I find myself here again. Where that is you might ask? Football season, that’s where. As I am writing this I am sitting on the top of a hill looking down on a practice field full of young boys (and the occasional girl) ready for a new season of what I have to say is my favorite sport. The sun has started to shine a beautiful gold on its way to fall and the breeze at night suddenly feels different here in New England. Once football season starts you know you are on borrowed time when it comes to long summer days. Summer will soon be over and the kids will be back in school and the days will become shorter and the nights will become longer. With longer nights come football games, gorgeous autumn leaves, crisp air, and all the apples and pumpkins you could want.
Football season has started here in Voluntown and while our town of doesn’t have it’s own youth league we are able to play in the neighboring town of Griswold. GO WOLVERINES!!! I have to say that youth football has gotten a lot of attention lately and it’s not good attention. The focus is on the risk of concussions and injuries that can occur while playing. While these are important topics and concerns they have unfairly out shadowed the benefits of the awesome life lessons that are learned on the field.
I’m not one of “those” football moms. I don’t want my sons to play the game so they can be part of the cool crowd. Honestly, if you call my kid a jock I want to punch you in the face. I don’t want them to play because their father and I love the game. I don’t want them to play because I want them to have something to do after school or on the weekends. I want them to play because……………
- The game of football is a team sport. You cannot succeed in the game on your own. The game has many moving parts and all of those parts are important to the success of the team. I want my sons to know that as they grow, there will be many times in their lives that they have to “play” on a team. Whether it be at school, in their career or someday (a very long time from now) their marriage. It’s important to learn team work. It’s important to know how it feels to do your best and still lose. We can’t always win.
- Football requires you to push your limits physically and mentally. They have to learn that without hard work they won’t succeed in the game. It is a physically demanding game but it will teach them self-discipline. Self-discipline is not something that many young children seem to have these days. It drives them to keep pushing when they feel like they want to quit. The game forces them to focus in an intense environment. All of these things are great lessons for the future.
- Today it seems hard to find children that respect their elders, take criticism and direction and grow from it. Football teaches all of those things. There are rules and there are expectations. I’m not sure when having to follow the rules, listen and be respectful became such a difficult thing but we see it all the time in our young children. I want my children to have rules. I want them to know that when an adult speaks they listen. Above all I want them to be respectful to their teammates and their coaches.
- You aren’t always going to be the best at everything. I know some of you might want to scream when you read this but NOT EVERY KID DESERVES A TROPHY. There are many different positions in the game of football and you can’t possibly be “the best” at every one. There is only one quarterback and guess who’s going to play that position?? You got it, the kid that is the best fit for it. If you want it, you have to work for it. Nothing comes for free and it shouldn’t. In any sport there is always someone who wants your spot. If you want to be the best it takes works and drive, put down the video games and get to work!
- Each year new kids join the team and each year you have a new team. They have to learn to cope with change. Your kid might play every quarter one season and the next he might be sitting on the bench, he might play offense one year and one year he might play defense. It changes, it teaches them they don’t always get what they want, it teaches them they have to stick with something and keep working for what they want. No matter what position you are playing whether it’s where you want to be or not, you have to give it your all. Who’s know they might find out they love something new.
I never wanted to be a football mom.
I never thought I would be raising all boys.
I never thought I would EVER love the game of football.
I never thought I would enjoy watching football practice four nights a week.
I never thought my children would learn so much from one game.
As parents we all have to determine what is safe for our children but before you run away from the game of football for the fear of the risks just keep in mind that there are amazing benefits too. I am a proud football mom and I am proud of what the game is teaching my children.
This post was featured on the Official NFL Touchdown Moms page. For more support from other football moms be sure to go to the Official NFL Touchdown Moms page to find other great articles and support!