The Argument Against Youth Football

This is Part 1 of a two-part series about the pros and cons of playing youth football.

Part 1-The Argument Against Youth Football

Ever since he could walk, people have said my son was built like a football player. He is also aggressive, loves wrestling with his sisters and running and jumping on his poor, unsuspecting dad. Even though he is only three, he seems destined to play football, but will he?

The answer is simple. No. There is no way I will let my son play youth football.

Last year, reports started coming out about the frequency and severity of concussions at the pro, college and high school levels. Former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner said he would have concerns about letting his kids play. QB Tom Brady’s dad said he would be very hesitant to let his son play football as a child, based on what he knows now.

When I was a teacher, I also worked in the press box for middle school football games. If you attend a 7th grade football game, the first thing you will notice is the huge size disparity between the kids. You will see everything from an underdeveloped 65lb kid that barely has enough strength in his neck to hold up his helmet, to the kid that looks like a grown man, weights 225 pounds and has a mustache. It’s also obvious in the weight room. Some of these kids can lift more than most grown men, others can barely life their exercise mat across the room to do their sit-ups.

Is there real danger in youth football? Yes. Some people might argue there is danger in any type of sport, which is true, but certain football injuries go beyond broken bones and can potentially effect a young person for the rest of his or her life.

Some parents I’ve talked to about this say if their kid wants to play, then they will let them play, no big deal. My answer to them is, right now my kids want to eat candy and drink coffee for breakfast, but sometimes parents know best.

Youth football? No thanks. Simply not worth it.


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