This post is sponsored by our partner, Future for Football.

As a former football mom (and life-long football fan), I know that youth football teaches kids valuable life skills. The impact of positive sportsmanship, personal accountability, and leadership are powerful skills that kids should be encouraged to develop at a young age. 

I grew up in a football house. My dad is the biggest college football fan I know and that love of football trickled down to us kids. We got to attend lots of games and Sunday’s were always a ton of fun with game day recipes and sporting our team colors! I have fond memories of my dad yelling at the tv and jumping up and down and screaming when his team pulled out the win- especially against a rival team.

At one point as a kid, I dreamed of being a cheerleader for my favorite team and I always wore my favorite team gear proudly.

As an adult, that love of football grew! My husband is a huge fan (and coincidentally for my favorite team), so no house divided here! Our kids love football too and our oldest son played flag football years ago.

Like many others, we are definitely a “sports” family. We see the value and benefits on and off the field.

In partnership with Future For Football, we are sharing youth football from the perspective of local moms that are currently immersed in the sport! From the benefits of playing football to what a future football family should know, these moms share in their kids love of football!

Youth Football From Moms' Perspective

I chatted with a few local football moms about ways football has positively impacted their family and what a future football family should know.

Meet the moms…

Leann: the all-in mom

Her son has played flag football for a few years, but this is his first year playing full-contact tackle. Her husband is the head coach, and she is a team mom so her perspective definitely includes being heavily involved!

Kelly: the team mom

Her husband coaches their son’s team and she is the team mom. Her 2 nephews play as well and are role models for her son. Football for for them is truly a family event!

Jessica: the invested mom

She is the Vice President of the football league and her husband serves as assistant football director. Her family has invested 6 years into youth football!

India: the dedicated mom

Her son played tackle for an AAU club team in 2nd-4th grades, flag in 6-8th grades and now plays varsity tackle!

Skylar: the laid back momma bear

Her son has played flag football for years, but he started tackle football this season and was named a captain his first season in tackle because of his commitment and respect for the sport!

Youth Football From Moms' Perspective

Why is football a great community builder?

Leann: the all-in mom
  • Football gives us the opportunity to meet other football families.
  • Through football we get to develop great friendships for our players, siblings and parents alike.
Kelly: the team mom
  • Being part of a football team means you get a whole new sports family.
  • Bonds of friendship that are formed between players and other parents is  something special.
Jessica: the invested mom
  • In times of need the entire team comes together to help, past and present players/parents.
  • We’re teaching our kids how to invest in a cause that is greater than themselves while building life-long friendships.
  • You can build familial bonds with your fellow football families- there’s a sense of belonging that you and your child(ren) develop.
India: the dedicated mom
  • Football takes everyone working together supporting each other to be successful and reach goals- it’s not about one player, it’s about all players working together.
  • Each player has their own skills that help support other players skill sets to make it all work- it is about building up the whole player, not just the team stats.
  • Players also have to know that the other players have each other’s best interest in mind, it builds trust and camaraderie and it helps the players develop a mindset beyond themselves.
Skylar: the laid back momma bear
  • Football creates an atmosphere for teammates to develop trust and accept guidance from their peers- they listen to their team captain for direction on and off the field.
  • Football also gives us a whole other family- we are around each other so much it’s hard not to form a family atmosphere. There are days we can’t balance the life filled with multiple kids (we have 5), with multiple activities and the football family always steps in to make sure our son gets to where he needs to be and they watch him like he’s their own.

What is it like being a football family and how does football positively affect your family?

Leann- the all in mom

Being a football family has gotten everyone more interested in following football as a whole. Football has positively affected our family by:

  • Having the whole family together cheering and supporting our player
  • We attend local high school games together, and we watch more college football together as a family
Kelly- the team mom

We LOVE being a football family, it’s exciting to watch our kids collectively working together, learning something new and overcoming difficulties. Football has positively affected our family by:

  • Football allows the players to have role models they really look up to
  • Football is a tough sport, but it’s also a sport that teaches character- the football field is a place to learn respect, grit, discipline, patience, determination and dedication, not only to the game to but each other
Jessica- the invested mom
We find it important to devote as much time as we can to football to ensure things are running smoothly because our football league is a volunteer run organization. Football has positively affected our family in so many ways:
  • There’s no greater feeling than giving back to a cause that also helps our own kids- it is rewarding
  • Game days are family days where we all get together to have fun and spend time with our football family
India- the dedicated mom

Being a football family is busy, but worth it! Football has been a positive because it reinforced and taught discipline and respect but it has been especially positive around the pandemic because:

  • Socially covid-19 restrictions were very hard on my 9th grader (our family football player) he became withdrawn socially, however, football being back in full force has brought him back out and has helped him manage some anxiety he has had regarding social situations
  • Football has also helped him get back into the routine of daily exercise
  • It has been a motivator to do better and be better, which sets the example for siblings
Skylar- the laid back momma bear

Being a football family has shown me that my son can put time into a sport that requires so much strength and commitment. Football has positively affected our family by:

  • Giving me a drive to be healthier, as well as, commit more to our families health
  • It’s provided us values, family, health goals and so much more

5 Benefits of Youth Football

Sports are fun and enjoyable, but they also provide so many other important benefits for kids. Football in particular has been proven to improve mental and emotional health, while helping kids gain confidence and valuable life skills.

