Football is by far the most popular sport in America.
We are die-hard fans who tune in every Sunday; we are snacky fans who only show up for Superbowl parties, and we are everything in between. The spectrum of football fandom is wide, and so is the spectrum of football players. Professional, recreational, college, pee-wee…there’s a place for everyone on the field. Playing football is especially great for kids and offers long-term benefits that will last a lifetime. So, whether your kiddo has their sights set on a college scholarship or just wants to throw some passes around the backyard, there are good reasons to encourage them! Here are five reasons playing football is great for kids. (Plus one bonus reason that may surprise you!)
Five Reasons Football is Good for Kids:
- Health & Physical Fitness: Chief among the benefits of football for kids is exercise. Kids who participate in sports have lower rates of obesity and tobacco use, which is especially true of the aerobic exercise provided by football. Stretching, running, and practice drills increase strength, speed, agility, and stamina, as well as hand-eye coordination. Players also see an overall increase in mental health. Research suggests that kids who participate in sports have lower instances of anxiety & depression, as well as an increased sense of self-esteem. (Oh, and did we mention all the added benefits of increased time outdoors?)
- Increased Mental Focus (On and off the field): Active kids do better in school. Period. Studies show that kids who are physically active outside of the classroom perform better academically. This corresponds with higher grades and better scores on standardized tests. Additionally, they experience less stress and better sleep than their peers, which translates to enhanced concentration and better behavior in the classroom.
- Sportsmanship: Good sportsmanship is an essential part of football. Football players learn respect for their coach, their teammates, and the opposing team, as well as kindness, positivity, and how to win or lose with grace. These lessons will serve kids well throughout their life. (And those are things the world can certainly use a little more of!)
- Teamwork & Problem Solving: Teamwork is vital in football and in life. Football requires communication, following directions, and working collaboratively with others, even those with whom you may not be best friends (or friends at all). Honing these skills can prove to be essential in the classroom, at home, and in their future workplace.
- Build Grit: In recent years, the importance of raising kids with grit has gotten a lot of attention. (And for good reason!) Grit has been defined as “the combination of passion and perseverance that helps people achieve their long-term goals.” In other words, determination, resilience, and good old self-discipline. Whatever you call it, there’s good reason for all the hype. One recent study showed that kids who played sports (and stuck with it) went on to become adults with more grit in all areas of life, which can correlate to greater overall satisfaction. In an age where people are reporting less happiness than ever, any boost we can give our kids shouldn’t be overlooked.
Embracing Diversity: Football is as diverse as America itself. Football fans come from every walk of life, and so do football players. People of all ethnicities, genders, socio-economic statuses, and abilities enjoy and play football. There is even diversity within the game itself! Tackle, touch, and flag football leagues can be found across the country, and all of these styles of play confer the same amazing benefits to their players. Football gives kids the amazing opportunity to be part of a diverse group of people who are all wearing the same jersey!
We’ll see you at kickoff!🏈
Wondering where you can play some football locally? Check out the League Finder on the Future for Football Website. You can find leagues for flag football, tackle football, adult and youth, and co-ed. There’s never been a better time to play some football! You can also find Future for Football on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.