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landing spot. will be interesting to see how he does.
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my oldest is 11 and is going on his 5th year, I have a 10 year old thats going on his 4th yr.
form is critical...head across the shoulders, eyes up and low man wins.
My sons the db..he does play O as a qb, couldn't you for the #16? Lol
Yes, if played with correct technique the risk can be minimized. I gained a whole lot from my time playing, it really changed my life for the better. If my son or daughter wants to play and has the opportunity, who am I to take that away?
I respect your opinion but how can you minimize the risk by playing the game correctly. Playing the game correctly still results in jarring hits and it only takes one hit to do serious neurological damage... or in the case of football players in the NFL, thousands of little ones...plus everyone is different.
Full disclosure: I recently have decided to not let my kids play football...sad
Note that I said minimize the risk, not eliminate the risk.
Getting out of bed also puts a child at risk of encountering situations that will eventually cause neurological disorders. Proper technique will minimize the amount of accelleration the brain experiences, but you are correct that all football player's brains will experience some accelleration. The real calculation that needs to be done is the same as any other life decision, risk vs reward. In my opinion the risk of developing serious neurological disorders from playing football with proper technique (e.g. avoiding head to head contact, no blows to the head, no clipping, ect) is lower than the potential reward from participating in a sport that is educational, challanging, and immensely satisfying. I gained so much self respect from my experience and developement during football that I became a much better student, citizen, and family member. I learned lessons about team work that I still apply today. I would hate to prevent my children from having the same experience.
If my child wants to participate I don't think the risk of developing neurological disorders is so much higher than normal that it justifies banning them from participation. Of course everyone has their own estimation of the potential risk vs the potential reward. For me personally, I don't think the extra risk justifies banning the sport and forgoing all the positives that can be gained from playing football.
Some here suggest that some sports offer safer alternatives, I don't doubt that many of the lessons I learned from football could have been learned from another sport. However, I did not have the opportunity or the motivation to play a sport for which I was unskilled and unsuited. Playing basketball at a high level wasn't an option for me, I have the physique of a wrestler. If I had chosen to play another sport instead of football I would have missed out on a lot of the value I gained by playing a sport for which I had both interest, motivation and skill. If my child is excited and motivated to play football, I will encourage him or her. I will demand proper technique be used in an attempt to minimize the possibility of neurological disorder as any parent should, but with the evidence at hand I cannot come to the conclusion that the increased risk is worth forgoing all the value that can come from football.
I'm not too worried about my unborn son(s) making it to the NFL. If they do, they'll be kickers. There's a universe of difference between playing middle and high school football and stopping, and playing until you're 35 and playing against genetic freaks for money.
It would take a lot to convince me my sons will suffer from long term brain damage if they stop playing football after high school.
Want him to play? No. I'd rather he played basketball, soccer, baseball, or tennis.
Of course, your son can play whatever he wants, with your support. I do believe that of the sports you list, tennis has the least value in terms of teamwork. And while I really like baseball, it doesn't foster physical fitness on the same level as basketball, soccer, (and football.)
Still tennis and golf are the most useful sports in business relationships, and are a lot easier to keep playing long into your life. I loved high school base ball, but high school was the last time I found 18 guys to have a game. I did however go golfing with three dudes from work last Thursday.
don't get the babes.
I hear what you're saying. I was able to scratch that itch, though, by playing softball--fast pitch, modified, and slow pitch--for many, many years after my last baseball game. I last played regularly in a slow-pitch softball league at age 45, at which point I hung it up in order to have time to attend my oldest daughter's high school softball games. I knew I could still play well enough at that point to go at it for a couple more years, but it was now her turn, and I'm happy that I was then able to not miss any of her games.
There are times I think about playing again (until my aching knees remind me to think better of it), but you're right about the golf and tennis, that's about my limit at this time.
I encourage them to find their passion...they like sports and never understood why girls don't play football (generally). I always have emphasized that they can do what they really want to...with that, one of them would love to play football. she is 8. I am secretly (not so much now!) happy that they won't really be given this opportunity. It's kind of shitty of me, because of how I want her to have every opportunity boys have. But, in this case I'm a huge hypocrite.
I wouldn't forbid it though. Like the previous poster, I would encourage other sports.
