In an effort to reduce injuries and concussions, high school football players in one Northern Virginia county are being coached to keep their heads away during tackling.
Fairfax County is leading the push nationwide to make high school football tackles a little safer. Its the first county in the nation to have every coaching staff trained in the "Heads Up" program, initiated by USA Football.
"We're hoping that we'll see a reduction in the concussions in particular and we're hoping to see results by the end of this year," Oakton High School football coach Jason Rowley said.
Coaches say they're focusing on reinforcing proper and safe tackling behaviors.
"We're working on form, breaking down, keeping your head up, chest up," varsity football player David Allely said. "It was really helpful to start the season and get the form down."
The program is being initiated in the county's 25 high schools and is also bringing more athletic trainers to the field to check equipment.
"I think it's a lot of assurance for us parents to know that we're leaving our kids in great hands," Fairfax County mother Katie Banks said.