Western MA football coaches learn how to tackle - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Western MA football coaches learn how to tackle

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Saturday, a football clinic was held in Western Massachusetts, but it was not your typical practice.

The ones who do the coaching were being coached out at South Hadley High School.

It looks and sounds like a football camp, but if you take a closer look, those are not players learning how to tackle.

They are coaches taking part in a Heads Up football clinic, which is sponsored in part by the National Football League.

"Having the coaches do it, they go back to their towns, and they can teach the other coaches in their program. Plus they can also educate the parents and players on how to keep your heads up when you're tackling," said David Dematteo, who coaches football at Agawam High School.

Dematteo told CBS 3 that it is easy to see why everyone involved in the game should know the proper way to tackle.

"The big word is concussion," said Dematteo. "Proper tackling will help defer some of these concussions. It's not going to stop them. Any sport, you can get a concussion, but it's going to prevent [some]."

This method of coaching is relatively new.

Dematteo, whose been teaching the game for the past 12 years, said a Heads Up clinic would never have been thought about just a decade ago.

"It was the old school coaches who played high school football," said Dematteo. "Just because they played, they think they know how to coach. This is a great program here teaching these guys how to properly do it. On a Saturday afternoon, you have 50 coaches from around the area and different states learning how to tackle. I think that's tremendous."

Dematteo said clinics like the one held Saturday should also help put a parent's mind at ease if they are on the fence about letting their child play football.

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