Have you decided tackle football is the right sport for your kid?
----- Scroll down for the football sign up search!
Football is a rough sport, and it could be intimidating for your child at first.
You might check out kids flag football before reading this. ...But, if you feel your child is reading for full pads and heavy hitting...read on...
Football is an aggressive, full contact sport that takes stamina and endurance.
Kids need to be in good physical condition to play this sport.
They need to be in great physical strength and conditioning to play this game well, and to keep them from getting hurt too easily.
------- So, are you ready for some football? :) -------
One year I signed up my 9 year old son the first week of July, and that was already too late! He was still able to get on the team, but we were pressed for time getting him fully prepared.
We had to get him fitted for his shoulder pads and helmet the next day. His team started practicing on July 25th, and some teams started earlier than that.
Again, kids flag football is different, since they play flag in the Fall, Spring or even the Summer in some areas.
They did offer late registration (with a penalty fee, of course) for this team the first week of August, but by that time he would have missed the first couple of weeks of practice and the coach evaluation.
You don't want to miss the coach evaluation! This is where the coaches determine what football position your kid would be best at playing.
So, what age do you start your kids playing tackle football?
Where I live, 5 years old is the youngest you can start your kid in football. They have to be 5 by July 31st before they can play that Fall season.
5 might be the youngest, but I don't recommend children starting that early. It's a matter of personal preference, but many kids that age aren't mentally ready for this rough sport.
Certainly not all kids will be ready to start playing tackle football at 5, but some are.
The parents are always the best judge of their kids, but I put together some basic guidelines.
I highly recommend kids starting with flag football first to get a basic understanding of the game. It's a great way to introduce your kids to football.
----- Though I do have to say that the Pee Wee football players look so cute in their uniforms with that big helmet on ... kind of like miniature bobble heads... :-)
...but I digress...
The optional accessories such as eye strips are to block the sun glare.
If you get the additional padding (abdomen or legs), it can help prevent further injury but can also get in the way of playing.
Overall the above list is the basic equipment needed for tackle football.
When we first tried our son Tucker in tackle football, it seemed to be too aggressive for him. For the next couple of seasons we put him in flag football. He LOVED it!!!
Flag football was an excellent choice for him. He learned some basic football rules and wasn't worried about getting tackled too hard during a game or practice.
Flag also helped him work on his throwing and catching skills without the anxiety of potentially being tackled.
Tucker also worked on the basic football fundamentals of snapping the ball, running routine football plays, and avoiding defensive players on the field.
He ended up playing flag football from age 9 until 11!
By the 5th grade, Tucker was ready to try tackle football again. After working with his dad on tackling, throwing and catching he was ready.
Now it was time for middle school football tryouts.
After better preparation, he easily made the team! Growing a little taller over the last couple of years certainly helped too. It also boosted his confidence!
Your kids are constantly growing and changing, so never you never know what they will be willing to try next!
it's possible that he wanted to make the football team to impress the girls. ;)
Whatever his motivation, I was glad he overcame his previous fears about football.
After conquering his fears, he played tackle football every season since the start of his 5th grade year! He steadily improved his game over the years, and definitely broke out of his shell.
In the 8th grade he was playing both offense and defense in various positions and was rarely off the field!
By 9th grade, he was still playing offense and defense with little bench time, and to think this boy was once afraid of playing football at all.
You don't want to get too concerned when your children are afraid of something when they are younger. You never know if or when they might grow out of it.
My second son, Max, has a completely different story!
Our son, Max, took to tackle football so naturally, he kept playing each Fall.
Your kids know what they like from an early age, and there is no need to force them into something they don't like. There is always another sport to try.
Their interest may not be sports related at all, maybe they like music, art or theater instead.
Explore them all if you get a chance, you never know where it will lead them.