By Teresa Varley
Local youth football coaches attended the 2009 USA Football Coaching School hosted by the Steelers and held at the team's practice facility at the UPMC Sports Performance Complex.
Coaches took part in classroom sessions in the morning featuring Steelers seventh-round draft pick A.Q. Shipley as the guest speaker and with instruction from special team's coach Bob Ligashesky.
In the afternoon, they headed into the indoor facility for some on-field coaching from some of the area's best high school coaches.
The Coaching School is a one-day educational program designed to help high school and youth football coaches continue to develop their skills and improve the quality of coaching at that level.
"Youth football is very fragmented," said Ed Passino, Northeast Regional Manager for USA Football. "You have a lot of coaches whose experience is at different levels. Going to these clinics helps coaches feel more comfortable, gives them a good baseline of knowledge. It's the same with the veteran coaches, who share information and it helps them pick up new drills, things like that. It's a dedicated day for them."
Curriculum focused on football skills, on-field offensive and defensive schemes and strategies, coach-player communication, practice planning, and proper equipment fitting. The school combined classroom sessions with on-field demonstrations of technique and practice components.