Benefits of Football for Youth
Benefits of Football for Youth
Football is an extremely aggressive sport that has received its share of criticism in recent months. But all sports are dangerous one way or another and the possibility for injury occurs in every sport your child will partake in.
Football is a physically demanding game. Your child will learn the importance of staying physically sharp while playing the game of football. Through speed, agility, strength, hand-eye-coordination, and overall cardiovascular endurance, the game of football will promote a much more physically fit lifestyle for your child.
Camaraderie is overlooked when discussing the benefits of what football provides for its players. In no other sport do so many players come together on one team to unite as one with one goal in mind. Football’s natural elements give kids a great opportunity to build secure friendships and bonds for a lifetime. No other sport has the high volume of teammates as football does. And with this, certainly not everyone will all get along but football teaches kids to work through their differences, promoting camaraderie like no other sport can do.
Football screams discipline. Without discipline, there can be no success in the game of football. Because there are 11 starters on both sides of the ball, just one hiccup can cost the entire team a game. Discipline doesn’t just apply to the physical aspect of the sport either, as mental errors and breakdowns can be just as costly as physical ones. Being disciplined is a big part of success in life, especially when it comes to finances. Starting out early and being able to stress to your kids the importance of discipline at a young age is vital in grooming them for success in the long run.
Work ethic is typically the number one pillar when it comes to success. Talen and natural skill only goes so far, but work ethic and grinding away at your craft become integral along the way to becoming an admirable adult. Head Coach of Northwestern Football, Pat Fitzgerald spoke on work ethic “It permeates everything that we do. Through the recruiting, through the way that we coach and teach our players.” Emphasizing future goals will help stress to kids the importance of working hard to attain these goals, because without that drive nothing can be achieved. It isn’t the easiest of tasks getting youth players to go to war for you every practice, so make sure to constantly find ways to positively reinforce your players while avoiding negative criticism as much as possible. They say practice makes perfect and this applies just as much to life as it does in the game of football. Practicing in the heat of the day with pads every day will drive your kids to the brink; I encourage you to seek out alternate methods of practicing in order to keep your players sharp and so they will want to work hard for you.
Teamwork is vital in football and without teamwork, there is no accountability. Players must be accountable for each other. The 11 players on the side of the ball must know what is expected of them. By working with the 10 others on the field, they are naturally prepping for working with others later on down the road, even if it is with people are difficult to get along with.
In order to win on the field, you will need teamwork. There is no other trait that is more important from your team than teamwork. And with so many players that make up your team, teamwork is critical and must be stressed from day one in the game of football. You have to work together, it is as simple as that. Whether it is on the field in practice, gameday, in the film room, or preparing in a team meeting, football demand teamwork in all facets of the game. There are plenty for demands to teamwork and it can be especially difficult at times.
But through it all, football will greatly enhance your child’s ability to work with others, even if they don’t want to. Teamwork truly does create synergy and bonds, not only will this help your kid in the game of football but it will also help them in life when they are able to work and collaborate together with new people and strangers in order to finish a task. Teamwork benefits the single individual and the entire team. Your players will be able to tell when everyone is on the same page in the game of football and this will greatly help them later in life when things might be going south.
Football also promotes physical toughness. Your kid will get his share of bruises and bumps while participating in football but these can be a great way to help shape your kid and to not complain about getting knocked down to his feat rather instead get up and try again. In life, we will get our share of rejections, our no’s, and endure tough times. Like in football, we must learn how to respond to these events and get back onto our feat, dust ourselves off, and keep moving forward. The infamous quote from Rocky Balboa lives on today “It ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much you can take, and keep moving forward, that’s how winning is done.” Fighting through the pain and the adversity will teach your child at a young age to realize that life is not all sunshine and games and full of rainbows.
Along with physical toughness, football prepares your kids for mental toughness as well. In order to play and thrive in football, you must be mentally tough because the sport asks a ton out of its participants. There are times where things will go south on your team, times where players will make mistakes and they must be able to mentally disengage with the past and be prepared for the next play without thinking back to what happened. It’s important for them to understand their mistake, recognize it and then completely forget about it while moving forward. This is an overlooked ability and something that is necessary moving forward in life. Without it, it is extremely hard to move forward and progress in the future if you are stuck on something in the past and dwelling on mistakes or bad decisions that were made.
By: Matt Kerns