Let ’em play football!

I have two friends with teenage sons who always wanted to play football, but who did not allow their kids to play football because of injury concerns. As I’ve written before, when my sons were playing in high school, I worried every day about the possibility of their sustaining a serious injury.

However, when they were playing Pop Warner at age while in grade school, it wasn’t as much of a concern. If you’ve ever watched tackling at that level, it is really more like wrestling. There are no flying human missiles like you see on TV at the college and pro level, no high-impact helmet-to-helmet collisions. Yes, one of my sons did sustain a concussion playing football, and that’s serious, but another son got a concussion when a ground ball took a bad bounce and hit him in the chin. About the worst injuries I heard of at the youth football level were broken legs or arms, and there were a couple bad ones. But by and large, injuries that caused players to miss multiple games were rare. And serious injuries, in my limited experience, non-existent.

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. I am just of the opinion that at the youth level, contact football is about as safe as any other sport. With our newest CoachDeck coming out soon, for tackle football, we thought we’d share our observations for those who may be fretting over the decision to let a child play.

Remember, American kids are growing up in a country obsessed with football. They’ll be watching it on television their whole lives, often with friends and family. Having played, if even for a season, will give them much more insight on the game and its inner-workings and nuances. Plus, its just a lot of fun. If you’re concerned that the risk might outweigh the potential reward you may be basing your opinion on the high school, college or professional caliber of play you’ve grown accustomed to seeing. The speed and danger of play at the youth level is entirely different.