I’m a Giants fan, but only because my husband is. For years, I could care less about the football games that were always blaring from the TV. I thought my husband was insane for rearranging our schedules around games and constantly checking his Fantasy team stats. But now that my sons are playing football, I’ve learned to love the game. Now I understand that football really matters!
Football season has completely taken over our family calendar. My younger son is playing his first season of flag football along with his big brother who happens to be on a travel team as well. With 3+ practices a week and games on both Saturdays and Sundays, we are constantly at the field….and I’m not complaining (too much!).
Watching my boys learn and grow as players is amazing. They couldn’t be more different. My big third grader is rough and tough and loves the action of the game. My little first grader wants nothing more than to be like his big bro. He may be small but his determination (and speed) keep him focused. All they do is practice, play, watch, and talk football. This game is teaching them important life lessons that they will carry on with them into adulthood.
Being a Part of a Team
Football is a team sport. Even though one player is able to score that touchdown, they couldn’t do it without the rest of the team passing and blocking. My boys have played other team sports like soccer and baseball, but with football you need to rely on the entire team. My older son has been so much more focused because he understands that his team needs him. They look out for each other and have developed friendships off the field as well.
Discipline & Routine
My boys understand that there will be no football unless their school work comes first. Typically after school they would (try to) rush to play video games, but they now know that homework and reading are the first things to get done. I’ve also observed my boys literally studying the sport. They are constantly watching the pros, reviewing tape from last week’s game, and reviewing plays. Football is a complex sport and the more they learn about the game, the better they play.
There is only one winner….and one loser. My boys are learning that winning isn’t always the most important thing. Losing is a part of life. My boys are learning from their loses. Dedicated coaches (including my husband) talk them through plays in order for them to learn from their mistakes. Their desire to win motivates them to try harder. And sometimes you need a loss to appreciate a good win.
My boys need to not only respect their teammates and coaches, but their opponents. Other teams practice just as hard. And although in football boys are taught to block and tackle, they are also taught to pick each other back up. At the end of every game you shake hands and move on.
Most importantly my boys are building confidence in themselves. I love watching them walk both on and off the field with big smiles and a sense of pride. And of course I’m proud of them too, but 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.