Coaching football to create proper contact

By Stephen Enman

Jan. 18, 2016

Thomas Making has been coaching one of the most physical sports there is for the past six years.


There is a concern growing about player safety, but it has not changed the way he approaches coaching the game he loves, Making said.

“I don’t think it’s changed how I coach because I think that the issues with concussions and other injuries have become so big that most coaches are aware of them and have been trying to keep kids safer before rules were even implemented.”

Making has coached at many levels of football. He started in the pillar program in Saint John now he is on the coaching staff for the University of New Brunswick Saint John Seawolves.

Matthew Porter agrees.

The emphasis on player safety, Porter who was been coaching football for the past eight years said his coaching style hasn’t changed.

“As a coach, you are open to various coaching techniques and try to learn and adapt to the changes in the game.”

There is a new way of coaching proper contact, he said.

“I’ve heard from other coaches teaching heads-up tackling is that it’s safe contact not soft contact.”

You have the proper training to become a coach, he said.

“Coaches have to be Safe Contact certified to coach the game. As long as coaches are educated on players and concussion protocol, the game won’t suffer.”

He started with Harbour View High School and now is currently on the coaching staff for Saint John High School Grey Hounds and the University of New Brunswick Seawolves.

Sawyer King agrees it’s how the players are coached.

“Players are coached with more technique and to play in a more technical way.”

Having smarter contact leads to better football, he said.

“Players are as competitive and as talented as ever.”

It’s how the coaches are taught to coach and how they relay that to the players that will keep the players safe.

“By fundamentals of tackling and blocking being taught from a young age, the risk of injury goes down,” King said.

He has been playing football for the past nine years. He now plays for the Mount Allison University Mounties.

Making knows player safety will always be an issue, but it shouldn’t discourage people from playing, he said.

“Concussions are never going to be completely eliminated.

“But there is chance of injury in every aspect of life. And if people are scared to do anything because of what might happen, then everyone’s just going to be missing out on what they enjoy.”