My son had two girls on his 9 year old team, and one on his 10 year old team. They both did a great job, and the boys didn't mind playing with them at all. One was a great linebacker, the other a good receiver. The reality, however, is that somewhere around 11 - 13, girls usually drop out. The reasons are varied, but mostly have to do with physical development. Once you start to go through puberty, things change. You start to see boys getting bigger and stronger, and girls developing physically in ways that don't help them competitively.
Your window of time is pretty small. If she wants to play, I'd encourage you to let her play. As an eight year old, she is very unlikely to get a concussion. And there is a strong, strong probability that she will choose on her own to drop out in a year or two. Better for her to play, to get the exercise, to learn skills and teamwork, then just to wonder what could have been.
And one question on your comment, "she really won't be given this opportunity." Is that because you won't give her the opportunity, or because it isn't available in your community? I can understand the former, but really doubt the latter. You really owe it to your daughter to check out youth leagues in your area. I would bet she has the opportunity, if you're willing to give it to her and to pay for it (maybe $350 for the season.)
I was just giving an honest answer. It would freak me out.
I'm a 48 year old who played baseball at 10 with boys. So I know all about girls getting the chance. she won't likely be given that opportunity because she plays softball (has a pitching coach with extra lessons) and club soccer. My other daughter wants to ice skate too, and we just can't do all of it..anyone who has kids understands the crazy time requirement for a kid to play just one sport. So trust me, I get the value of team sports...my kids love them too. Problem for this kid is that she wants to play everything, and out of all those things, her friends play other things...football is pretty much the least opportune for a number of reasons.
Also, there was just a story (ABC? Brian Williams) that ran about the high rate of concussions in girls soccer. concussion rate is second only to NFL. So there's always something, right? As a parent, you just have to pay attention and look out for your kid, while giving them the best opportunities you can.
If it was the top one or two things, I would let her play. I'm just glad to not have to worry about it.
We have 10 year old twins, a boy and a girl. We literally have to divide and conquer, with me going in one direction with one kid, and my wife going the other direction. We have said no to some things because we just need a break. Two years ago, there was football and soccer concurrently, then winter indoor soccer for both, then baseball and soccer, then swim team, after which we were fried. I will say, at least where I live, the time commitment for football is more extensive than some of the others.
I wanted to play football too, and I know I'd be proud (as I am with any sport my kids play) to see them play...I'm just a worrier!
People who write questions like "Would you let your son/daughter...?" are obviously not parents. Yesterday, I was trying to play catch with my three year old son (I want him to play baseball) but he kept swatting the ball to the ground like a PBU, yelling "I'm Michigan!" while trying to tackle me, my wife and the cat.
Point taken... kids drive their own lives at some point - in some ways from birth...but they are also genetically keen on imitating and following their parents nature and their nurture. To absolve that to nature only is not right.
I cracked my sacrum in pop warner - played through it - never had it diagnosed and have had recurrent lower back pain ever since. I never even shared that with my parents in real time nor do I think medicine could have told better than to - give it a rest.
It's not all about concussions but that is the driver at this point for most discussions like this.
He must only be old enough to remember last season.
Yeah, he has no idea who RR is and thinks Michigan wins BCS bowls every year. He also downvotes Section 1 on sight.
That is one cute kid!
No. There are plenty of sports that don't involve a strong likelihood of fractured and/or broken bones, muscle tears and/or sprains and a probability of head injury. Anything but boxing/mma and football.
Yes. I don't want a damn alligator to bite his hand off.
I would let him play any sport that he wants, especially football. hopefully he is a kicker with a long nfl career though.
Hopefully helmet technology will have improved so that concussions are a thing of the past by the time I have children.
As a father, a man, and a former football player I find your comments insulting. I am a father of four kids, including 2 boys ages 7 and 6. While this is a generation that over-coddles their kids, I don't think that this is an either/or situation. I let my kids wrestle, play baseball, and have no problem with them learning the lessons that come with winning and losing; with being good at something and with struggling. However, while I did enjoy football, I also had 2 severe concussions my senior year in high school because the average mid sized high school not only has little to no medical support staff, but they often have coaches who fall into the "shake it off and get back in there" mindset. Once a kid is in that environment, peer pressure and the invincible feelings of a young boy will keep them pushing through pain and believing it makes them tough. I am definitely not going to put them into football, and if they ask to play I will have to make a tough decision.
