'Safe Football' looking to revolutionize the game

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by Jay Crandall

kvue.com

Posted on March 9, 2013 at 5:41 PM

PHOENIX -- Player suicides, lawsuits and even questions from the President have everyone wondering if there is a safer way to play football.

With even Pee Wee players trying to emulate the pros, there is concern injuries, especially head injuries, will begin earlier and have more devastating effects over a lifetime.

But former pro player Scott Peters said there is a better way, if we just learn to use our heads differently.

“We don't close the car doors with our heads, we don't move furniture with our head," said Peters.

But when it comes to football, he adds, many players are still diving in head first.

“Everyone that is taught to play,  offensive line, defensive line, linebackers, tight ends, fullbacks, that play those positions; they are taught to engage with their helmet," noted Peters.

And as we have seen that can lead to devastating consequences.

Junior Seau's recent suicide has been linked to repeated head injuries.

“He said he had 1,500 concussions,“ Peters pointed out.

Banner hospital nurse Paula Segebarth said concussions are a major concern.

“Especially if they sustain multiple concussions that haven't fully healed in between. It is a cumulative effect," Segebarth explained.

And Peters said those kinds of fears are hurting the game.

“A lot of kids aren't playing anymore. Parents, even President Obama, said something about if he had a son he wouldn't want him playing, because there are questions about the safety of the game," said Peters.

Which is why Peters says it is time to use our heads differently.

“Your brain is essentially your operating system, and we need to use the brain to come up with solutions like ‘Safe Football’," he said.

"Safe Football" is a program Peters has pioneered. We caught up with him showing it off at Fight Ready  fitness center in Scottsdale.

And while it still looks plenty tough, he said it is a smarter way to play.

“What we do with that is generate the maximum amount of force as we can generate in the human body by using proper biomechanics, concepts developed, concepts kind of taken from mixed martial arts," explained Peters.

Players including NFL hopefuls are being taught to use their hands and their cores instead of their heads.

“And what Safe Football does, it develops these techniques, it creates a situation where the plane is vertical. We are lifting guys, we are using our hands,” said Peters. “This is the most effective way to play football. “

Which is what brought Auburn Defensive End. Corey Lemonir to see Peters.

“You know and I am always looking to get better," Lemonir said.

But he admits the safety aspect plays in as well.

“I kind of want to live my life past 60. so you know that is something I take into consideration," added Lemonir.

And Peters said that is why he is doing this, he loves the game and players who bring it to life.

“And for me it is an obligation to make sure this information is put out there for our kids, because that is the future of the game," Peters remarked.

Peters is working with both Penn State and the University of Washington to expand the program.

For more information visit safefootball.org

 

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