I am a football mom. My boys live for football. My oldest plays sixth grade tackle, and my youngest plays fourth grade modified football. My husband coaches both teams, and my family is always at the field (and when we aren’t, football is playing on the TV).
As a mom, I never would have imagined that I would feel this way about a game. Watching my boys play football has become one of my favorite things, and the future of the game is bright.
To be honest, when my firstborn started playing flag football at six years old, I was a little hesitant. The thought of any contact sport made me nervous. But my husband, who played football through high school, encouraged me to give it a chance and to have an open mind. As much as I hate to admit it, he was right. My favorite place to be is on the sidelines, cheering on my boys.
For the past five years, I have watched my sons grow as athletes and human beings. They couldn’t be more different. My older one is rough and tough, playing middle linebacker. He has a defensive mindset and is very aggressive. Football has taught him the importance of discipline and routine. He understands that he has a job to do and encourages his teammates to do the same.
My little guy wants so much to be like his big brother. He’s small for his age but is ridiculously fast. His determination keeps him focused, and he’s always ready to follow his coach’s lead. Modified football has been the best thing for him. It is the perfect transition between flag football and tackle and is helping him develop the fundamental football skills he needs beyond just pulling a flag. The coaches stay on the field and help direct the plays showing them exactly what they need to do.
He gets to wear full pads and a helmet but still follows the flag rules with no direct tackling against other local teams. Playing in a town league is fun, but traveling and competing against other programs creates a sense of pride and community.
My boys are completely different players, and I love that there is a place for both of them on the football field. The game is evolving, and there have never been as many options to play football.
Football is football. It doesn’t matter if you are playing flag, modified, or tackle. It’s all good football, with kids learning the game and gaining valuable life lessons. And thanks to dedicated coaches like my husband, kids are truly learning the game of football. All games are recorded so players can learn from their mistakes and grow as players.
Football is teaching my sons important life lessons that they will carry on with them into adulthood. Football is helping build confidence, perseverance, and respect in my boys. I love watching them walk on and off the field with big smiles and a sense of pride. I’m also proud of myself for encouraging them to do what they love and excel in a game that will continue to shape them into young men. The future for football is bright.
If you are a Fairfield County mom and are interested in having your children start playing football, check out the Fairfield County Football League and find a team in your town.
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 to find a league near you.