I am in the midst of that decision now, my son who is 9 is wanting to play football. He knows I watch it every fall and he wants to play. I have let him play hockey, but to date, there has been no checking and the only contact is usually some kids tripping over themselves. I love to watch football but I guess I am leaning to not letting him play. Tough choice, but I just don't see the benefit of allowing that much contact.
There are several suggestions I would make.
First, I would really encourage you to do your homework on the topic of youth football. Specifically, the risk of damage to a 9 year old playing Pop Warner football is much, much lower than the risk in high school, which is much lower than college, and much lower than the pros. There is a lot of talking on this topic, but also a lot of ignorance. Here are some practical suggestions on this first area:
The injury rate in Pop Warner Football is:
less than one-third the injury rate in high school football (AND) less than one-fifth the injury rate in college football (AND) less than one-ninth the injury rate in professional football.
Furthermore, Pop Warner's age-weight schematic protects younger, lighter players, who do not have higher injury rates.
The second area I would really challenge you in is the watching of football. If you aren't willing for your son to play football, it is the height of hypocrisy for you yourself to watch and follow football avidly yourself.
"If you aren't willing for your son to play football, it is the height of hypocrisy for you yourself to watch and follow football avidly yourself."
You win the Douche-Quote-of-the-day-Award®
This parent is obviously concerned about the long term injury risks to his child, putting his "feet on the path" to more advanced (dangerous) fotball participation as he grows older is probably not a good idea.
I don't quite see it as the height of hypocrisy but I will admit that I have contemplated not watching football anymore.
Is it hypocritical of me to watch any sporting event, if I don't want my kids to participate? I really don't think that is the case. Maybe if I was coaching or if I was somehow involved in the sport personally.
I enjoy watching the winter olympics but but don't want my kids to do any of the tricks while flying down the mountain side. I like seeing some of the skateboarders doing cool tricks, but I make sure my kids don't go out and try to ride down some rails. Is it really hypocritical of me to watch an event while not wishing to participate?
I think you made some good points on pop Warner, but your conclusion in the final paragraph is a stretch.
Used to watch Evel Knievel as a kid....doesn't mean I want my kid to be him. Or any other death-defying stunt performer.
I think most of us have watched reality tv. I hope most of us don't want our sons or daughters to be on Jersey Shore or the like.
And considering it's Kass, it may not be a problem for him, but for the rest of us, while we may watch porn....
I would say it is fair to call it hypocritical. As long as it is someone else's kid playing it is fine. I see it being the same as the "not in my backyard" sentiment. And when you said the things you don't want your kids doing I got really sad b/c those are all the activities I pretty much loved the most.
The "why not just let them play Pop Warner" argument is silly, and if you think ahead it becomes obvious why. What do you tell your kid when it turns out he's pretty good and the high school team wants him to try out?
I'm not a parent, but I was a kid once, and I'm pretty sure being told "no football, go play baseball instead" at age 9 would have gone over a lot better than being allowed to play for a few years and then told I had to quit just when I was getting good.
You have some skin in the game. Sorry about your concussions. I do have a couple questions:
Part of the problem is the environment. You mentioned the building of teamwork, but I wonder if you ever played football. I earned 7 varsity letters playing 4 different sports and I can tell you that there is something different about football. (although to be fair the things we did in wrestling were probably more dangerous) I never saw anyone taking painkillers before a baseball game, and never saw a coach line up two kids and have them run head first into each other from 10 yards as a punishment in basketball. There is a mindset in football that you have to be a brainless gladiator.
True story -
On my second concussion my senior year, we were running through the walkthrough practice the day before the game (shorts, shoulder pads and helmets), and as I ran around the end, the defensive player grabbed my jersey (because I couldn't be hit) and spun me around to throw me to the ground. In a fluke deal, he spun me off of tmy feet and ended up slamming to the gound head first. I blacked out and when I came to the coach was yelling at me to get up and back to the huddle. He was showing me a card with a play drawn on it that he wanted me to run, and I swear to you the lines seemed to be moving all over the page and I couldn't make any sense of it. His response was to put the card down and just verbally tell me what to do. I of course played the next day. When I talked to the coaching staff on Monday about my symptoms and how I didn't remember most of the game, they told me not to go to the doctor because they would automatically tell me to take two weeks off and they couldn't afford to lose me.
