MARA is proud to be part of USA Football. Heads Up is the only nationally accredited program with content from football experts and health professionals. The Heads Up program provides youth football a comprehensive solution for a better, safer game. MARA coaches are Educated and Certified through USA Football. All MARA coaches are required to receive certification and appear on the USA Football National Coaching Registry.
Heads Up Football focuses on three key elements to enhance player safety: Heads Up Tackling SM, Equipment Fitting and Concussion Awareness.
Heads Up Tackling SM: a step-by-step protocol to teach the core principles of tackling and sets the new standard in player safety. Progressive levels of contact, fundamental drills and common language across age and skill levels focus on reducing helmet contact. Safety, teaching and learning under controlled practice drills are the foundation of Heads Up Tackling.
Equipment Fitting: It is essential that every player has a properly fitted helmet and shoulder pads. MARA has specific people trained to properly fit players with the best equipment available. Helmets must be securely strapped under the chin. In Season parents and players should care for equipment and report and issues with fit or function of helmets and pads. Haircuts and other changes may require equipment to be refit throughout the season.
Concussion Awareness: All concussions are serious. Recognition and proper response when they occur is the best way to prevent further injury. MARA is committed to player safety above all else. No one technique or piece of equipment is 100 percent effective in prevention of injury.
The MARA standard in player safety is WHEN IN DOUBT, SIT THEM OUT. Players with suspected concussion will be immediately removed from play or practice, parents will be notified and the player will remain out until cleared by a health care professional. Rest is critical to recovery. Cleared players may return under the progressive return to activity program.