Heads Up Football is a comprehensive approach developed by USA Football to increase player safety in football launched a pilot program in 2012.

Optimist Youth Football has been a USA Football certified league since 2013 season and the Heads Up Football curriculum was added to our annual OYF coaching clinic material. Before any volunteer coach can set foot on the field they have already undergone and passed a background screening and taken the HUF certification/re-certification course.

For more information about USA Football or Heads Up Football you can visit their website. If you want more information about the OYF coaching requirements feel free to contact us.

The key aspects that the Heads Up Football (HUF) program encompasses are:

  • Player Safety Coach (PSC)
  • Annual Coaching Certification
  • Concussion Awareness & Response
  • Heat Preparedness & Hydration
  • Sudden Cardiac Arrest
  • Proper Equipment Fitting
  • Heads Up Tackling
  • Heads Up Blocking

Player Safety Coaches

What is a Player Safety Coach (PSC)?

PSCs are selected by each club and are their to assist coaches in learning and implementing the Heads Up Football program. Every PSC attends a one-day training clinic with USA Football, ensures all coaches are certified, holds in-person clinics for head coaches and their staffs, and attends practices.

How OYF utilizes the PSC in our program:

Every club has at least one PSC but most have multiple; we are serious about actually getting out to practices and observing how the coaches are teaching each child. A PSC will visit each team's practice and observe what is being taught; when visiting a practice it is not a sign that coaches are necessarily doing something incorrectly but it is an opportunity for us to see how each coaching staff is doing and if necessary provide feedback or ideas to improve the practices.

Heads Up Tackling

  • Breakdown

  • Buzz

  • Hit

  • Shoot

  • Rip

Heads Up Blocking

  • Stance

  • Get Off

  • Strike

  • Stick

  • Finish

Check back later.

Tackle Football


Flag Football