Before you tell me that I just got a bad coach, I defy you to show me a football coach that isn't a meathead. Most coaches secretly admire the kid who doesn't admit to pain and battles. Kids pick up on this and it feeds a nasty cycle. You can tell me all you want how there is more monitoring of injuries, but the football mindset will always encourage kids like me to ignore symptoms and be tough. That mindset starts in youth football and grows as you progress.
how long ago was that though? im heavily involved in my areas youth and HS programs. The coaching and practice styles have changed dramatically in the last 10 years and are only getting safer. For example, if we see a kid get his bell rung hard or it looks like he might have a concussion. Theyre taken off the field and not allowed to return until theyve been cleared by a doctor.i know all the teams in the area are required to do the same.
We have the same rules where we play. For the poster to say, 'show me a football coach that isn't a meathead' and the mentality is to 'always' ignore symptoms and be tough. That's rediculous. I have coached my son in football and baseball over the last 3 years and that just doesn't happen. There may be cases of it, but it surely isn't the same today as it was 20 years ago, or even 5 years ago.
I just have a hard time believing that decades of a certain mindset are suddenly going to change over the course of four or five years. I coach my kids too, and while I do agree that there are a lot of really good coaches, I just think the football environment is always going to be tilted towards the meathead.
I recently played high school football, and if a kid so much as looked dizzy after a hit, there was medical staff attending to him and there wasn't anything the coaching staff could do about it.
Maybe... if you go to a big enough school to have a medical staff.
These are honest answers from a dad who is paying attention. Good for you.
Over coddling is bad..sticking your head in the sand is worse. You can call me whatever you want, but i'm not letting my kids (8 year olds) play in the front yard without me there, just because "when I was a kid" I would run all over without my mom knowing where I was. Times are different-we are just better informed because times are different (media and increased research/experience).
Culturally, we love football. Im a 20 year M season ticket holder, and live 2500 miles away..you know I love football. That doesn't mean I'm thrilled if my kid wants to play it. I would never want any of these guys to have the long term injuries many of the college/pro guys suffer from..but as a parent, I do worry about my own kid at a different level. That is my single most important job.
However, they are not mutually exclusive of my points. I would not disallow it--I would worry. Just like I worry because my kid is on the pitching mound and a ball *could* get their teeth smashed in by a line drive.
About a year and a half ago, Bree Evans--M softball player--dove into home and had a serious neck injury. Thankfully she is okay, and obviously stuff happens in every sport. The potential is there for me to walk out of my house and get hit by a car. However the nature of football is violent, and there is an obvious increased potential for serious injury. Everyone can come on and say "I played and I never got concussions." That's great--and most people do play without serious injuries. The potential is higher though, and some parents will worry about this. duh. Acting like they're crazy for that concern is kind of mean and insulting.
Everyone is likely to have a broken heart--but how many parents are critical of the guy their daughter is dating because they want the best for their kid? This is kind of the same thing, I suppose.. again, I wouldn't disallow it--I would give it consideration and be concerned. Its difficult to control who your kid loves--or what sport they are passionate about, but parents worry. Its our job.
So, I get the whole parenting thing--instill the right stuff and let them choose their path. That is totally in line with my parenting style. Meanwhile, I'm not encouraging my 8 year old to play football. That's all.
I have not commited to preventing my kids from playing football, I have just made the decision that I will not put them into it. When and if they decide they want to play, I will have to look into it further. I feel, though, that each of us makes decisions for our kids based on our experiences and what we feel is best for them. Many people work in the trades or in a shop, etc. and although they earned a good living, would rather their children take a different route. Since you mentioned the military, that is a good example as well. While I would be proud for my children to serve their country (although I would prefer a military academy to just joining after high school), I might not feel the same if I had served a tour overseas. Our experiences change us. I loved playing football, but I do have some nagging injuries and it is not like I played collegiately or professionally. While they can be hurt in many ways, I would not be doing my job as a parent if I didn't at least consider limiting the highest risk activities.
By the way, if you are so excited about being tough, why the Navy?
Sorry, couldn't resist, I have two brothers-in-law who were in the Navy and it is a friendly dig. I actually have a lot of respect for all of those who serve.
Thanks for being a Corpsman. I like to kid some of the Navy guys, but I never kid my Corpsman.
The only time I've ever gotten a concussion was while painting a house. I wasn't paying attention and smacked my head. Becuase of this the only logical recourse is to keep my kids from painting houses...
