Six youth football programs spanning Utah to New York will pilot USA Football’s Football Development Model (FDM) this season. The FDM is football’s first long-term athlete development model, aligning with the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee’s American Development Model to build better players and increase participation. USA Football is the sport’s national governing body and certifies the greatest number of high school and youth coaches annually among U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee members.
Youth football programs in Florida, Iowa, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah piloting the FDM this season will benefit nearly 18,000 young athletes and more than 3,000 coaches combined. The leagues’ players, parents, coaches and leadership will provide USA Football feedback on the model throughout the season. Among the selected leagues’ characteristics are high rates of USA Football coach certification, geographic and population diversity, and successful league administration. The FDM teaches athleticism and the sport’s fundamentals in a progression across game-types spanning flag to tackle.
Youth leagues piloting USA Football’s Football Development Model in 2019: Frisco (Texas) Football League, (Des Moines) Iowa Development League, Miami Xtreme Youth Football League, Niagara Erie (N.Y.) Youth Sports Association, (Utah) Ute Football Conference and the Washington/Greene (Pa.) Youth Football League.
The ground-breaking skill development roadmap was created by USA Football with guidance from its Football Development Model Council. The Council consists of specialists across child and long-term athlete development and football experts on youth, high school, college and professional levels. The model centers on physical literacy and developmentally appropriate skill instruction.
“When youth programs like these adopt the FDM, athletes will perform better, play longer and gain a lifelong path to athleticism, health and wellness through football,” said Dr. Brian Hainline, chairman of the Football Development Model Council and the Chief Medical Officer of the NCAA.
“The FDM is a progressive approach for the development and safety of our players as they are learning the game,” said Dartmouth head coach Buddy Teevens, a member of the Football Development Model Council. “This is 21st-century football that embraces the value of the team experience, fundamental skill instruction and contact reduction in an effort to teach the sport in a smarter and safer fashion.”
“These youth leagues embody the forward-thinking that has advanced our game into the one millions love today,” said USA Football CEO Scott Hallenbeck. “The FDM is a new way to play, coach and experience football that emphasizes coaching our youth through a developmentally appropriate skill progression. This means honing the foundational skills of agility, balance and coordination to build a better athlete and football player. This framework opens an exciting path to play football for life, recreationally or competitively.”
About USA Football: USA Football designs and delivers premier educational, developmental and competitive programs to advance, unify and grow the sport. As the sport’s national governing body, member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and organizer of the U.S. National Team for international competition, USA Football partners with leaders in medicine, child advocacy and athletics to support positive football experiences for youth, high school and other amateur players.