Football is one of the best sports for bringing people together. People from all different walks of life and from all over – come together to cheer for their favorite teams! It’s a sport that starts at a young age and that has opportunities at every level.
My son started playing flag football when he was seven and it quickly became his favorite sport. I love that football is providing him with so many opportunities and valuable life lessons both on the field and off the field.
I immediately noticed positive changes in his confidence after his first season of flag football – and now that he is beginning his fourth season there are several lessons that I believe he is gaining from his involvement in youth football!
8 Life Lessons that Youth Football Teaches:
How to Follow through on a Commitment
When you join a team, you are making a commitment. And the expectation is that you always show up with a positive attitude. Practices and games are not optional – just like showing up for work is not optional as an adult. It’s an important lesson to learn at an early age. We always finish our commitments!
How to Communicate with your Coaches & Teammates
Communication is one of the most important skills in life. And being part of a team requires you to be able to communicate effectively with your coaches and your teammates.
How to be Brave
It takes courage to play in front of a crowd. Or to learn a new skill. Or to have your teammates relying on you. But every time we try something new – we are building courage (and confidence!).
Playing football is hard work. It’s tough and gritty. And there are times that my son probably feels like throwing in the towel. But through committing to the team and showing up for practice day after day and week after week, he is learning how to be disciplined.
Setting Realistic Goals
Obviously the goal in football is to win as many games as you can. But there is always going to be one team who prevails (and one who loses). It’s important to set goals and to continue to improve. I tell my kids that the most important life lesson here is to always strive to be their best… to be better than they were yesterday. There will alway be people out there who are better than them – but they should focus on goals where they are bettering themselves!
How to be a Leader
In life, there are leaders and there are followers. Both are needed – but when we step out of our comfort zones, we often gain confidence. And with that confidence can bring valuable leadership skills. Being a leader that someone looks up to is part of being a great teammate!
When the going gets tough… the tough keep going
When the going gets tough – the tough keep going… perseverance is the continued effort to do or achieve something, despite the difficulty of it. Football is not an easy sport – just like life is not always easy. But the important thing is to never give up!
How to Play as a Team
And just like commitment — it’s important to be a team player. Regardless of when things go our way (or don’t go our way), we need to be a good teammate. If a teammate makes a mistake – we pat them on the back and keep encouraging them. Working together as a team is an important life lesson!
As my son enters his fourth season, I’m excited to see him continue to grow and to continue to love the sport!
The National Football Foundation
The National Football Foundation (NFF) is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people.
The mission is to promote and develop the power of amateur football in developing the qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, competitive zeal and the drive for academic excellence in America’s young people.
Future For Football is an initiative by the National Football Foundation to promote and celebrate the game at all levels. Follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. You can also visit their site for other helpful resources and click here to find a league near you!