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The Salamanca Warriors enroll in USA Football’s Development Model.  The Football Development Model (FDM) is USA Football’s new initiative designed to make the game safer by reducing contact and teaching in a way that meets an athlete where they are in their development.


"At its center, the Football Development Model stands for having fun, developing a base of athleticism and learning skills step-by-step. Learning developmentally and age-appropriate skills allows you to compete, which is something kids love and differentiates sport from exercise."



What is the FDM? 

USA Football is introducing a new model for youth football. The model is designed to help coaches teach athletes based on their age, the skill they are learning and game type. Our approach assists with the development of young athletes and allows them to learn the game and related skills in a progression that best suits them.


This path offers young athletes more opportunities to play the game and choose the type of football that they want to play.

Why is it important?

Like many sports, football has changed and evolved over time. Regardless of challenges it has faced, the sport remains “America’s game” with millions of young athletes participating nationwide.

Our model is designed to be a smarter and safer way to play and teach the game. By establishing different levels of contact and game types at each game category, parents can identify the right entry point for their athlete. For coaches, the model helps USA Football further advance standards in coach education and certification.



Key Features

Put the athlete first

From coach certifications to game type offerings to operational standards, the program helps you create the best environment for young athletes to learn, thrive, and mature into better players and people. 

Credibility with parents


Parents are the primary decision makers when it comes to which sports their young athletes play. Earning a USA Football designation demonstrates to parents both the quality of your organization and its commitment to their kids

Why should I care?

1. Reducing contact in practices and games

2. Educating and certifying coaches like never before

3. Learning in a progression – by an athlete’s age, each skill (i.e. passing, blocking) and game type (Flag, Rookie Tackle®, Senior Tackle™)

4. Offering more ways to transition from the back yard to a full field

* Extended Resources

       - Practice Guidelines

       - Background Checks

       - Player Progression Guides

       - Contact Manual

       - Parent Guide

Does CTE call for an end to youth tackle football? 

Despite press about a recent study, a link between hits to the head and CTE isn't clear-cut. More data and a risk-benefit analysis are needed.   


This article is submitted on behalf of 26 brain injury experts in neurosurgery, neuropsychology, neurology, neuropathology and public policy at 23 universities and hospitals in the United States and Canada.  Click to read more.

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