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I saw this on another board and wanted to get some opinions from the home crowd. Will you let your son/daughter play football? If so at what age will you allow them to start?
I am raising my grandson who is 8. He's an athletic little kid, watched him knock out 32 sit ups, 25 push ups and half a dozen chin ups the other day. Unfortunately he may end up being vertically challenged, but he is already asking if he can play. I will definitely give him the opportunity to try it, as well as any other sport or activity he wants to try just because of the life lessons you can learn from a team environment. That said, I may encourage him to be a long snapper, punter, or kicker.
I wonder if there is a kids flag football league? My son is two, and if I had my choice, I would push baseball, and if he wants football, try to push the less violent positions. Probably not a concussion issue until middle school when the kids get bigger (but I have no evidence of this).
My son is playing flag football and it's a blast. My great uncle was a coach in Ohio, and a member of the State's football hall of fame, Spitz Raber. Despite this fact, he always discouraged my parents from letting me play football because of my size. So I played organized baseball, basketball, golf and tennis. It's been a good life with few injuries ... knock on wood.
Both of mine played flag until 4th grade. The older boy played pads twice and has moved on. The younger one is headed to the NFL :D
If they want to play, then let them play. But different strokes for different folks.
I think the end game is part of the discussion, whether they're truly a good enough athlete to make it something they do for a living one day.
My neighbor used to play for the Oilers and Titans and his son is absolutely cut from the same cloth as his dad.
The son is in the 4th grade. He only plays soccer, basketball and flag football. Dad says he won't let him play "real" football until the 9th grade because he says football's not that complicated. All you advance by playing the sport before 9th grade is getting exercise and teamwork. But he's not a believer in playing football too early.
The sport he feels is best for development down the line is soccer. The footwork you use in soccer, not the actual kicking or handling of the ball, but guarding people and trying to get open, translates very well long term to other sports.
Of course, that's just one man's opinion.
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Congratulations, Mr. Okafor.
Seriously, I learned more in football about myself and others than in any other sport. If my son wants to play it, he can. I'd discourage it after high school, unless concussions were an issue ahead of that. My father refused to let me play organized tackle football until I was in 6th grade due to concerns over letting my body develop. It worked out well and that is the earliest I'll let my son start. There's plenty of other stuff to do ahead of that as a growing kid.
i will but i won't be stupid about it. if he gets hurt, i'm not simply going to rush him back in there. i'll make sure he truly is ready to back in.
My kids will play flag football till middle school for the same reason. It's just not that complicated to learn how to block and tackle. In my area, there is a youth flag football league and a youth tackle football league. Flag football is 5 v 5. In this setting, all the kids have opportunities to run with the ball and develop passing and catching skills - you can spread the ball around pretty easily when there are only 5 players and everyone on offense is allowed to handle or catch the ball. Tackle football on the other hand is 11 v 11. You have 2 or 3 kids involved in most plays with the other 8 or 9 just running into each other -- not the ideal way to develop skills and foster teamwork. The interesting thing to me is that all the high school coaches' kids in the area (from the varsity football coach to the jv basketball coach and all coaches in between) play flag football, not tackle.
My twins played 13 seasons in pads through HS and one has several years left in front of him. They played from 3rd grade through 6th, then added winter select football in January for grades 6-8, then we held them back in 7th and picked up 2 additional seasons. Why? They loved it!
The result? 1 kid is living all of your dreams at THE University of Texas, the other turned down a preferred walk-on to said university to accept a coaching job at his HS while he gets his degree. Both of these kids have forgotten more about football than their peers know.
There are two sides to every coin. Do not ever doubt the value of repetition. If you want to know why the inner city kid is better a basketball than the urban kid, it is because that is all he does! No X-Box, No Birthday Parties, No Family Time, etc. He shoots the rock 24-7! Want to know why Korean girls are good at golf? Check into that.
Repetition, Focus, Repetition, Focus, rinse and repeat. If you want to make your slightly above average athletic kid a star, better not wait till HS or let them get distracted. Hey, but what do I know about it?
I don't see any reason kids need to be playing in pads until they're old enough for a school-sponsored team (7th or 8th grade depending on the school).
I have two daughters so it doesn't affect me directly, but I thought about it when I was waiting to find out the genders.
I thought about this too, about what an ideal sport for growing kids soccer is.
The problem I couldn't wrap my head around is what happens, if after years of encouraging soccer, it backfires and you end up raising one of those soccer kids? Shudder.
For me I would have them play 7 on 7 until atleast 5th grade and then they play tackle. That's what I did atleast
daughter would scare me more than son...
44Bobcats55 I appreciate you posting on our threads. It great to have your perspective. Not that your perspective is any more or less important than the other members, it's just not one we get to see very often.
No problem, I enjoy the board. I am blessed to have experienced an awesome process and if I could give everyone here the same experience I would.
This post was edited by 44Bobcats55 18 months ago
If he's living my dreams, you better hope the compliance department doesn't find out about it.
No doubt! Lots to worry about when you turn your 18 year old loose in ATX! Hopefully he listened to the prior 18 years of advice.
My son is 7 and has no interest in playing football. He's a really tall kid (60th percentile for a 10 yr old). He loves basketball and will play league ball for the first time this spring. I'm a Texan so I hope he wants to play football eventually, but its up to him.
If he loves it and has no interest in other sports, I would do everything in my power to facilitate his access to basketball. I sent my boys to every camp and combine known to man. Some are better than others. If he really like basketball and he has a fair shot at meeting the size requirement for the sport, feed him basketball until he says that he does not want anymore. Unless he is a genetic freak, he will only reach his potential through repetition. It is too competitive otherwise. Just for context, my boys were 98th percentile from 2 years on (they were 6 weeks premature). Being realistic is also an absolute must.
When I was young this was not considered a subject you discussed; virtually everyone played football. It's interesting how many professional football players are now discouraging or preventing their kids from playing. Players now are bigger and faster than ever. Brain, neck and joint injuries have become more commonplace. I haven't allowed my son to play but have supported him in soccer, baseball, track and golf. He's obsessed with golf and is a truly fine athlete. Golf will last him a lifetime. I tried to discourage his best friend from playing football. He played WR and was temporarily paralyzed after a hard head hit (life flight and all that). He laid off for a year until a doctor cleared him. He's playing again. I'm afraid for him.
I know a guy who got struck by lightning playing golf. I have discouraged my kids from playing this apparently dangerous sport.
I have twins too. But like their dad, they have a basketball player's frame. Thus, B-ball is their likely future in sports. But since they love football, they can play as long as they choose. I have no problem with it. I personally chose flag football because I thought it provided more opportunities for skill development at their young age. I only found out afterwards that all the area coaches made the same choice. But there is probably no right or wrong way to do it. Different kids will thrive in different situations. That's where parenting comes into play.
Funny. I let my 8 yr old daughter play flag football this year. Figured it was now or never. She loved it. She's a tiny thing, but has a hell of an arm -- was the QB. But I fear cheer is in her future.
Absolutely, the difference was that my kids wanted nothing to do with other sports. For us, Jake made maybe 5 baskets in 4 years and Josh wanted nothing to do with basketball. Parenting is important, but listening to them is more important. Like the saying goes, do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.
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