The Argument For Youth Football

This is Part 2 of a two-part series about the pros and cons of playing youth football.

Part 2-The Argument For 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?

Of course I will let my son play youth football.

Sure there is risk involved. There is risk involved in other kids’ sports too. Have you ever seen a kid take a fastball to the face?

Football is getting safer because training for coaches has improved. Coaches take classes now and know what to look for with signs of concussions. Coaches are shown videos on how to properly fit a kid with a helmet. Both of these things help make football safer than in recent years..

I talked to a coach recently about head injuries for his players and he told me at the middle school level kids take a test on a computer at the beginning of the season, then if they have a head injury they take the test again. If they fail, they are out and considered to have a concussion. He told me that he had more concussions in one season than in the previous 20 years of coaching. Kids were faking concussions because it was a “cool” injury to have. This makes me think the overall concussion numbers may be a bit inflated, maybe its not as big of a deal as people are making it out to be.

If my son is genuinely excited about a sport, who am I to tell him no. Maybe it is something he will be good at? Maybe it will keep him busy and out of trouble as he gets older.

What am I going to do, FORBID him from playing? If kids are told by their parents they can’t do something it makes them want to do it even more. If my parents would have told me there is no way I could do something, even if I had no interest in it, like ballet for example, I would have been first in line to sign up, proudly wearing a tutu.

Overall, the chances of getting a concussion are pretty slim and the chances will only decrease as teams become more cautious with kids. Is playing youth football a risk worth taking? I think so.


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