Growing up in Northeast Ohio, with a dad that was an athletic director at a powerhouse high school sports mecca, I gained valuable knowledge and insight into the glorious game of football. I can still remember walking into his school, seeing painted gymnasium offices with motivational sayings of determination and character. One old adage is indelibly etched in my mind; "It's not whether you win or loose, it's how you play the game that counts."
We now live in a society with many avenues in which to gather and access information, yet the basic fundamentals remain the same in that determination, character, and sportsmanship continues to play a huge role in the development of our youth today involved in sports programs across the country.
Listed below are steps to follow when enrolling for tackle football based on a lifetime of teams and experiences:
1) Research the youth football program either through the internet, publications, word of mouth, or local schools. Many times signs are posted at street intersections listing dates of upcoming tryouts, along with a phone number. Call to pre-register. This is going to be a commitment, thus being present at practices shows respect for coaches, and fellow teammates. Most youth football program websites have guidelines that can be accessed and downloaded; showing schedules, costs, youth football equipment needed, medical forms, and age group cut-off dates.
2) Stress good family fitness habits at home by staying active. Pick-up games with friends, walking or running are good choices. Physical activity is important each day, especially in preparation for any upcoming youth football tryout. Healthy eating habits are important, along with getting enough rest. Schools and youth football leagues request a physical to be on file, thus contacting a physician prior to football tryouts is very important.
3) Tackle football programs requires youth football equipment that consistently fits correctly. A good youth program, along with the football coach will discuss safety issues, any related football equipment updates, and the benefits of being properly protected.
4) There is considerable media coverage of the dangers of heat stroke in youth athletes. Youth football coaches should stress drinking enough fluids, and letting the football coach know immediately if an athlete begins to succumb to the heat. As the football season gets closer there are two practices a day, typically in August. Fluid intake is vital.
5) Have a plan in advance to carve out time each day to talk, and spend time together. Youth sports teach discipline and time management, which then in turn builds character, sportsmanship, and confidence.