Taylor Hooton Foundation > Hoot’s Corner > General > Football: THF participates in Atlanta Falcons moms camp
April 23, 2015
Football: THF participates in Atlanta Falcons moms camp
Falcons moms camp Over 80 mothers from around the county learned about concussions, steroids, equipment fitting and proper tackling techniques during the Atlanta Falcons Moms Football Safety Clinic on Thursday night at Model High School. With the help of Kids and Pros, a non-profit youth sports organization that teaches the next generation of athletes how to play safe, and USA Football, the moms not only learned during a sit-down information session, but also engaged in live tackling drills with former Falcons players, including Kids and Pros co-founders Buddy Curry and Bobby Butler. “They’re the caring ones. They’re not going to let nobody hurt their babies,” Butler, who played for the Falcons for 12 years in the ’80s and ’90s, said about teaching the mothers. “And they’re tough too. We bring them here, give them the information that they bring back.” One mother, Jackie Ray of Rome, expected a short information session where should would get a chance to “mingle with some Falcons.” But she ended up finding herself right in the thick of the drills. “When I came out here, my intention was just to watch. I was not planning on participating,” she said. “It was more than what I expected. I’m very happy I got into it.” Ray’s grandson plays football and basketball for Model High School and she said she would always be concerned about him whenever he engaged in a collision with other players. Her biggest concern, she said, was knowing the signs of concussion and being able to care for him after a game. But after the clinic, she said she felt much more comfortable not only with him playing, but with understanding concussions. “I feel like if he gets hit and I take him home, I know the signs to look for,” Ray said. “I’m comfortable with the information that I got.” In the drills, Curry, Butler and second-year linebacker Jacque Smith displayed the proper tackling posture, where the hips are sunk, the arms are bent at the elbows on the side, the chest points outward and the head facing upwards. “Once you sink the hips to get ready to pursue, you get your guns — you bring your hands to the holsters and get your arms and body ready to engage the ball carrier and once ball carrier is within the distance of tackling, then you shoot your guns and run your feet through while keeping your chest and head out of the tackle,” Smith said. “It actually makes them better at tackling as well. It’s makes them an overall better player. “You can miss on a tackle with your head down… back then they would teach your to put your head across the body, but now you want to see what you hit and you want to lead moreso with your chest or your arms rather than your helmet.” The mothers also learned about how to properly fit shoulder pads and a helmet from Bill Peake, a representative from Riddell, one of the top equipment manufacturers. The key with both is to make sure the equipment isn’t loose, but it isn’t so tight that it leaves a mark. With the pads, parents need to make sure they measure their kids to fit the correct size. For helmets, the key is to make sure the helmet isn’t modified in any way, that the straps are secured and that the helmet is still within a 10-year period of use. “Helmets are a protective device,” Buddy Curry said. “It was designed to protect, not as a weapon.” Steroids and supplements were also highlighted as an off the field safety issue by Brian Parker of the Taylor Hooton Foundation. Parker explained the difference between supplements and steroids to the audience, highlighting that supplements can range from vitamins to protein capsules and steroids contain lots of testosterone that enhance muscle growth without much physical work. Both are unregulated and extremely easy to obtain, Parker said, so he urged parents to learn more about the correct supplements to use and how to tell the signs of steroid use. With all the information given to her during the two hour clinic, Ray said she came away from the experience much more informed about concussions, steroids and equipment fitting, and may even show her grandson some of the new tackling moves she learned as well. http://www.northwestgeorgianews.com/rome/sports/local/football-atlanta-falcons-host-moms-camp-at-model/article_4da04c7a-e4bc-11e4-a607-0b06807fc568.html?mode=image&photo=0