State of Football Focus of Coaching Event

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The chief executive officer of Indianapolis-based USA Football says a recent gathering of more than 650 stakeholders from throughout the nation helped clarify misinformation about the state of the game. He says a key discussion revolved around plans to create a coach development pathway.

Scott Hallenbeck says "simply, there just isn't a formalized, gold standard process" for how coaches throughout the nation are hired.

He adds studies show a large portion of high schoolers playing football have no nuclear family at home, which underscores the need for coaches of all levels to serve a role in shaping the direction of young athletes. "It's just a much bigger role than I think people understand," said Hallenback in an interview with Inside INdiana Business.

He said another initiative being discussed aims to address how coaches can maximize the time the teams spends without contact called "practice smart." He says it's something coaches are asking for since the game and time available for practice has changed so much. "We're going to be talking with NFL programs and college programs and help bring that wisdom down to the college level so they can become more efficient as quickly as possible."

The third annual USA Football National Conference is billed as the largest of its kind in the nation, drawing coaches, administrators and educators from youth and high school levels. It covered issued from player safety to best practices to some of the organization's ongoing initiatives like Heads Up Football, which USA Football says has 1,200 registered high schools and 70 percent is all youth football programs as participants.

Scott Hallenbeck says "simply, there just isn't a formalized, gold standard process" for how coaches throughout the nation are hired.
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