Source: NorthFulton.com

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Play 60 takes youth football training to the pro level
Blocking strategies, pro equipment to aid young athletes

by Aldo Nahed

May 07, 2014

Hayden Owen, a member of the Milton Steelers third-grade youth football team, trains on the "kaboom tackler."
MILTON, Ga. — Tim "The Bus Driver" Lester, who led the way for Jerome "The Bus" Bettis and Emmitt Smith, played 10 years in the NFL as a fullback with the Rams and Steelers and retired with the Cowboys. Coincidentally, his nickname "The Bus Driver" still applies to his new mission in life today.

Lester said he is introducing a training program for youth football players that focuses on the highest level of player safety and is changing the way the game is played.

Lester, who has two boys ages 5 and 7, launched the Play 60 flag football program in 2012.

The year-round program trains participants on speed and agility as well as football fundamentals.

This year, Lester said he has introduced a tackle program dedicated to making the game better and safer.

Lester's team, the Milton Steelers, includes third- through fifth-grade students in and around the Milton area and incorporates the "right way and smart way" to play the game.

"When I played football, most teams were blocking teams," Lester said. "I blocked using my head first, dropping opponents to the ground. I learned to tackle the wrong way and the hard way.

"My goal is to teach any players I coach the right way and the smart way to play tackle football," he said.

Implementing USA Football's Heads Up Program coupled with several pieces of state-of-the-art training equipment and an experienced coaching staff are just a few ways Lester teaches tackle training to his players.

Lester has purchased several pieces of equipment to aid in training, including a Jr. Tackle Breaker, S-Advantage Tackler and a Jr. Safety Tackler and his latest addition, the Kaboom Safety Tackler, an all-foam tackle sled created to help prevent avoidable concussions.

"Parents should have the peace of mind knowing that football is fun and safe, as long as young athletes are given the proper training and the opportunity to learn the smart way to play," Lester said.

MH 05-07-14