As owner of Orlando Mom Collective I had the pleasure of chatting with two local football moms whose kids play tackle football. In partnership with the Future for Football Campaign, we got to dive into youth football and how great it is as a family activity and how youth football is building community for kids.
My interview was with Skylar (The Laidback Mama Bear) and LeAnn (The All in Mom).
Skylar (The Laidback Mama Bear)
I asked Skylar: Why do you love that your son plays football? What’s something that you just love about the fact that he plays?
Skylar: I think if to pick one thing, it would probably be teamwork. Because when you look at all the different sports, I think the team of football player is multifaceted. You have so many coaches, so many different players that come out for the offense, defense. And so teamwork gets you really far in life, not just on the field, but off of the field, dealing with different personalities. So I think teamwork and having to communicate with a vast different variety of adults and kids will really get you far. So I think it brings a great life tool for you. Being on the football team.
(This season is Skylar’s sons first season playing tackle- they have been with the majority of this team with flag football, but this is his first season doing tackle.)
I asked Skylar: Do you notice anything different from flag to tackle as far as the teamwork or how they work together? Is there anything different about that?
Skylar: I think it’s definitely a bigger team, compared to what our flag football team is. And there’s a much more designated defense and offense group. Noah is lucky enough to play on both. So he definitely has a bigger variety of people that he has to get along with. And he does it pretty well.
(Her son Noah was named one of the team captains by his coaches this this season.)
We’ve been with the head coach for a while and multi different sports, but adding new coaches in this year that we’ve never met before, to recognize that he has, you know, team captain personality traits is good tap on the parents backup for sure.
LeAnn (The All in Mom)
I asked LeAnn: LeAnn, you’re the all in mom. So your husband’s head coach. You’re the team mom. How long has your son been playing?
LeAnn: This is again, same thing. It’s his first season of tackle. But just like Skylar said he’s been playing flag for several years now. And my husband has been kind of coaching this the whole time. He’s been playing along with coaching him in other sports as well. But yeah, so we are kind of the all in family with my husband being the coach. We have several team moms, but I’m kind of like the team on the leader. So it’s kind of you know, all we live and breathe football around our house.
I asked LeAnn: So what’s one of the biggest positives that you think football brings to just kids in general? What have you seen in your son?
LeAnn: I would say for sure, what I’ve noticed is for Keegan definitely in building his confidence, being part of a team where they’re all you know, they have to have each other’s backs, they have to rely upon each other. It’s just it builds his confidence. He’s he also plays quarterback, which, you know, can be kind of challenging, but I see the the kind of bringing out leadership skills in him, where you know, quarterback is kind of a you know, they captain of the offense or you know, the head of the offense, and it really he blossoms in that role. I can see him just developing leadership skills, that kind of like what Skylar was saying, just traits that are skills that don’t just pertain to football, but that translates life in general, right, they’re used on and off the field to field some of these skills.
It’s great to know that kids can develop these things through sports and working with other teammates and then the coaches- there’s so many different dynamics to it and I just love hearing all the positive things that come out of a sport and how it brings families together.
That’s one of the interesting things about having these conversations about football- I really love how it’s a family thing.
Everybody’s involved- the team, the families on the team, they have become secondary families. It’s such a great community builder, where it’s bringing people together, and it’s exciting.
We’re really big football family. In our house, no house divided. It’s kind of random and weird, but my husband and I have always had the same favorite team. We are big football people. It was interesting for me to hear these moms “Game Day Must Haves” for the kids on the field.
Game Day Must Haves...
LeAnn share with us one of the most important things that you you bring to games because this really kind of blew my mind.
LeAnn: One of them that we recently have started doing actually, that is kind of right, because again, like we live in Florida, so it’s hot all the time. There’s so many things that you’re always kind of like, you know, for the kids, and the parents, you know, battling the heat, but especially now transitioning to contact football, I mean, those poor kids are definitely a hotter with all the gear and the helmets and the pads and so we’ve started bringing every game a huge cooler full of cut up fruit for half time.
Frozen grapes, sliced up oranges, you know, give those kids something other than just you know, they’re hydrating the whole game of water and, and everything but giving them that little boost of some natural sugar to kind of keep them going for the second half. And really kind of cool them down and refresh them. So that has become like something that definitely every week someone is bringing that cooler full of fruit.
Skyler, what’s one of your must haves that you guys need to bring on game day.
Skylar: I think for like the team as a whole an extra thing of cooler of ice. So you have the ice that is probably in their drinks already. But you know, they’re getting out there and they’re warming up they’re doing, they’re already probably drinking half to all of their water before game even starts. So you have the ice that then can be melted down to refresh their water. But also then with injuries, you have ice readily on hand on the sideline.
One More Thing...
Do you guys you have lots of friends that play?
Yeah, we definitely have a core group that we’ve again, played flag football with and moved over into the tackle region. So there’s definitely a group of kids that we’ve seen developed through the flag football and other sports and now in tackle. So we’re close with those families, which is great in relying for carpooling. When it’s you know, three practices a week, you have makeup you have on game day, even though our games there at nine, our lovely head coach wants us to be there at 745. So you know, then we’re able to kind of divide and conquer not all struggle there on the on the bus in the morning.