Updated: Mar 12, 2019
I played every major sport growing up. I had a lot of fun and successes in each, but ultimately I chose Football over the others. I am constantly asked by parents, "Why should my child try this sport?". I give them different reasons but I caution them all. They are going to love it, and they may not want to play anything else.
It sounds ridiculous to say that out loud but it is the truth. So many of my players are involved in other sports, but Football just takes over the chatter at home. A number of my players specialized in other sports but since playing Football they have to be prodded to go to their other practices. There is just something about the teamwork, comradery, intensity and sense of belonging.
The ultimate team sport
With 24 players on the field at any one time, there is a lot of opportunity for everyone to contribute. More importantly, there are many roles to be filled. Some positions require size and strength, other positions require speed and elusiveness, some take heart and desire, while others take hand-eye coordination or the ability to kick or throw. Everyone matters and everyone has a job to do that contributes to the team's success. Unlike other sports that rely on one or two players to deliver the majority of the success of a team, Football requires a focused full team effort. If one player is unable to do their job, the simplest of plays will fail.
That reliance on each other fosters a comradery unlike other sports. Some days you are struggling against an opponent and one of your teammates is there to pick you up. On other days, it's your turn to pick them up. To this day, I am greeted with smiles and warm welcomes by past teammates and rivals alike. We overcame our fears and challenges together and that is something you never forget.
I can't begin to express the gratitude that I feel when I am given feedback from parents whose player lacked confidence, or had a hard time making friends. Many of my players have been bullied at school or in other sports for various reasons. Bullying is never allowed among our players. They are encouraged to pick each other up after a play, or to help each other when they are uncertain. One of my players was constantly bullied at school for being bigger. It affected his schoolwork and his ability to make friends. By the end of the season, this player became one of our leaders on and off the field. He made a whole team of friends, his confidence was through the roof and the bullying stopped. Our players belong to something greater than themselves. They belong to a team of friends who will overcome fears and challenges together to achieve a common goal.
Why Football? Football will test you in ways that other sports won't. Every player's size, will, speed and skill will need to come together to pass this test. That is what makes Football so special and that is Why Football.