PENDLETON, NY -- At a time when concussions in youth and pro sports are still very much in debate, a local youth football league is taking steps to make sure players and coaches know proper tackling techniques.
Hundreds of football coaches, from the Niagara Erie Youth Sports Association were at Starpoint High Saturday morning going through the drills themselves.
In the past, coaches were instructed on "Heads Up" tackling -- now they're being told "Near foot, near shoulder."
REPORTER: Near foot and near shoulder, can you show us that?
"To go near foot, near shoulder in this case the runner is coming to his right he's going to lead with his right foot he's going to move his right foot up and he's going to have his near foot near shoulder, now what this allows us to do if the runner were to cut back because he's got this near foot up, he could open his hips and still be in position to make a tackle," said Ken Stoldt, a USA Football master trainer.
"In the past, instead of saying near foot, this drill was just designated as a hit drill and it was either left foot right foot but when a kid came up in a position to make that tackle they weren't always concentrating on leading with the proper foot," he said.
The technique, which is used by the Seattle Seahawks, is being filtered down by USA Football to high schools and youth football leagues nationally.
"In the game of football, we know things don't always work out the way you want them to but these are the gold standards that we're teaching right now in tackling," Stoldt said.