Youth Flag Football Fun Includes Learning
“I want it to be fun for the kids”. You hear that a lot when it comes to youth sports, especially when youth flag football is the sport. Sometimes it seems that as long as there is a ball and a few kids out there on the field running around the goal has been achieved. We think there is more to it than that.
We understand that teaching football to young players is very challenging. The younger the players the bigger the challenge. Never so difficult thought that the teaching is omitted. Without the structure and learning that should be a part of every youth flag and tackle football program, the value of the experience plummets.
When we were young we went out and played football in the back yard and it was fun. We got better at running, throwing, catching and yes, even tackling. We tried to mimic what we had watched that week on TV. This definitely helped our football development. However, it wasn’t until we first started playing organized football that we realized that this is different! Players actually have assignments and the other players and coaches expect you to do your job or the play/defense will not work.
A lot of parents are holding their kids out of tackle football until they are older. That’s understandable and it is certainly an individual choice. What is not understandable is not teaching the elements of football that are present in youth flag football and youth tackle football. We can delay the physical contact and still teach football concepts to young flag football players. Real football plays with real football assignments should be taught. Defensive responsibilities like contain and force should be taught.
More Carry Over From Youth Flag Football To Tackle Than You Think
For those of you who are thinking “My kid is never going to play tackle football”, consider this. With the explosion of girls flag football around the country, the game is being played in high school and college more than ever. There are also more 7on7 football leagues and adult flag football leagues to note. These are mostly players who never stepped on a tackle football field. All of these groups are going to enjoy the game more if they understand the concepts and skills involved.
Here at FirstDown PlayBook we have worked extremely hard to make sure flag football is an integral part of what we do and offer. All of your flag football plays and defenses come with coaching points and assignments to help the parent/coach teach better. We also provide easy to use technology that you cannot find anywhere else because it simply doesn’t exist. You can edit all of the plays and coaching points. Playbooks and wristband sheets are also easily created on FirstDown PlayBook.
Does any of this change the fact that coaching your youth flag football team is going to be a challenge? Nope. However, there is an old quote that goes something like this “Fun is doing hard things well”. Football can be a hard game but there are few things that I have found to be more fun when it is taught and done well.