Parents are often criticized for putting their children on a youth football team, but as with most things, you need to do what is best for you and your child. Youth football is an extraordinarily skilled and disciplined sport that can give kids a huge jump-start on life!
While it may be true that football is a high contact sport, there are so many benefits that youth football can offer to your child, and don’t we always want the best for our children?
You can’t help what you’re passionate about, and if your young one is passionate about football then a youth football team is probably a really good choice. We tell our children on a very regular basis that they should follow their dreams and do what makes them happy, so we need to set the precedent while they are still young!
Yes, it may be true that aggressive sports render a greater margin for injuries, but if you are smart about safety (and encourage your kids to be, too) then the likelihood of an injury occurring is just as small as it would be with any other sport.
Remember, in youth football, as in the big leagues, kids are required to wear protective equipment. Compared to sports that are just as aggressive youth football is a tame alternative.
You’ll need to invest money into high quality protective equipment such as protective cup, shin guard and cleats.
Shopping For A Youth Football League
Speaking of youth football leagues, before signing up there are some important questions to ask the commissioner. Inquire as to whether or not the rule book or play guidelines are made available to all parents. If they’re not, then look elsewhere for a more reputable league.
Ask questions about the qualifications of the coaches. Most youth football leagues will require that their parent coaches still have certain levels of state certification, which is critical when teaching children the rules of the game. The more involved and educated you are, the better the overall experience for both you and your child.
While you’ve got that rulebook handy, find out if the youth football league you’re considering enrolling your child into employs an equal playing time regulation. These rules are important because they focus more on allowing all of the children ample opportunity to benefit from the sport as opposed to just highlighting those players who excel.
If your league does not have any such regulation, there is a good chance that some kids may end up spending the entire season on the bench. This is detrimental to their self-esteem and confidence and will make them feel excluded. Avoid leagues that do not have this rule at all costs.
Life Lessons, Win or Lose
It can be said with a pretty good degree of certainty that kids think the old winning mantras are all bunk. Try telling your child that it doesn’t matter if they win or lose the game when the other teams victory cheer can still be heard from across the parking lot. Instead, try teaching your child the importance of doing their best, good sportsmanship and that winning is not everything.
Youth football can be an extraordinary experience for your child and the importance of teamwork, physical activity and fun cannot be stressed enough. Educate yourself to make sure you understand both the benefits and risks associated with youth football so that you and your child can make the most of this favorite pastime.