December 23, 2016 • Football

Looking ahead to the 2017 USA Football National Conference

(Content sponsored by USA Football.)

Another high school football season will soon be in the books. Coaches and players will pack up the equipment, shelve the playbooks and enter the offseason to recover and reset before meetings and conditioning starts up.

One event you don’t want to miss as the preparation for next fall kicks off is the 2017 USA Football National Conference, a gathering of thought leaders and innovation drivers from across all levels of the sport.

Desmond Howard and Jon Gruden are among the scheduled speakers at the 2017 USA Football National Conference.

The fourth annual USA Football National Conference is Jan. 27-29 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. More than 1,000 coaches, athletic directors, administrators and other leaders in high school football will join together for the largest assembly of its kind to discuss the challenges and future of the game.

The three days are packed with information, interaction and development opportunities focused on the sport’s toughest challenges both on and off the field. Speakers and panels will discuss among dozens of topics: leadership, crisis management, team building, structure, communication, nutrition and a wide variety of Xs and Os.

“I’ve been to a bunch of clinics. I’ve been to national conventions, but this is unique,” said Jim Hartigan, head coach at JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, California. “There is such a commitment and support system for USA Football from the NFL on down, the fact that this is put together in a professional venue, obviously well attended and well supported speaks volumes.”

The USA Football National Conference is the premier educational and networking event for high school football coaches and administrators. Sessions will feature insight from top NFL coaches, executives and medical staff members along with discussions about key trends and topics in and around the sport.

Along with speakers, which include former NFL head coaches Brian Billick and Mike Martz, former NFL executive Bill Polian, as well as football mom Christine Golic — wife of ESPN’s Mike Golic — participants will choose one of four tracks to follow: leadership, Xs and Os, coaching off the field or administration. Through these pathways, they will listen to experts and join with peers to share ideas on how to address the daily challenges they face.

Get inspired for the new season and be part of the football experience at the NFL Pro Bowl week. Learn the ins and outs of what top coaches and administrators are doing to build a foundation for success, and nurture their programs for the benefit of their student-athletes.

“I’m a big believer in networking. You can always learn from somebody else,” Opelika (Alabama) High School coach Brian Blackmon said. “Professional development for coaches is one of those things that should be a mandatory. But a lot of times professional development for coaches is centered around just the schematics of the game, and while the base fundamentals of the game have not changed, the way we go about teaching them have. That’s what makes this conference so great.”

Alongside the educational and social opportunities, USA Football partners and leading sports companies will be part of the conference in the Vendor Village, offering their assistance in areas such as fundraising, uniforms, equipment, apparel, training and safety.

USA Football evolves and grows the sport by setting the highest standards and establishing best practices to advance coach and player development, participation and safety within the game while creating fun, active environments where young athletes can learn, grow and develop the inherent values that come with playing football.

As the sport’s national governing body and a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Football partners with leaders in medicine, child advocacy and athletics to support positive football experiences for youth, high school and other amateurs.

For more information and to register, visit www.usafootball.com/nationalconference.

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