The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, USA Football and WOW hosted a free football clinic for 125 moms Friday, Sept. 12, 2014 at Redskins Park.
The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation and USA Football, in partnership with the Women of Washington Redskins, on Friday hosted a free football clinic for 125 area moms.
The event – which was held at the Redskins' team headquarters in Loudoun County Va. – featured a panel discussion on the topic of youth sports safety, followed by a live tackling demonstration in the team's Indoor Practice Facility that was led by USA Football master trainer Dick Adams.
Tanya Snyder, wife of Redskins owner Dan Snyder, kicked off the event, and said, as a mother of three, she appreciated seeing so many concerned moms in the crowd.
"I really love it, love seeing the women here today that care about the safety of your children and learning about football the proper way," Snyder said. "It is so incredible to see so many WOW members here today, and as a mom I do understand what it means to worry about my children and the sports that they are involved with and the choices that they make."
Snyder said "safety is very, very important," and Friday's clinic was created "to help each of you and myself, as I'll be learning right along with you to be better informed about the healthy, safety and well being of your young athletes."
The panel, which was moderated by Julie Donaldson, anchor at Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, touched on a variety of sports safety topics, including education on proper equipment fitting, heat and hydration and USA Football's "Heads Up Football" program.
The panel touched on a variety of sports safety topics, including education on proper equipment fitting, heat and hydration and USA Football's "Heads Up Football" program.
Those on the panel included Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and his wife, Beth, as well as family physician Dr. Natasha Wyllie and Dr. Scott Ross of Novant Health.
Jim Haslett talked about what he's experienced in his career as both a linebacker and a coach in the NFL. Beth Haslett, meanwhile, talked about her experiences as a mother of three athletes, including a college football player.
Wyllie talked to the mothers about signs and symptoms to look for when trying to determine if a child has a concussion, while Ross discussed ways to prepare young athletes for contact sports.
When the panel discussion was over, the moms headed into the Indoor Practice Facility for a little educational fun of their own. Led by Adams, the group practiced portions of USA Football's Heads Up Tackling program, which is designed to teach the core principles of tackling and set a new standard in player safety.
The program utilizes five fundamentals through a series of drills to reinforce proper tackling mechanics and teach players how to properly tackle with a focus on reducing helmet-to-helmet contact.