Youth football myths perpetuated by the news media and Hollywood, without properly acknowledging how football is evolving as a sport. Many of the writers declaring the sport dangerous haven’t played football, but they are keen on writing stories about the dangers of playing kids football. Fear is what sells stories– but grouping youth football in the same category as the dangers of playing college or professional football is simply wrong.
Let’s tackle 5 youth football myths-
- Myth 1: Kid athletes should wait until they are older to play youth football. The earlier kids play tackle football, the more beneficial it will be for them. How so? Football teaches life lessons, read our reasons why all kids should play football. Playing football as kids will help to develop an understanding of how to play the game and shape a love for football. As they reach high school, they will have experience, particularly on the commitment necessary to perform well on the football field and in other facets of their lives. We regularly interview kids for our YFO All-Star program, and they consistently confirm that starting football at an early age is imperative to their success as young student athletes.
- Myth 2: There is a correlation between professional football and youth football. Youth football is not the NFL. As much as the media attempts to lump them together, it is just not the case. The velocity of the hits that are present in the NFL are not found on the youth level.
- Myth 3: Football players perform poorly in school. This is not true, in fact, football is a flex of intellect development for kids. Kid football athletes must learn playbooks, assignments, techniques, and how to work together as a team. According to the Whitley Study, a study of nearly 300,000 student athletes in North Carolina, youth athletes decisively outperform non-athletes in GPA, attendance, and graduation rate.
- Myth 4: Safety risks are heightened at the youth football level. False! Again, the NFL is not kids football. With proper coaching, well planned practices and a constant desire to improve, coaches reduce injury and concussion risk to a minuscule level. Additionally, rule changes are forever evolving, limiting the amount of hits in practice was a key rule change with further changes are coming.
- Myth 5: Football players are thugs or bullies. Quite the opposite. School administrations have policies in place to protect children from bullying. But often in school communities, this is not enforced. A great coach will instill values learned from football, life lessons that teach kids self-esteem, and to stand up for themselves and others.