(KWES) - The UIL and the Texas High School Coaches Association have teamed up to try to make the sport of football a little safer. A recently passed rule will require every high school and junior high football coach in the state of Texas to become certified in teaching tackling.
While you can't completely take contact out of a contact sport like football, you can change the way you make a tackle and that could make all the difference.
"If they learn to tackle properly and tackle with their head up it will minimize the force being applied to their head," said Meagan Schrader, Midland High athletic trainer.
That's why the UIL and the THSCA have selected Atavus Sports, a Seattle based organization focused on tackling techniques, to provide a mandatory statewide tackling certification program. Making texas, the first state in the country to do so.
"We want to protect the game and sometimes to protect the game you've gotta make some changes," said Tim Anuszkiewwicz, Midland High Head Football Coach.
"Some of us coaches that have been doing this awhile may look at it as another certification we have to get. I look at it as if it saves one kid it's worth it," said Clint Hartman, Midland Lee Head Football Coach.
Atavus Sports has worked with high schools in the state of Texas already, teaching athletes to focus on the shoulder rather than the head. A rugby-style approach currently used at midland high.
"You know using shoulder tackles like what you would see in a rugby-style game where guys are using the shoulder rather than the head. Taking the head out of the tackle, keeping your eyes on the thighs, using the play side shoulder," said Coach Anuszkiewwicz.
The training will begin this summer at a statewide coach's convention in July. It will be available online in April of 2019.