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Play Smart

Heads Up Football

Heads Up Tackling

USA Football’s Heads Up Tackling is a step-by-step protocol to teach the core principles of the skill and sets a new standard in player safety. The program utilizes five fundamentals through a series of drills to reinforce proper tackling mechanics and teach players how to properly tackle with a focus on reducing helmet contact.

A partnership between the Pittsburgh Steelers and UPMC Sports Medicine was developed to educate football coaches and players on the steps they can take on the field to lessen the chance of head injuries and the importance of seeking the right treatment when injuries do occur.


Don't hit the head, Don't use the head.

When it comes to preventing head injuries and concussions, the Steelers play by the mantra "Don't hit the head, Don't use the head." We wanted to share this message to educate players on best tackling techniques and help athletes at all levels prevent injury.

Learn more about proper tackling techniques from USA Football's Heads Up Football video series in partnership with the NFL. Heads Up Football promotes coaching education, proper equipment fitting, and Heads Up Tackling as well as a set of recommended standards for parents, coaches and leagues

To help reinforce this message, posters and concussion education materials are being distributed to high school, middle school, and youth football leagues throughout Western Pennsylvania.


Educate now to prevent injuries on the field

The UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program brings more than a decade of clinical expertise to the playing field. The program with the Steelers combines this expertise with the football-specific knowledge of the Pittsburgh Steelers to help keep your team playing at the highest level while maintaining safety for everyone on the field.

Learn about the signs and symptoms of concussion, what to do if an injury occurs, importance of baseline testing, and more by watching one of the following videos:

What is concussion?

Concussion signs and symptoms

PA Safety in Youth Sports Act

What to do if an injury occurs

ImPact Baseline Neurocognitive Test

UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program


Concussion resources: