Coaching certification: making a big impact on coaches and players

July 30, 2018 / Football
{Sponsored} Former athletic director Michael Krueger pushed his staff to always defer to best practices, promoting safety and the latest research in the field of football coaching.

His coaches were able to use common terminology, learn technical and tactical strategy, identify heat stroke warning signs and know when players had concussions. They learned these things through certification programs offered by USA Football. And as an administrator, Krueger went through these same certifications — he wanted to be able to walk the walk with his coaches. “I felt if I was going to ask my coaches go through the certification process, I wanted to make sure I knew what was being presented,” Krueger said.

Krueger’s district was one of the first to be Heads Up certified. “The resources available were really beneficial from an administrative perspective,” Krueger said.

Krueger recently joined the USA Football ranks as the director of coaching. With his years of being a USA Football-certified administrator, he understand why coaches choose to go through the programs — and why some eschew them.

“Some coaches think they can do their own thing,” Krueger said. “The reality is that everything we do is research-based and the best practices; we’re not just talking from a small sample: these best practices are a representative sample at all levels of football in all areas of the country. We incorporate medicine, technical and tactical strategy. We base it in sound research. We know through trial and error what the best practices should be. It lends gravitas and credence to the information we present.”

Why get certified?

USA Football coaching certification has a high level of impact on effectiveness. The certification and training that goes with it helps coaches refine their methods. Through these programs, coaches are able to learn from some of the top minds in the game. The training is all about safety, too. Coaches are be trained in sudden cardiac arrest, concussions, heat and hydration, shoulder tackling, blocking and defeating blocks and equipment fitting.

“From a personal perspective, when a coach had the backing of an organization like USA Football, it caught my attention as an administrator. Those coaches knew the same common verbiage my existing staff used. They had a solid understanding of safety and best practices, and I understood that this person had invested time and energy into being better at their trade,” Krueger said.

He also appreciated being able to share with the parents and community that his staff were at the forefront in training so they would be the very best coaches they could be for the kids.

USA Football offers multiple levels of coaching certification. Flag football, rookie tackle, youth football and middle and high school coaching are all levels available. The Tip of the Spear is the latest system for advanced blocking and tackling that coaches can bring to their players. Coaches should be recertified annually.

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© 2018 USA Football

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