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Local football coaches train on how to prevent injuries

ALBANY -- According to the National Football League, numbers have been declining nationwide in football participation. The reason they say is because of recent deaths involving concussions and dehydration. So, they're hitting the road, stopping in cities around the country, educating those coaching kids.

USA Football, an organization associated with the NFL was in Albany for the first time Saturday. They were at Christian Brothers Academy teaching Football coaches on how to prevent tragedy on the field.

"We can be more equipped to recognize the signs and symptoms of concussions, and to assure that we're not getting these kids back in the game when they're not ready to be back in the game," says Master Trainer Ken Stoldt. 

"I don't think you can do enough to make sure that kids are being safe and that way we're being trained to make sure that kids are being safe," adds Hakim Jones. 

Jones coaches all ages for Bethlehem's Pop Warner Football program. We're told many coaches outside of school are volunteers, meaning many of them have not been properly trained on how to recognize symptoms of head injuries and dehydration. Both claim lives every year. That's where the heads up football program steps in.

"Normally students will let us know, but as you get the really young ones, you can tell because they're coming to you saying that they have a cramp or something hurt," says Jones.

So Saturday local coaches learned everything from warning signs, concussion recognition, to response protocols, and proper instruction of helmet and shoulder pad fitting.

"As coaches we're learning more and more about concussions all the time, and we've all been in these situations where we've put kids back in, and we've now learned that probably they should not have been back in the ball game," says Stoldt. 

"The big thing is to make sure that kids are during the course of the day staying hydrated before they come to practice. That's a big piece, and then during practice make sure before, during, and after practice the kids are re-hydrating, and that they're stretching," adds Jones. 

USA Football tells us they plan to be in the Capital Region every year to remind coaches on how to prevent these injuries from happening.

 
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