The Indianapolis Colts and the Cleveland Browns have announced their support for USA Football's Youth Coach Certification process. This initiative aims to provide young athletes and their families with healthy and positive experiences through football.
By providing evidence-based knowledge, resources, and skills to coaches, the Youth Coach Certification ensures that coaches teach age-appropriate skills and take a holistic approach to both child and athlete development.
The Colts will be providing USA Football Youth Coach Certifications for more than 1,200 youth football coaches across Indiana in 2023. Similarly, the Browns and University Hospitals have committed to providing more than 1,500 Youth Coach Certifications to local youth coaches in Northeast Ohio in 2023. These generous contributions ensure that thousands of young athletes will learn from certified coaches this year.
Enrollment with USA Football is free and open to all youth football organizations, and all Indiana youth football coaches whose leagues enroll with USA Football are eligible to receive Youth Coach Certification at no charge thanks to the Colts. Northeast Ohio youth football coaches whose leagues enroll with USA Football are also eligible to receive Youth Coach Certification at no charge thanks to the Browns and University Hospitals.
The certification encompasses the Football Development Model (FDM), which aligns with the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee’s long-term athlete development principles. At its foundation, the FDM focuses on progressive skill instruction that teaches young athletes age-appropriate skills and meets them at their current stage of development. Scott Hallenbeck, CEO of USA Football, expressed his gratitude to both the Colts and the Browns for their commitment to youth football.
“They step up to the plate every year to ensure thousands of kids enjoy the fun, fitness, and friendships gained through football in safe and healthy environments overseen by coaches who are prepared to help them grow as athletes and individuals,” he said.
The Coach Certification process is an important initiative for youth football organizations. The USA Football website notes that “USA Football’s Coaching Certification program is committed to advancing coaching education and enhancing the sport of football.”
By providing coaches with evidence-based knowledge and skills, the Coach Certification program helps to create a safer and more positive environment for young athletes to learn and grow in the sport of football. In addition to providing Youth Coach Certification, USA Football also offers additional resources for coaches, including the Youth Tackling & Contact System, developed tpo give coaches "the ability to learn the core principles of Prep for Contact, Flag Pulling & Tackling, Blocking and Defeating Blocks."
By supporting the Coach Certification process, the Indianapolis Colts and the Cleveland Browns are demonstrating their commitment to the growth and development of youth football. They are also setting an example for other NFL teams and organizations to follow.
The support of these two teams ensures that thousands of young athletes in Indiana and Northeast Ohio will learn the game of football from certified coaches who are prepared to provide age-appropriate instruction in a healthy environment.