As the mom of five children, I have been involved in multiple sports and activities. Hands down, youth football was the best sport we were ever involved in. Three of my sons played youth football from elementary school up through high school. And I can sincerely say it was one of my greatest joys as a parent.
Our football season started in July and ran through October. Two of our boys also played spring tackle football. We spent A LOT of time on the field. It is a huge commitment. We spent hours on the field between practices and games. But I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
Youth Football Teaches Discipline and Time Management
Youth football helped instill a sense of discipline in my sons, not just on the field but off the field as well. On the field, they had to work hard to condition and memorize drills and plays. At home, they had to stay on top of schoolwork and chores. They quickly learned time management skills at a pretty young age. The particular youth program my sons were involved in had an academic scholarship program. So that was another layer of incentive to succeed both on and off the field.
Youth Football Has Health Benefits
Playing football created a positive relationship with exercise for my sons. My sons’ football days are long over but thanks to football, they all continue to work out on a daily basis. Regular physical activity is part of their life. I would like to tell you it was because of me, but I know that it is actually thanks to football.
Sense of Community
Football models a positive sense of community. Youth football is made up of volunteers. Many coaches and team parents are volunteers. They give up their free time to give back to their community by being involved in the lives of the children they coach. They are helping mold our youth. If you think parents give up a lot of free time for sports, ask a youth football coach how much time they put in.
It Takes a Village
There was an unexpected benefit to my sons playing youth football and that was the extended family we became part of. When your children are in various sports and activities, you spend a lot of time with the parents of your children’s teammates. They become an extended family of sorts. A week after the birth of my youngest child, football season started. I had a breastfeeding newborn and three boys playing football at three different fields. My football family stepped up to help me. There have been times when tragedy struck our teams, unexpected family deaths, illness, and general hard times. As a football family, we often came together to put together meal trains and were there for each other in the hard times. Our football family was our village.
Football Time = Family Time
It may sound crazy, but football made our family closer. My husband and I both work 40+ hours outside the home. Because of football, we had more family time. We had three children playing football at one point, so we would spend 6 to 8 hours at games on Saturdays. And we were together! It was bonding time. If it weren’t for football, we would be doing housework and yard work on Saturdays. Yes, those are things that need to get done. But I am thankful for the family time we spent together on the weekends. Even my daughter, who is not a football fan, loved that family time too.
Football taught my sons several important life lessons. To be honest, football also taught me and my husband important lessons.