Flag Football: Scoring Points On and Off the Field

This post was sponsored by our partners at Future for Football and the National Football Foundation, but the opinions are all our own.

Forty-two. Thirty-eight. Ninety-nine. Set. Hiiiike!

My kids eat, sleep, breathe, and dream sports. I’ve heard them calling plays in their sleep. Around the house, it’s constant chatter about who got traded to where and the most up-to-date league records. We’re a sports family through and through, playing and spectating.  My boys have tried the whole gamut of athletic activities, from karate, soccer, and baseball to basketball and flag football.

When my son was born, I couldn’t wait to get him signed up for sports. Impatient to start, we tried soccer at age three, which was a total disaster. I’m not sure most three-year-olds know which goal to kick the ball into, let alone what the goal is. Watching clusters of tiny people chasing after the soccer ball was admittedly entertaining, but the highlight of game days was the snack and juice box after the 30 minutes of chaos.

At one point, my son tried karate, which was extremely short-lived. Sadly, it was mostly about fundraising and selling candy bars more than about hi-yahs and karate-chopping.

Then we moved on to swimming, and that lasted a few years. My son had the knack for the butterfly stroke, but he didn’t have the passion. So he pressed pause for a while, which turned into an indefinite break. Then he moved on to basketball, which seemingly lasted longer than the other previously attempted sports.

As a wee-lad, my other son started sports with the baseball route. That was a brief stint, and then he found football. And it’s been football ever since. He started throwing the pigskin in the backyard and running plays with grampa, and then he joined a flag football league when he was 12. He has been with it ever since.

As my basketballer watched my flag footballer play games, he became interested and wanted to try it.

So now, I’m officially a football mom, and I have two football boys. And all the other sports teams and leagues are history . . . well, for now anyway.

Every sports mom knows the commitment can be hefty. It’s a lot of driving kids around to games and practices, washing stinky stained uniforms, and shopping for all-too-quickly outgrown athletic gear. Seriously, didn’t we buy those cleats three months ago? But cheering on the sidelines and seeing the growth and improvement is rewarding and worth the time and effort.

Flag football has been the one sports practice my sons don’t dread going to, and they practice at home of their own volition. It’s a constant staple, and I love what the sport has done for them in return.

My boys have scored on and off the field thanks to flag football.

Flag Football: Scoring Points On and Off the FieldWhen we moved to Albuquerque from out of state a couple of years ago, getting involved in flag football gave my kids a quick connection. They instantly felt a camaraderie with their teammates and coaches. They formed friendships bonded by the love of the sport.

Flag football has become more than just an extracurricular activity outside of school. They’ve learned many skills beyond the football field, such as respect, problem-solving, teamwork, and self-discipline.

Instead of just using their hands and fingers to manipulate video game controllers to run animated characters up and down a screen, they are staying physically active. The best part–it’s year-round availability. We have spring, fall, winter, and summer leagues to keep them always involved. Touchdown!

Playing flag football has helped boost both of my boys’ self-esteem.

As they’ve continued to play through multiple seasons, their skills have progressed, and they recognize it. They set personal goals and continue to improve. They have created workouts to practice their plays and build their strength. At times, they even try to eat healthier and follow some of their favorite player’s diets. Their relationships with teammates have helped them with their confidence, which many parents understand is priceless in these teen and pre-teen years.

In addition to playing flag football, they also enjoy watching football every chance they get. So after Saturday game days, we come home and watch college ball, followed up with the NFL on Sundays (and Monday and Thursday night football).

We’re fortunate to have the UNM Lobos in Albuquerque and occasionally get the opportunity to catch a home game in the fall. Did I mention we love football?

This year, our very own UNM Lobo, former NFL wide receiver Terance Mathis, is being inducted into the 2023 College Football Hall of Fame. 

The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization that supports amateur athletes. The NFF also sponsors the Future for Football campaign, which highlights the impact of football on youth, players, coaches, families, fans, and beyond.

I can speak firsthand that flag football has positively influenced our family.

I’m totally supportive of my kids looking up to athletes like Terance and other inductees like Tim Tebow, who are truly inspirational for young athletes.

If your kids are ready to try flag football, I encourage you to find a local league in your area. You can search for a flag football program through the Future for Football website. There you can also find much more information about the sport’s impact on other players and families. Now, off to the next game! Let’s go!