Play Smart

Heads Up Football

USA Football’s Heads Up Football program is a comprehensive approach to a better and safer game, encompassing USA Football’s accredited Level 1 Coach Certification Course; Heads Up Tackling techniques; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concussion recognition and response protocols; heat preparedness and hydration; and instruction on proper helmet and shoulder pad fitting.

Nearly 2,800 youth football organizations throughout the United States – including many in Western Pennsylvania – signed up for Heads Up Football in 2013. High schools in 10 states also piloted the Heads Up Football at that level. The program is available to all youth leagues and high schools.

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: