firmly believe that this is the way to go.  My son is a 7th grader and I have coached his team since 4th grade as well as my own varsity team.  I'm going to use whatever power I have to help implement this.  Thank you for all you do for our game.  We can make a difference."  - Brad Burchfield, Head Football Coach, Bishop Hartley High School, Columbus, OH

Next Up

This week, Dartmouth Head Coach Buddy Teevens and Terry O'Neil kick off the New England Football Coaches Clinic, 4 to 5 p.m., Friday, March 9, at Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA, co-hosted by the New England Patriots and the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA).

The next day, Saturday, March 10, at the University of Texas/San Antonio, O'Neil and Mike Juels, Founder/CEO of Gamebreaker, present to the Texas Youth Football Association (TYFA) Annual Membership Meeting.  TYFA, the largest youth football organization in Texas, has been featured in the television series Friday Night Tykes.  Here is a statement from TYFA Co-Founder/President Brian Morgan regarding Saturday's meeting: 

TYFA is committed to protecting all players and helping to create a healthier experience for the athletes in our League. Over the next 3 Years,  TYFA will roll out initiatives, adopt new rules and educate coaches, parents and athletes around making the game of football safer and promoting a better way to prepare our athletes and limit injuries in our league.

The Safer Football Initiative will serve as TYFA’s comprehensive program for all Health and Safety related issues. TYFA has always been on the cutting edge of technology to improve our game and with this initiative we expect to be a trendsetter once again by spearheading this initiative from the youth level.

On March 10, 2018, during the TYFA Annual Membership Meeting at the University of Texas/San Antonio, we will roll out the TYFA Safety Initiative to our member organizations. In order to further our reach and drive this initiative,  TYFA has chosen GAMBREAKER and PRACTICE LIKE PROS as our chosen partners for the initiative.

The Initiative will focus on:

  • The Development of a comprehensive “roadmap” to reducing the number of “padded/full contact practices” held per week by member organizations.

  • Increasing the education around conducting effective and productive non-contact practices.

  • Concussion Recognition & Response.

  • Education and Advocacy for coaches and organizational leaders around health and safety.

  • Providing better equipment and recertification of safety equipment, especially helmets and the use of padded helmets in the flag division.

  • Continued Emphasis on proper tackling techniques and education on ways to limit injuries.

  • Harsher in game punishments for dangerous plays or the incorrect use of safety equipment.

  • Severe Heat Preparedness and proper Hydration.

Safety Initiative Roadmap

  • Year One: The TYFA Safety Initiative will take effect on March 10, 2018 and the initial 1st step is will be to mandate the use of “Soft-shelled Headgear” at our flag division. The plan is that the use of soft shelled helmets at this age level will condition them to the use of the helmet while in flag and promote the continued use as they progress to tackle age groups for non-contact practices.

  • Year Two: TYFA is going to limit # of contact practices to two per week across all age groups.

  • Year Three: It will become mandatory at the older age groups (juniors and seniors) to one padded practice per week.

TYFA is committed to this initiative and is taking the necessary steps to providing a safer game and protecting the “Future of Football” for generations to come.

Brian Morgan TYFA Co-Founder/President

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