American football is a game like no other. It is a true gladiator sport where men must blend the precise skill of a one-handed grabwith the vicious brawn of an open-field tackle. Football is full of tactics, be it on offense, defense or special teams. There is a reason the sport has more coaches than any other; the entire game involves exploiting even the smallest weaknesses in any of the dozens of phases that might make up the opponent’s game plan. This seems like the kind of activity that could teach you a lot of valuable lessons, right?
It is true. Playing football can be an incredible tool for teaching a person how to get knocked down and get back up again, how to properly prepare for something important, how to work effectively with others and how to deal with pressure and adversity. These are all reasons that parents have long placed their children in youth football, trusting that the sport will instill in them core values that they will carry into the rest of their lives.
It turns out, the children are not the only ones getting something out of youth football — their parentsare as well. The mothers and fathers who sit in the bleachers watching their kids battle it out on the gridiron are also learning tremendous values that will make them better parents and better people in general. Here are three of the best lessons parents can take from youth football.
- Sink or Swim
Oftentimes, parents try to create an environment where their children can avoid failure. You just end up loving them so much that you do not want them to experience adversity, at least not under your watch. Youth football forces parents to let go a little bit, as this is a playing field where the child will have to deal with adversity on his own.
There are few sports, if any, that are as humbling as football. No matter what position you play, you will get knocked down at some point. This is the moment when a child is faced with the choice of allowing the tough times to beat him or rising up and trying to be better the next time. This is an excellent skill for a child to learn, and youth football is a great place for parents to allow them to do so. It will not always be easy. It’s hard to witness your child struggling, especially knowing that the outcome is out of your hands. Nevertheless, it is a good parenting trait to know when to allow your child to face obstacles on his own, something that youth football is tremendous practice for.
While allowing your young football star to deal with his ups and downs on the field can be productive for both of you, what you do after the gameends is also important. This is the time when a downtrodden child can use a boost if he had a bad game.
Children are not always prepared to deal with failure. While it is a little easier while they are on the field where there is less time to think about things after the game is when they have more time to mull things over. If he had a bad game, it is unlikely he will be able to simply put it behind him and start thinking about the next game. He will dwell on it, and it can adversely affect his self-esteem. Youth football teaches a parent when and how to give his or her son a small little pep talk to bring him out of his funk.
- Giving Perspective
These little pep talks that parents learn to give as a result of youth football do a lot more than cheering a child up. They also go a long way toward helping him learn that it is just a game — meaning there is no reason to let small failures bring him down. Perspective can be difficult for a child to grasp, but youth football teaches parents to effectively break this concept down.
To children, a crushing loss or a bad personal performance on the gridiron can seem like a Greek tragedy. Their entire world is the game at that moment, meaning it is a crushing blow when things do not turn out as they had hoped. Now is the time for a parent to seize the opportunity to teach his or her child a little bit about perspective. Regardless of who wins and who loses, playing sports is about having fun. Sure, winning and losing matter, but at every sport’s core is the concept of enjoyment, and it should not be ruined due to one bad game. A good parent can show the child that he is still healthy, his parents still love him and he still has a great life, even after a tough day. Youth football affords this valuable teaching opportunity for all parents.
A Great Game
Youth football is valuable for all parties involved. The players, the coaches and the parents all learn something. If you have a child and you are looking to put him into a productive program, look no further than your local youth football field.
Parents are incredibly important in youth football. They are in charge of buying the necessary gear like football glovesand mouth guards, transporting their child to and from games and practices, and cheering him and his team on during games.
While this may seem a bit chaotic, youth football can make parents better at raising their kids. There are plenty of opportunities for good parenting, making this a worthwhile activity. If your child has shown any inclination towards the most popular sport in the United States, do not hesitate to enroll him in a local league. You will find that there are long-lasting benefits for the both of you, not to mention the fact that he will likely have a great time doing it.