It’s easy for me to say I would not let my children play football because I have two daughters and a cognitively disabled son who could never learn to play. I wonder why when children are born with normal, beautiful brains, parents risk head injury. But parents also let their children ride bikes, drive cars, operate ATVs, go snowboarding, play hockey, skateboard, & ski….it all comes with risk. Football is like religion for some families with deep tradition and expectation. I do wish coaches and parents could be less serious about it especially in grade school kids where size differences and ability among players can be significant. I wish there were more options for organized touch football or at least less competitive leagues. Wrestling and football are the major sports that prohibit women/girls. I do think that produces a more macho/aggressive game. Heck girls at my college played in a women’s hockey league but never football.
Bottom line…I think football is ok if the risks are understood and the child is not pushed beyond his limit.
I grew up watching football, and my two sons, ages 18 and 12, are no different. In my family, football is more than a sport -- it's a passion. After my sons asked persistently, I decided to let them play the game. I would advise any mom whose son wants to play football to learn as much as possible about the sport by familiarizing yourself with the rules, regulations and safety measures. My first priority is always safety -- just as I wouldn't let my kids get in a car without a seatbelt, I wouldn't want them on the field without the proper equipment and before knowing the coach's approach to safety matters.
In this episode we don’t see much from the Outlaws, Jr Broncos, Seahawks or Jr Rockets. Again for those of you coaching youth football, take what you can from the positives and make sure to avoid the negatives. It can be a bit humbling to see your own actions in the actions of some of these coaches. Understand that the first step to changing how you coach is to recognize what you are doing is wrong, so if you’re feeling a bit down because of your mistakes, that’s a good thing. Some guys never even get to that level, they won’t even recognize what they are doing is wrong.
“When friends looked at all these pass plays I had drawn up from the NFL and colleges, they said, ‘You’ve got an app there” to help in coaching youth football.”