Someday, your children move out of the house and pursue their dreams. The statistics show that most likely it won’t be football. But are there some life lessons that the game of football can help you transfer to your children? Are there any lasting benefits to this 100-year-old game? A 2014 online article from About Sports list five principles football can teach your youth.
Football requires a pretty unique brand of teamwork. When you’re a part of a football team (sometimes with up to 90 other players), understanding your role and that of your teammates is critical. Trusting them to do their job is also of utmost importance. Even guys on the 2nd and 3rd string play a definitive role that helps the overall group. The emotional ups and downs that a team will experience help to build trust over time.
Football requires the player to discipline themselves and to work hard. There is also a beautiful life lesson in the scrutiny and evaluation process. From youth football on up, every move in practice and games is evaluated by coaches and fellow players through film and field evaluation. This is a wonderful thing, because it allows for growth and accountability. As their parent, you’ve been evaluating them since birth. It helps them to have other mentors and friends evaluating his performance. This is like life, where if we hope to improve and grow, we have to take responsibility for that growth, and surround ourselves with people who can help.
Football provides a variety of challenges that will test (and help to build) your son’s perseverance. He loses a big game. He doesn’t make 1st team. He misses a play that results in a touchdown for the other team. He struggles as other players develop strength and quickness before he does. These are all things that will challenge your son emotionally, and might tempt him to quit. But if he sticks with it, there will be a payoff in the end. You’re the parent. You see what he doesn’t so help him through those things.
There are a lot of things that a football player does that can be measured. Where there’s measurement, there’s a chance to set goals for improvement. He might set a goal to get his 40 yard dash down to a certain time. Maybe he could try to increase his weight training maximums, or catch a certain number of passes in a season. He will also be exposed to lots of team oriented goals, which will help him be accountable for his part to the overall team. We all should grow and improve ourselves, and football can help him get started on the right foot with good goal setting habits. This is great stuff!
A High You Can’t Buy
My head coach in high school always said, “It’s a high you can’t buy,” when talking to us about our success in football. This game can create a huge adrenaline rush. Fighting and scrapping with all you have alongside your teammates, and being successful, even in one play, is a moving experience. It can teach your son that there are healthy, productive ways to pursue adventure and “highs” in this life. How many stories have we heard about boys being kept grounded and out of trouble by the camaraderie and mentor-ship they’ve received in football?
This list is not all inclusive, but the bottom line comes back to you, the parent. It’s important that you take the initiative to help him process what’s going on. If you do, it will be far more than just a game; it will be a vehicle to help your son achieve greater things later in life.
Waianae Bulldogs Association instills these principles into our coaching techniques. Every effort is made to help kids understand the fundamentals of football and how they apply to everyday life. From the president of the organization, to the volunteer on the field, we strive on teaching kids how to make use of their football experiences not just for the game, but life long after the game. Check out our Facebook page for recent and upcoming events by clicking on this link: Waianae Bulldogs Facebook page
See you at the game!