National Athletic Trainers' Association Issues Official Statement on 'Friday Night Tykes'

The National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) has issued an official statement on Esquire Network's 'Friday Night Tykes'. For those of you who have not seen it, the show chronicles a youth football league in San Antonio, Texas comprised of  8 and 9 year olds. As health professionals it is hard to watch as the coaches continually instruct dangerous techniques and do not display any real regard for player safety. The official statement from the NATA is as follows: National Athletic Trainers' Association Issues Official Statement on 'Friday Night Tykes' Football is one of the nation's most popular sports and a rite of passage for millions of young players, helping them grow physically, socially, and mentally. As the founder of the Youth Sports Safety Alliance, the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) is concerned and diasppointed that the Esquire Network  is providing a platform for the blatant disregard for player safety displayed in its new program "Friday Night Tykes." When youth leagues do not have proper medial personnel such as an athletic trainer at practices or games, it is incumbend that responsible adults assure the safety of these young athletes. There is no shortage of valuble information available; the NATA has guidelines on topics such as hydration, heat acclimatization, concussion and head down contact in football. The association also endorses USA Football's Heads Up program as a top resource for parents and coaches to ensure our youngest athletes remain on the field, enjoying competition at its best. To view a PDF version of the statement, please click the following link: