Tennessee Titans Youth Football
Football offers youngsters skills to play the game, but more importantly skills and opportunities to succeed in life. The National Football League and the Tennessee Titans care about young people both on and off the field, which is why youth football is a top priority for the NFL, the Titans and our players. We have a number of physical programs and funding to assist youth football programs in our market that we hope you will take advantage of.
In 1998, Titans owner Bud Adams, the other 31 NFL team owners, the NFL and NFL Players Association (NFLPA) formed the NFL Youth Football Fund (YFF), a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation which supports the game at the youth level and promotes positive youth development. The 32 NFL owners contribute approximately 25 million dollars annually to support all of the initiatives of the YFF.
Through the YFF, hundreds of thousands of youngsters nationwide have been given the opportunity to learn the game of football, get physically fit, and stay involved in productive after-school activities with adult mentors. The YFF also provides youth football participants with safe and accessible places to play, as well as programs and initiatives that address the importance of proper coaching, academics, health and safety, and life skills development.
There are a number of grant opportunities that local youth football programs may be eligible to apply for funding. Here are some of the programs and funding opportunities that we encourage you to take advantage of. For more information on any of these programs and the YFF visit.
NFL Grassroots Community Football Fields Program -
The NFL Youth Football Fund Grassroots Program is a partnership of the National Football League Youth Football Fund (NFL YFF) and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to provide non-profit, neighborhood-based organizations, middle schools and high schools with financing and technical assistance to improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of local football fields.
Parks and ball fields can serve as tremendous community assets because they offer opportunities for recreation, education, and relaxation that contribute to the local quality of life, especially for young people. In five years of programming, the Fields Program has awarded $12.5 million in grants for 116 projects with total development costs of $53 million in over 40 cities across the country. Grants are announced and awarded annually in the fall.
How the Fields Program Works:The NFL and LISC issue a Request for Proposals (RFP), or an open invitation to all qualified non-profit organizations in NFL markets* to submit proposals for funding. LISC reviews the proposals, requests additional information where necessary, and makes site visits to the finalist organizations. Then LISC recommends to the NFL which organizations have the capacity, plans, and partners to renovate their local football fields and to attract increased youth football programming to the site. The Board of Directors of the NFL Youth Football Fund makes the final funding decisions.
Once the NFL chooses the award recipients, LISC works with local NFL teams and the award recipients to make press announcements and handle media events. LISC then manages the flow of funding, making sure that projects move forward on a timely schedule. The proposal and review processes are designed to make sure that the capital improvements to renovate older fields and establish new football fields will have a stream of maintenance funds and the community support needed to sustain the use of the fields over the long term.
*This program is limited to clearly defined markets of the 32 NFL clubs. The Titans market for the LISC grant program is limited to these Tennessee counties: Davidson, Cheatham, Dickson and Sumner. Additional Tennessee counties that may be considered under special circumstances for funding are Rutherford, Robertson, Williamson and Wilson counties. For more information about the program and eligibility requirements, contact Beverly Smith, Program Officer for Youth Development, at LISC, at (212) 455-9800, or log on to LISCNet.org.
If you qualify and are applying for a LISC grant, please let the Tennessee Titans Community Relations office know of your application by calling 615-565-4148.
Deadline is December 15, 2008 (no exceptions).
Grants For Youth Football Programs
Through the NFL National Youth Football Partners Grant Program, grants are awarded annually to the nation’s largest youth-serving organizations that include football as part of their curriculum. These national organizations use the grant dollars to create and expand upon youth football initiatives and/or support programs within their framework. Funding is awarded based on cost of program, reach of program, reach of national organization, and impact/relevance on youth football.
The YFF awards grants to affiliates of these NFL National Youth Football Partners to support outstanding local flag and tackle football programs. This initiative reaches thousands of children each year by providing funding for costs associated with running youth football programs and leagues in communities nationwide. These grants serve as a motivator for local groups to include youth football as part of their curriculum and recognize agencies for exceptional and innovative youth football programming.
If your youth football program is affiliated with any of the following non-profit organizations, you may qualify for funding. Current NFL partners include the Amateur Athletic Union; American Youth Football, Inc.; Boys & Girls Clubs of America; Jewish Community Centers Association; National Association of Police Athletic Leagues; National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, Inc.; National Recreation & Park Association; Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc.; and YMCA of the USA. Visit www.nflhs.com for more information.
To find a local office in your area, contact the national partner for more information. Deadline: April 2006.
Amateur Athletic Union
Ms. Pam Marshall
c/o Walt Disney World Resort
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-1000
American Youth Football, Inc.
Mr. Joe Gallat
1000 South Pointe Drive TH 9
Miami, FL 33139
Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Mr. Tim Richardson
1230 W. Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30309
Jewish Community Centers Association
Mr. Steve Becker
15 East 26th Street
New York, NY 10010-1579
National Police Athletic League
Mr. Brad Hart
618 N. US Highway 1, Suite 201
North Palm Beach, FL 33408
National Recreation & Park Association
Ms. Kathy Spangler
22377 Belmont Ridge Road
Ashburn, VA 20148
Mr. Jon Butler
586 Middletown Boulevard, Suite C-100
Langhorne, PA 19047
YMCA of the USA
Ms. Orli Feinstein
9735 N. 90th Street, Suite 130
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Play It Smart School Program:
A key initiative of the YFF is to partner with the National Football Foundation to help fund its highly successful Play It Smart program which uses the game of football to enhance the personal and academic development of high school football players from disadvantaged communities. The key to the program is the trained academic coach who works throughout the academic year with student-athletes, coaches, school personnel, parents, and community leaders in more than 128 underserved high schools nationwide. By strengthening a student’s academic and life skills as well as his physical abilities, the program has helped significantly raise participants’ grade point averages, school attendance records, and community service involvement. Additionally, football programs that had been on the decline have experienced growing participation, improved records, and increased fan attendance. Most importantly, Play It Smart participants have graduated high school at a rate of 97 percent, with 81 percent going on to college (compared to the national average of just 57 percent).
The Tennessee Titans are proud to partner with our three Play It Smart schools, Stratford High School in Nashville, Knoxville East High School and Knoxville Fulton High School and hope to add more schools in the near future.
To find out more about Play It Smart schools, log on to
Programming & Development Opportunities
Punt, Pass & Kick
The Titans NFL Punt, Pass & Kick program is the NFL's premier youth skills competition consisting of punting, passing and kicking. The program creates a lively and engaging forum for boys and girls ages 8-15 to compete separately against their peers. The NFL wants every child to be given an equal opportunity to compete. Therefore, there is no registration fee or purchase required for any participant to enter. In 2004 the Titans were the only NFL team to host a sectional contest at their practice facility. In 2005, the Titans will once again hold a sectional competition at the Baptist Sports Park Practice Facility. The Sectional winners will have the chance to compete in front of 68,000 people at the Coliseum as the Titans take on the San Francisco 49ers on November 27, 2005. Visit www.nflyouthfootball.com for more information.
Player Development Programs
The NFL offers two FREE programs of developmental tackle football, Junior Player Development (JPD) and High School Player Development (HSPD).
Developing youth both on and off the field with JUNIOR PLAYER DEVELOPMENT (JPD):
JPD Program is a free program developed to provide a template for middle school football programs and an additional resource to any youth tackle football program. The JPD program provides step-by-step instruction for every team position to boys between the ages of 12 to 14 in a fun and engaging environment.
The program integrates on-field skills development with life skills and character development. As they plan for future high school interscholastic activities, participants receive instruction from NFL-selected high school coaches, as well as counseling that focuses around a weekly life skill.Each life skill theme is addressed through the context of football with instructors making connections between life skills as they are applied on the field, in school, at home and in the community.
In addition, through a youth coach's development program that provides more than 60 hours of practical training, coaches learn how to properly teach all game fundamentals and how to creatively and effectively apply life skill messages. For more information, visit www.nflyouthfootball.com.
Prepare for College both on and off the field with High School Player Development (HSPD):
NFL High School Player Development helps high school students in communities-in-need tackle the challenge of getting to college. Get involved today and get ready for college life!
Preparing for higher education isn’t always easy. HSPD is committed to helping students achieve that goal both on and off the field. Our team of mentors, led by Pat Kirwan, provides additional guidance by answering questions relating to football, school and other life issues. Pat has spent twenty years of pro scouting, college and high school coaching prior and has been an assistant coach with the New York Jets as a defensive assistant. Currently, he is the senior analyst for NFL.com, appears regularly on the NFL network, CNN Headline news and is a weekly guest on a number of nationally syndicated radio shows.
The NFL High School Player Development program addresses the many issues facing high school football programs in communities-in-need. The following issues have been identified by a number of professionals, including, urban-based high school coaches, college football recruiters in Divisions I – III, collegiate coaches in Divisions I – III, NFL General Managers and Player Personnel Directors:
The program sets out to achieve the following objectives:
Whether you’re a student, a parent or a coach, this website provides numerous resources for achieving both academic and athletic success! For more information on how you incorporating HSPD into your program, visit www.nflyouthfootball.com or e-mail questions to
NFL Flag Football CO-ED
NFL FLAG is the premier youth football league for boys and girls ages 6-14. The program provides young players a fun and exciting opportunity to engage in non-contact, continuous action while learning lessons in teamwork.
Launched in 1996, the FLAG Football program is designed to educate young people about football while emphasizing participation and sportsmanship. Players learn skills and lessons that help them succeed both on and off the field.
The minimum cost to play FLAG Football is $15 per player. Your organization must decide how much each participant will contribute to cover additional costs, such as coach/referee fees, field maintenance and promotional materials. Out of each player’s league registration fee, $15 is made payable to the National Football League to cover the cost of uniforms and equipment. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which benefits cystic fibrosis. Visit www.esiason.org for more info.
Signing Up Coaches:
Finding qualified coaches is essential to the teams’ success and the players’ experience.
A good NFL FLAG coach understands the principles of football, but is also experienced in teaching basic physical skills to young players. Participation by all players is part of NFL FLAG’s philosophy, so coaches must be able to make each player feel a part of the team.
In addition, coaches must adhere to NFL FLAG guidelines, which dictate that there is no verbal or physical abuse of players and no extensive practices. Failure of coaches to follow these policies may result in revocation of your NFL FLAG league.
For information on joining an NFL Flag football league or starting your own league, visit www.nflyouthfootball.com today for more information!
Wilson-NFL Youth Football Equipment Kits
This project was created in direct response to requests from grassroots youth organizations that the YFF make available a stand-alone starter kit of equipment for youth football programs for their chapters. These grassroots organizations stated that many local groups could not afford nor locate flag football equipment nor could their youth members afford enrollment fees imposed by other football programs. Wilson created the kits for the YFF; each flag football equipment kit is comprised of one mesh bag, two junior-sized footballs, 2 football tees, 48 flags and 48 belts. One bag can accommodate 48 dedicated youth football players or 100 switch-off players allowing organizations to run several youth games simultaneously. The cost of one complete kit is $85 (includes shipping) and may be purchased through Wilson. Visit www.nflyouthfootball.com for more information.
Gatorade Junior Training Camp
As part of our Titan Tuesdays, the Tennessee Titans also conduct the Gatorade Jr. Training Camp (GJTC) as part of our school program. Each Tuesday during the season, a Titans player visits an area middle school to talk about the importance of good decision making in various aspects of life. Once the school assembly is over, as an athletic and academic incentive, a select group of students participate in the GJTC program. The GJTC program is a grassroots, community outreach program designed to teach students football related skills in a non-contact environment. The program conveys a message of teamwork and personal best while reinforcing the importance of education. The program also touches on the importance of friendly competition versus winning or losing. Check photos from a recent visit.
The YFF and the National Football Foundation have teamed to elevate the quality of coaching at the youth and high school levels with the NFL/NFF Coaching Academy - an educational program designed to ensure that youth and high school football programs have trained coaches prepared to focus not only on football skills but also on the game’s social benefits and character building attributes. The academies feature both on-field and classroom elements that focus on life-skills development, program management, safety, health, and nutrition as well as the Xs and Os of coaching. Each participant receives a 500+ page Coach’s Playbook and CD-ROM containing clinic notes, graphic illustrations of proper football skills, summaries of key teaching points, and forms and checklists to help improve team management. Titans head coach Jeff Fisher hosts an annual NFL/National Football Foundation Coaching Clinic at Baptist Sports Park. For more information or to download these items and learn more about the program at www.NFLHS.com.
Youth Football Resources & Recognition Programs:
Backfield in Motion:
The Tennessee Titans have partnered with Backfield in Motion, a non-profit organization that combines athletics and academics to inspire inner-city boys to reach their maximum potential and become significant contributors to society.Backfield in Motion provides year-round programs forNashville boys which include academic tutoring, athletic training and sports leagues. Woven into the fabric of their programs are lessons that teach life skills and assist incharacter development. Their coaches and tutors regularly make connections between life skills and how they are applied in the game,atschool, at home and in the community. Close mentoring relationshipswith the youth enable them to teach the life skillsthey build with the student athletes. Developing and maintaining these relationships are their highest priority and critical to the organization'soverall success. They strengthen the connection with the students bymeeting regularly withtheir parents, teachers and school administrators to ensure that they are progressing in all aspects of their lives.To find out more about Backfield in Motion’s programs and how to get involved, visit their web site at www.backfieldinmotion.org
In 1999, the NFL and the Youth Football Fund launched NFLHS.com, a website dedicated to providing recognition and resources to youth and high school football programs. The site offers information and tools to help create a closer relationship among high school football players, coaches, officials, and fans and the NFL and its players. Along with state-by-state news and features covering high school football from across the country, NFLHS.com has established itself as one of the top online sources for high school football players, coaches, and parents by providing valuable tips and drills, Q&A sessions with former NFL coaches, coaching and health and safety curriculums available for download and video clips. Check out www.nflhs.com for up to date stories and program information.
NFL High School Coach of the Year Program
The NFL High School Football Coach of the Year Program was created in 1995 by Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and the NFL clubs to honor high school football coaches who profoundly affected the athletic and personal development of current NFL players. Award candidates are nominated by current NFL players they have coached, and the winner is selected from among a group of five finalists by a blue-ribbon committee of sports leaders appointed by the NFL. The winning coach attends the Super Bowl as the NFL’s guest and receives a $5,000 grant from the YFF as well as a $10,000 grant for his designated youth/high school football program. Each finalist receives a $2,500 cash award and a $5,000 grant is presented to his specified youth/high school football program.
Titans Coach of the Week Program
The Titans High School Coach of the Week program is a fully integrated grassroots program designed to aid and promote high school football throughout Tennessee. The program is designed to recognize high school coaches who transform, through their hard work and dedication, student-athletes into the best possible football players and citizens in their community. Each winner receives a framed certificate signed by NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, NFL Director of Football Operations Gene Washington and Titans Head Coach Jeff Fisher, a $1,000 contribution to the school’s football program on behalf of owner K.S. "Bud" Adams, Jr. and will be Adams’ guest at the Titans game vs. Seattle on December 18, 2005. Each Coach of the Week winner will also be eligible for the Tennessee Titans Coach-of-the-Year award and an additional $2,000 donation. Since the program’s inception, Bud Adams has donated $90,000 through 2005 to state-wide high schools in recognition of their coach. Visit www.nflhs.com for more information on the league-wide program.
The Titans High School Coach of the Year winners:
1998 – Tim Hammontree Maryville High School
1999 - Jim Wilson Nashville Glencliff High School
2000 - Tom Weathers Chattanooga Red Bank High School
2001 - Ralph Potter McCallie School
2002 - Robert Lassiter Gallatin High School
2003 - Jeff Morris Milan High School
2004 - Buck Coatney Knoxville Fulton High School
Additional NFL Programs
Youth Football Travel Fund
The NFL Travel Fund for National Youth Football Championship Games Program allows local affiliates/teams of Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. and American Youth Football, Inc. (AYF) to apply for donations of up to $5,000 to help offset travel and hotel accommodation costs associated with national youth football championship games and/or tournaments, including the Pop Warner Super Bowl and the AYF National Championships. Local businesses and sponsors also contribute to this initiative through funding or in-kind resources. Visit www.nflyouthfootball.com for more information.
National Youth Football Sumit
Held annually during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Weekend in Canton, Ohio, the NFL Youth Football Summit includes seminars and informative discussions focused on football skills, health and safety, and off-field development for nearly 150 youth and high school football coaches and administrators from around the country and overseas. Fifty-one high school coaches are selected by entering a nomination and essay contest on NFLHS.com. The online essays include information about their coaching careers, commitment to youth, and coaching philosophies. A blue-ribbon panel from each state reviews the essays and one coach from each state and the District of Columbia is chosen to serve as a delegate at the Summit. Former NFL players currently coaching youth and high school football, academic and football coaches from the NFL-NFF Play It Smart program, international high school football coaches, and youth football coaches and administrators from the nation’s largest youth sports organizations also attend each year. Visit www.nflhs.com for more information.
National Association of Sports Officials Grant
The National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) and Referee Enterprises, Inc. (REI) have created Officiating Youth Sports Football 2005 – a 16-page preseason publication which provides need-to-know-basics to help youth football programs manage their officiating. The publication emphasizes safety, provides communication tips for officials when dealing with volunteer coaches and parents, educates readers on basic officiating mechanics and skills, and promotes professionalism among officials. This informational material is intended not only to inform officials but also to help youth football programs recruit and train officials. The publication is distributed throughout the NFL National Youth Football Partners network as well as USA Football. Visit www.nflhs.com for more information.
National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) Sports Administration Certification Program
The National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) Sports Certification Program provides NFL National Youth Football Partner organizations with necessary educational tools that teach how to effectively promote and raise funds for their youth football programs, create successful business plans as they relate to youth football programming, and improve the overall efficiency of their organizations. NCYS has partnered with the George Washington University Sports Management Program to develop a customized Certificate in Sports Administration (CSA) for staff and volunteer leaders of the NFL National Youth Football Partner organizations. The CSA program is administered by The George Washington University Sports Management Program through the National Council of Youth Sports, and is delivered both in-person as well as via distance learning. Coursework includes: Management & Leadership of Sports Organizations; Funding Sports Organizations; Marketing Sports Organizations; Event Management; Sponsorship & Negotiations; Risk Management. Visit www.nflhs.com.
Health & Safety
In collaboration with leading national health organizations, the YFF has launched the NFL Play Safe! Health & Safety Series - a unique youth football education series designed to provide coaches, players and parents with user-friendly, football-specific health and safety information. Created under the leadership of Dr. Barry Goldberg of Yale University, the American College of Sports Medicine, American Red Cross, National Athletic Trainers Association and the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan State pooled their wealth of knowledge and informational resources to produce four books and 10 instructional posters containing comprehensive information on first aid, nutrition, strength and conditioning, and psychological health. The series also may be downloaded from www.NFLHS.com.
USA Football is an independent non-profit organization that was launched with a grant from the YFF in 2002. It is the first national advocacy group created to support and promote the sport at all levels of amateur football as a means of promoting youth character development, citizenship and sportsmanship both on and off the field. USA Football collaborates with existing youth and high school football programs and creates alliances to further build the game. Areas of focus include promoting the sport, chartering leagues, developing standards competition and awards; education and training, research, communication and licensing. Visit www.usafootball.com for more information.