Life Skills

Every position has a purpose and to execute a play successfully, each individual needs to fulfill their responsibility.

  1. Working Together– a skill that’s valuable both on and off the field, teamwork helps children to become accustomed to working with others
  2. Work Ethic– the strong work ethic players develop is a vital asset they can carry with them for the rest of their lives
  3. Following Directions– taking instruction and following through, valuable skills for sports and in school, at home and for future jobs
  4. Dedication- through their dedication to the team and the hard work that they put in individually, kids understand that value of this and how it pays off
  5. Being Responsible and Accountable– not only to yourself but your team (being part of something bigger than just yourself as an individual) and experiencing the benefits and rewards of the team mentality

Physical Activity

Football is a fast moving game with a lot of variety and provides lots of physical health benefits for children. Players run, jump, quickly change direction, and stop and start, which improves cardiovascular health.

It is a physically demanding game that provides an opportunity for players to improve their hand-eye coordination, agility, strength, speed, stamina, and overall cardiovascular endurance.

Sportsmanship

Respect, fair treatment of others, empathy, and a good attitude are all imperative to players on a football team. Developing good sportsmanship helps kids learn how to win humbly and lose gracefully and when the kids know they all have each other’s back, they feel confident.

Socialization

With dozens of players working towards one common goal, the friendships kids develop with each other is immeasurable. This camaraderie is a lifelong social skills benefit for children, as they understand the importance of developing close relationships built off of trust and doing your part.

Self-Confidence

Kids that play football learn the importance of personal control and being disciplined with everything that they do. Whether it is overcoming adversity after a turnover or pushing through a tough situation, children often develop mental toughness they may never have discovered otherwise. Football players develop leadership skills as part of the organized team setting and learn to believe in themselves in those positions. They learn to deal with adversity and become resilient.

What a Future Football Family Should Know

From the moms: things a future football family should know

Leann- the all in mom
The decision for your child to play football can make a lot of parents nervous, it is after all an aggressive sport. I personally was hesitant for us to make the transition from flag to tackle. Yes, there will be bruises, sore muscles, and the potential for injury, but my experience has been that my son encountered that just as much playing other sports that involve contact such as basketball and soccer.
On a humorous note, stock up on lysol spray, febreeze, and air freshener for your car. Helmets and shoulder pads get very stinky very quickly.
PRO TIP: Between practices and games and the amount of gear, be prepared for lots of laundry.
Kelly- the team mom

Football is a commitment! Practices are 3 days a week for about 2 1/2 hours and games every Saturday. Like any outdoor sport in Florida, the days are long and hot and sometimes wet.

I think it’s important to know that these organizations are run completely by volunteers that are always looking for more help. My husband I and both sit on the board for our Pop Warner association and it’s been a great way to volunteer our time.

PRO TIP: It’s important that both player and parents are aware of the time that is required of them before you jump right into it.
Jessica- the invested mom
Football season requires presence. There are so many people that I know who question how I can devote so much time to youth football, but I find that it is just one way to bond with your child.
Future football families will notice positive changes in their kids as it also helps with discipline, building healthy eating practices, and supports overall good health among the entire family.
PRO TIP: Bring ice, ice and more ice.
India- the dedicated mom

It takes a lot of time, but it is worth it.

It can be nail-biting to watch your player out on the field, but trust in the process and know that their pads and helmet do protect them.

PRO TIP: Don’t be afraid to try different teams if the one you are on isn’t working for you. If a coach is yelling and screaming, be your players advocate and find a coach that coaches, it will make the world of difference in your players experiences. A good coach makes all the difference. 
Skylar- the laid back momma bear
It takes a commitment from your family to make it happen but once you’re in- you’re in and your football family won’t let you down. It’s no joke and taken very seriously but presents itself in a way that it requires respect.
Football will make your kids physically stronger and emotionally rounded.
PRO TIP: Give the players “halftime fruit” during games. It provides hydration and it a healthy mid-way fuel up. 
There’s never been a better time to play football! With more options to play  and be involved with the game, kids can enjoy tackle, flag, modified, and co-ed football! Find a local league near you!

Sponsored by Future For Football, an initiative by the National Football Foundation to promote and celebrate the game at all levels. Follow them on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter. 

Visit Future For Football to find a league near you and for other helpful resources. They have an in depth resource section, which helps with information about equipment, tips for better play, and even a league finder to help you locate a league in your area.

All opinions are those of Orlando Mom Collective and the local moms that participated in this article.

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