A Mom and Youth Football



My son loves football; he lives it; breaths it; is built for it; etc. He studies the players and sorts his football cards by teams. He knows who graduated from which college, when they were drafted and their statistics. HE LOVES FOOTBALL.

So in 3rd grade, he could start tackle youth football. I know that many parents have strong feelings over tackle football and that is not what this post is about. I respect that others don’t feel that it is safe however, my son (who is 11 and weighs 144 pounds) is learning how to safely upward tackle and how to play the sport, as safely as possible. But there are risks, much like that of anything in life. He and I are both aware of those risk.

Back to football: so as a single mother, I started out knowing very little about football and I have made some observations over the years:

A.) How little I know and understand about football.
B.) How truly rough some kids are when playing football.
C.) I can kiss away my weekends good-bye for the next 2.5 months.
D.) Find the play book and study the play book after we find it.
E.) Football is not won by  one child, but a working team.
F.) How incredibly smelly my SUV has become with football gear.

A few other things I have learned as well include what it means to for my kid to be coachable. If he is coachable, that helps him learn to work with others, take criticism, take praise, be accountable, to be respectful, and to listen. At times, he has not been the most coachable kid. My hope is that he learns now, builds these skills, and that they help him be successful in school, college, and in a career.

I want him to learn sportsmanship which has been a rocky road for him (after he received a technical for calling a ref an idiot at a game last year). Epic parent fail. But he learned a very hard and memorable lesson that day to respect authority (and/or adults in general) and to control his mouth (aka consequences that will follow). Plus, you won’t always agree with others, but you still need to shut your mouth and play ball (per-say). I would rather he learn these lessons now, instead of running his mouth to an employer and losing his job.

These are life lessons that need learned and if football can help him learn these life skills, then even better. I will continue to support him as I sit on sun reflective, hot, bleachers in 90-degree weather, hoping that he will not pass out due to heat. I am sure most football parents can relate. It takes a village to help build a sports program that reflects sportsmanship and coachability. It takes dedication from coaches, parents, and players. It also takes a 1000 Gatorades, lots and lots of deodorant, and car air fresheners.


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