The Texans recently welcomed youth football leaders from throughout South Texas for an exciting day of learning and idea sharing at USA Football's Houston Leadership Forum. League commissioners, presidents and board members gathered at Reliant Stadium on May 1, discussing resources and other support currently offered by the Texans and USA Football. The full-day meeting was led by USA Football South Regional Manager Dave Fanucchi.
USA Football is the Texans' official youth football development partner and is the sport's national governing body on youth and amateur levels.
"I thought the forum was great," said Bucky Richardson, a coach for the Fort Bend Youth Sports Association. Richardson was a star quarterback for Texas A&M in the early 1990's and played in the NFL as an Oiler for three seasons.
"I enjoyed the 'Q and A' amongst the folks there that are involved in leagues across the state. You talk about common issues, the best ways to resolve them, and what has worked in the past and what hasn't worked. It was very helpful and informative sharing those experiences."
USA Football's resources include coaching education for the game's dedicated volunteers, concussion awareness information, equipment grants, coaching benefits such as online practice planners, and a video drills library, as well as price breaks for leagues to conduct in-depth background checks on potential volunteers.
"It was great to get to talk to all the representatives around South Texas to find out what works for their league and what doesn't," said Gene Pena, the vice president of football for Humble Area Football League. "One of the main questions parents ask is, 'What makes your coaches qualified?' We've opted to use (USA Football's) certification courses this year.
"I think it's going to be another quality to gain preference over other leagues in the area. Now we can say all of our coaches are certified through USA Football."
The league commissioners also discussed player registration, officiating training resources, a national youth football playing standard, pre-and post-season events and fundraising guidance.
"With support from the Texans and other NFL teams, we are helping unify the sport on the youth level," USA Football's Fanucchi said. "Ultimately, it's the kids who love to play football who benefit from these meetings - they're going to enjoy the sport even more when coaches and league commissioners are prepared, informed and organized."
At each of its forums, USA Football selects one attendee to represent that region at the 2010 NFL/USA Football Youth Summit in Canton, Ohio, in July. Kevin Ruthstrom of Spring, Texas, of the All American Youth Football & Drill Team, was selected to attend this year's three-day summit in the NFL's birthplace. Approximately 200 coaches and administrators from every state take part in the annual event to discuss topics vital to the continued success of youth and high school programs.
Learn more about USA Football or arrange to have one of the organization's eight regional managers meet with your league by visiting www.usafootball.com or call 1-877-5-FOOTBALL.