The continued use of the head during tackling and blocking in American football continues to plague the sport. These impacts, especially those to the front and top of the helmet, are primarily responsible for the high prevalence of concussions and spine injuries.
Cumulative head impacts that are of a ‘sub-concussive’ level are gaining increasing scrutiny with the growing research in chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Ironically, a football helmet enables players to more willingly sustain head contact because of the protection it affords; a phenomenon called ‘risk compensation’. Due to the nature of football, removing the helmet entirely from the sport is not appropriate. However, there is no regulation that prevents a football player from practicing blocking and tackling without a helmet to solidify a technique which naturally leaves the head out of contact. This session will present background information and early findings of the HuTTTM helmetless tackling training program.