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Kids and football?

NOVADAWGNOVADAWG Posts: 921 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

I’m sitting here watching my youngest son play in the bath and it makes me wonder if I will let him play football when he’s old enough. I watch the hs kids come into play at uga and watch them hit in practice and it scares me to death. I wanted to play pop warner football but mom said know for my shot in hs but I was already passed by talent wise with kids that had been playing for seven years.

What do do you think?



  • OroValleyDawgOroValleyDawg Posts: 245 ✭✭✭✭ Senior

    The game is getting safer and safer.  Helmets improved.  Teaching to keep the head out of the tackle from pop warner up to the NFL.  There never has been a been a safer time to let kids play.  With all of that being said I did not play beyond the high school level and had a knee replacement at 40.  Have also had both shoulders operated on as a result of football and lifting.  But I think the game teaches life lessons you can't learn hardly any other way.  That is why I have been teaching kids to play as a coach at the youth levels first and high school for the last 10 years.  As you may have guessed my answer is if he wants to, you should let your son play.  Injuries can occur, but the lessons are invaluable.

  • KaseyKasey Posts: 28,868 mod

    I think flag football until high school is a fair rule of thumb these days

  • MIghtydawgMIghtydawg Posts: 984 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Don't let your kid grow into being a lineman, running back or linebacker. Be an outside receiver that does not go over the middle or a corner in the Neon Deion mold that avoids contact.

  • OroValleyDawgOroValleyDawg Posts: 245 ✭✭✭✭ Senior

    Kasey, I would say that depends on the coaching in your area.  If there are quality coaches, would definitely talk to them (interview if you will), and see what they are all about at the youth level before signing my son up.  If they teach eyes up, head out of the tackle, safe football, I would feel good letting my son play for them.  If they are the 'Friday Night Tykes" types, stay away.  There is a mix of both at every level. 

  • shhmittyshhmitty Posts: 284 ✭✭✭ Junior

    I coached the last 5 years in Pop Warner, and I can say without a doubt the game is getting safer. With the heads up coaching being taught, I have seen where it has now become a habit for kids to tackle with their head up. It is rare now to see a kid lead with the crown of his helmet, and if it's done it is very noticeable and the kid is instructed immediately about the importance of keeping his head up. This is the 3rd year of coaching the technique of tackling with the head on the backside of a player, which is very awkward now but should also become habit soon. The helmets being used are so much better now along with concussion recognition and treatment. Nobody wants to get a kid hurt, but now coaches are being educated much more on how to prevent helmet to helmet contact and the injuries should continue to decline as these techniques become routine in the game. I have no doubt that letting my son start playing early has helped him to become a better player, but more importantly a safer one.

  • NOVADAWGNOVADAWG Posts: 921 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    my wife and I are the types of parents that teach our children to make there own decisions but that there consequences for wrong/bad decisions.

    I will let them choose if they want to play. We are years away from that but it’s getting here faster and faster. I know there are new teaching techniques that safety and taking the head out of it but stuff happens. I have worked with 3 guys that played high level fb in college and two went on to the pros to play and they always said if they had a choice they would have saved there bodies and hung up the cleats after hs.

    Yes my kids are young but they mean everything to me just like any other parent and I’ll do anything to protect them. I know they have to grow up and become men and make their own decisions but playing football will be a choice not a requirement

  • dbrown7494dbrown7494 Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    The game is getting safer. But my preference is to have kids play flag football till middle school then join the school team. Typically middle school teams feed into the high school and are coach similarly.

    Some of this does depend on the size of your kid and the level of coaching that is in your youth leagues.

    Also a big thing is deciding level of competitiveness you want your kid to play in. Do you want them to love the game and enjoy it or you want them to only try to win.

  • ghostofuga1ghostofuga1 Posts: 9,032 mod

    Let them do what they want to do and don't let them fall under peer pressure. If he wants to play piano or take ballet, support him in whatever it is. This is what a parent does. A parent should not dictate what their child should "want" to do..

    BTW- I started playing organized football at the age of 6 because it was what I wanted to do. Played every year through my Senior year of HS. Not one time did my parents push me into playing the sport...

  • tfk_fanboytfk_fanboy Posts: 2,821 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    wrestle and bjj here, no football

    I wrestled in college. Don't care if my son does or not but we wrestle now and do bjj together. it is great bonding and it is something can do until I'm in my 60s or so. and a lot fo life lessons and discipline and work ethic to be learned from it too

  • ghostofuga1ghostofuga1 Posts: 9,032 mod
  • MWorkman17MWorkman17 Posts: 229 ✭✭✭✭ Senior

    Honestly, if my kids take after me and my wife, they will be too small to play tackle football. I grew up playing baseball and basketball, and my 3 year old son currently plays soccer and t-ball. Like the great Clint Eastwood once said, a man has got to know his limitations.

  • NOVADAWGNOVADAWG Posts: 921 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I swam in hs school played tennis and played golf in hs and college so it’s not that bad of a path to take but if I was getting tackled by roquan in hs I might have **** my pants on the field

  • texdawgtexdawg Posts: 11,553 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    @NOVADAWG football is not for everyone. And that is ok.

    As a dad you will know if your son is drawn to football or not.

    Like @dbrown7494 mentioned - I also believe in flag football until middle school. Not everyone believes this - it's just my opinion.

    Football is much safer - that is true. Tackling techniques are improving and equipment is certainly improving. But the biggest improvement is that quality coaches are taking better care of kids because they want to help save the sport they love so much.

    Research will show the concussion and other injuries involved in other sports. It's fairly high in many sports.

    But make no mistake about it. High school football is a violent sport.

    I played in 96 games between high school and college and I coached in about 340 high school games - it may be safer - but it's violent.

    If you and your wife decide to allow your son to play football - I hope he enjoys it and has success.

    Regardless if he chooses football, baseball, soccer, band, piano, art, drama or whatever - make every game, recital or whatever. And just love and support him. Enjoy what he enjoys - because if you think it's going by quickly now - just wait. It's about to really speed up.

  • NOVADAWGNOVADAWG Posts: 921 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    @texdawg I took out to the golf course and just really enjoyed having out there with me. I know football isn’t for everyone and I will certainly allow him to choose if he plays or not. If and when he’s ready to play the family will he behind him.

    Im thinking about enrolling him at the elementary school at IMG to get an earlier start. Jk

  • texdawgtexdawg Posts: 11,553 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I was an avid golfer growing up. Loved playing with my dad.

    Pretty sure Tiger and Jordan Speith did ok.

  • texdawgtexdawg Posts: 11,553 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I will add. Your son certainly doesn't need to play football if you or him doesn't feel comfortable doing so.

    But you need to spend time watching the game with him. Boys need to understand the game.

    I have a nephew - love the boy to death - but he doesn't understand football at all - and it's just weird.

  • NOVADAWGNOVADAWG Posts: 921 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    yeah I wanted to go pro in golf but didn’t have the money or financial backers to try the mini tours after college. Insert cheesy NCAA athletes going pro in other areas commercial

  • UGA4LifeUGA4Life Posts: 930 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    My son played pee-wee but didn’t like it. So he started wrestling in middle school and loves it. I mean, watching videos of wrestling when he not wrestling loves it.

    He is now going into his sophomore year of high school. 6’1” 180 lbs. and has been working with a personal trainer for the last 2 months to get ready for this season.

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