Health & Safety

USA Football

USA Football helps make the game smarter, safer and more fun for the kids who play it. Through training, education and events, USA Football gets everyone on the same page – from parents and players to coaches and commissioners. The organization was endowed in 2002 by the National Football League and the NFL Players’ Association.

You coach, you organize, you play – you give your time to football. We’re here to help you make the most of it. Head to to find resources you can use no matter your role.

The Football Development Model

The Football Development Model is a new approach to youth football. It’s 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.

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. Learn more at

Six laces make up the Football Development Model:

  • Fun & Fulfilling: Make it a game before it’s a sport.
  • Whole Person & Multi-sport Development: Create better people, better athletes and better football players.
  • Physical Literacy & Skill Development: Build the fundamentals, then better those skills as athletes advance.
  • Coach Education & Training: Trained coaches help to better lead and protect athletes.
  • Multiple Pathways & Entry Points: More ways to play allow athletes and parents to join the game how they’re comfortable.
  • Participation and Retention: A better football experience keeps people in the game longer.
First Down

First Down is a fun and free introduction to football for kids and their parents. No contact, no cost, all fun. Young athletes get active and learn the basics like running, jumping, passing and catching. Through hundreds of events, tens of thousands of kids experience football for the first time. All skills and drills selected are based on the Football Development Model.

First Down curriculum is able to fit your camp’s needs based on length of time, space, age and number of kids attending. Join the hundreds of current and former NFL players that bring First Down to their community each summer. For more, visit

Coach Certification

As coaches, we know our athletes come first. From health and well-being to performance, everything we do is to help them succeed. Staying on-top of our game is crucial for that success because our athletes deserve our best. Their expectations couldn't be any higher.

Step up to the standard and earn your USA Football Coach Certification today.

Coaches learn about:

  • The Football Development Model: How we develop and teach athletes.
  • Health & Safety: Head, heart and heat plus so much more.
  • Anti-Abuse & Coach 101: Protect the well-being of your athletes.


Grant Programs

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NFL Club Community Grants

  • Health & Safety
  • Youth Football
  • Social Justice

Grants are provided to each of the 32 NFL teams to support the implementation of the league’s national initiatives throughout the year in local team markets.

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CPR Grant Program

  • Health & Safety

The CPR Education Grant represents a versatile opportunity to create and further support our nationwide CPR education and AED access. The goal is to prevent fatal outcomes from sudden cardiac arrest among high school athletes.

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Nike Youth Football Grant

  • Health & Safety
  • Youth Football
  • Social Justice
  • Matching Grants

Through an expanded partnership with Nike, the NFL and NFL Foundation are able to provide up to $35,000 per club to activate in a variety of youth and high school spaces.

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