Subscribe
Participants run laps around the football field at the European Football Camp on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015 at Ansbach High School on Katterbach Kaserne in Ansbach, Germany.

Participants run laps around the football field at the European Football Camp on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015 at Ansbach High School on Katterbach Kaserne in Ansbach, Germany. (Gregory Broome/Stars and Stripes)

Participants run laps around the football field at the European Football Camp on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015 at Ansbach High School on Katterbach Kaserne in Ansbach, Germany.

Participants run laps around the football field at the European Football Camp on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015 at Ansbach High School on Katterbach Kaserne in Ansbach, Germany. (Gregory Broome/Stars and Stripes)

Lines of campers perform pushups  at the European Football Camp on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015 at Ansbach High School on Katterbach Kaserne in Ansbach, Germany.

Lines of campers perform pushups at the European Football Camp on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015 at Ansbach High School on Katterbach Kaserne in Ansbach, Germany. (Gregory Broome/Stars and Stripes)

Kaiserslautern's Landon Weddle (facing) leads teammates through jumping jacks  at the European Football Camp on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015 at Ansbach High School on Katterbach Kaserne in Ansbach, Germany.

Kaiserslautern's Landon Weddle (facing) leads teammates through jumping jacks at the European Football Camp on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015 at Ansbach High School on Katterbach Kaserne in Ansbach, Germany. (Gregory Broome/Stars and Stripes)

Ansbach Cougars head coach and camp organizer Marcus George strides through a sea of helmets at the European Football Camp on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015 at Ansbach High School on Katterbach Kaserne in Ansbach, Germany.

Ansbach Cougars head coach and camp organizer Marcus George strides through a sea of helmets at the European Football Camp on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015 at Ansbach High School on Katterbach Kaserne in Ansbach, Germany. (Gregory Broome/Stars and Stripes)

USA Football official Chad Hester demonstrates proper form during a drill at the European Football Camp on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015 at Ansbach High School on Katterbach Kaserne in Ansbach, Germany. The annual camp hosted over 300 football players from American high schools and European programs. Hester travelled to Ansbach from Texas to teach USA Football's "Heads Up" techniques for safe hitting and tackling.

USA Football official Chad Hester demonstrates proper form during a drill at the European Football Camp on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015 at Ansbach High School on Katterbach Kaserne in Ansbach, Germany. The annual camp hosted over 300 football players from American high schools and European programs. Hester travelled to Ansbach from Texas to teach USA Football's "Heads Up" techniques for safe hitting and tackling. (Gregory Broome/Stars and Stripes)

Former NFL defensive lineman Michael Haynes addresses campers at the European Football Camp on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015 at Ansbach High School on Katterbach Kaserne in Ansbach, Germany. Haynes was a first-round draft pick of the Chicazgo Bears in 2003 and played five seasons in the NFL.

Former NFL defensive lineman Michael Haynes addresses campers at the European Football Camp on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015 at Ansbach High School on Katterbach Kaserne in Ansbach, Germany. Haynes was a first-round draft pick of the Chicazgo Bears in 2003 and played five seasons in the NFL. (Gregory Broome/Stars and Stripes)

DODDS-Europe coaches lead campers through a drill at the European Football Camp on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015 at Ansbach High School on Katterbach Kaserne in Ansbach, Germany. The annual camp hosted over 300 football players from American high schools and European programs.

DODDS-Europe coaches lead campers through a drill at the European Football Camp on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015 at Ansbach High School on Katterbach Kaserne in Ansbach, Germany. The annual camp hosted over 300 football players from American high schools and European programs. (Gregory Broome/Stars and Stripes)

Heads up, it’s football season.

More than 300 young football players from across the continent converged in Bavaria this week for the 2015 edition of the European Football Camp, hosted annually by Ansbach Cougars head coach Marcus George.

The four-day event started Sunday at Ansbach High School on Katterbach Kaserne.

As with last year’s event, this year's preseason camp focused intently on safe and proper hitting and tackling technique. To that end, the camp incorporated USA Football’s “Heads Up” program, which teaches players how to avoid the kind of damaging impacts and helmet-to-helmet contact that can lead to serious head and spinal injuries.

Organizers brought in a pair of high-profile guests to help teach the Heads Up program: Chad Hester, a Texas-based USA Football trainer with 30 years of youth and high school coaching experience, and Michael Haynes, who played five NFL seasons as a defensive lineman.

The camp, attended by players from 11 DODDS-Europe programs and 10 European youth teams, marks the start of the fall DODDS-Europe football season. Teams can open camp as early as Wednesday; opening games are set for the weekend of Sept. 19.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up