More than 80 local Kansas City moms came to the University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex Friday night for the third annual USA Football Heads Up Football Clinic For Moms.
The event is designed for moms to educate themselves about how to make the game of football safer for their children through the use of Heads Up techniques.
"The moms are having an opportunity to learn more about what the players go through and what they're being taught," Kerra Bowers, a mother and the author of "Pocketbook Coach for Moms: Football," said. "It helps make the moms more aware of the safety issues and how they can help their [children] be good players, but also aware of proper technique and that kind of thing."
During the first part of the evening, USA Football Master Trainer John Roderique and Chiefs Ambassadors Billy Baber, Shawn Barber and Keith Cash instructed the participants on what safe blocking and tackling techniques are and how they can make the game safer for their kids.
By taking the moms on the indoor field, the instructors were able to physically teach the moms the Heads Up way of playing the game.
"It's a new way of tackling," Barber described. "It's a way to take the head out of tackling. With concussions and with the amount of risk to the brain as far as with head tackling, we figured we could find a better way to tackle without using the head as a collision point.
"It should make the entire game safer for everybody."
John Roderique, a USA Football Master Trainer and the head coach at Webb City High School for the past 17 years, led the moms in the hands-on experience.
After the on-the-field instruction, the moms made their way to the Chiefs cafeteria for Papa John's pizza and a presentation by Dr. Randy Goldstein, the University of Kansas Hospital's Medical Director of Youth and Adolescent Sports Medicine.
"The football players in Kansas City are not just the Kansas City Chiefs. They're your kids and they're the people in our high schools and we're interested in keeping everybody on the field and having fun and staying safe," Goldstein said. "It's great to have the parents on the same page as the coaches. You get a lot more buying in from the athletes when the moms are talking the right language."
After Goldstein's presentation on concussion awareness and symptoms, as well as heat and hydration preparedness, Roderique taught the moms about proper equipment fitting, a major part of keeping the players safe. The evening concluded with a question-and-answer session with the aforementioned speakers, as well as Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association's Sam Knopik and USA Football's Kim Brown.
At the end of the night, the moms were surprised with tickets to the USA Football preseason game on August 20, when the Chiefs host the Tennessee Titans.
On Sunday, USA Football hosted itsHeads Up Player Safety Coach Clinic* at Arrowhead Stadium from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.*
More than 100 Kansas City-area moms took part in the free clinic, which included education on proper equipment fitting, concussion awareness, heat and hydration, and USA Footballâs Heads Up Football program.