I refuse to take into account the numerous people that have painted houses without recieving a concussion. I should probably write news stories about the danger's of house painting concussions and scare others into keeping their children away from house painting!
The only concussion I ever had was from a car accident, because some guy behind me wasn't paying attention. Since I can't teach everyone else proper driving, my children will never be allowed in any motorized vehicle. Maybe we can start our own website notifying everyone to the extreme dangers of house painting, motorized travel, and other terribly unsafe things.
I played football for 4 years of high school. My only concussion was when I injured myself at work. I've heard of others receiving work-related injuries as well. Many people have even died in workplace injuries. There's no way I'm letting my kid get a job.
For the safety of Americas youth, Football, Painting, Riding in a car, and getting jobs will be banned. Although this list will surely grow...
The danger of motorized travel is a bad example -- we accept >30,000 annual deaths and many more injuries as the basic cost of getting around. The extent to which this fails to generate any society-wide sense of urgency is absolutely crazy. It's very likely that technological improvements will at some point yield far, far less deadly transportation systems, and that the societies that use them will look back in bafflement at the human costs we used to take for granted.
My point: we accept certain risk levels that make absolutely no sense, and we do so out of misplaced emotional reactions (consider how we would react to 300 annual deaths from domestic terrorism, and compare to how we react to traffic deaths). The proper response to the risks posed by football injury isn't to shrug, say "Man up, shit happens," and continue business as usual. The proper response is to take a careful inventory of the actual human risks, and to see if it makes sense to accept them upon reflection. Very loose analogies to painting and driving are not particularly helpful in this task.
Though your post is well reasoned and I respect it, I draw the opposite conclusion. I think there is good reason we accept the risks of mototorized travel, including air travel--because the benefits to personal freedom to move, freedom to live where individuals wish to, freedom to work, and freedom to travel outweigh the risk of death from Plane Car and Boat. Society knows those risks and collectively accepts them in exchange for the benefits I listed, not to mention the economic growth travel engenders.
Regarding football and those risks, all parents should decide for themselves regarding their children. But for adults, and for myself, I have no problem whatsoever allowing my kid or NFL players to play.The benefits to them, including all of the lessons taught by football, the enjoyment it brings fans, the employment it brings, and the money it provides is worth the risks--as long as those playing know the risk and accept it.Then, just like with auto racing, where the risk is even higher, in that case of actual death, I say as long as the participation is voluntary and we are taking sensible precautions, play on.
This is instructive - but also misleading. You probably wouldn't leave your 8 y.o. hanging from a gutter either. I think this helps ferret this out though no doubt.
I played football through High School and honestly I don't remember the concussions I suffered though I had my bell rung many times I know. I never saw a doctor about it that is for sure. I played my last game in pads my senior year in H.S where I recieved less head shots as a WR.
The issues are different for each individual kid and parent no matter how you paint it.
If you wouldn't let your son play, then you don't believe it's safe, and you shouldn't be watching others play. You should tune out and stop blogging about college football.
I'll encourage my sons to play, but I've always maintained that they won't play tackle until high school. 7-on-7's and camps until then. The brain is more developed, and by then they'll understand tackling technique. If they ever lead with their head, I'll pull them from a game on the spot.
but you can't learn tackling technique until you do it. It's like teaching someone how to ride a bike using roller blades. Furthermore, I've never even heard of a kid getting a concussion playing football before high school. I'm sure it has happened, but youth football isn't nearly as dangerous.
I was surprised Dan and Ty came out like they did...but I think it is possible to spectate where you would not participate.
Knowing what I know about traumatic brain injuries at both the macro and cellular level from my past research experiences, there is no way in hell I would let my kids play football. I would push them towards track, cross country, and soccer. There is way too many microconcussions that occur that would make me comfortable signing off on the permission slip.
That's why you're a parent. You have to feel safe. Only comment: I really think there is a benefit to being on a team, and so I'd encourage soccer or basketball or lacrosse. While they can also be in track or cross country, there isn't the same level of teamwork and cooperation.
You get the same team benefits from cross country and track. I am also reading up on the effects of headers in soccer. I do see your point. Soccer could actually be more dangerous than football due to the lack of personal protection.
I disagree that track and cross country has as much emphasis on the team work. Football success requires team work and self sacrifice, while attaining track success is very possible without a strong supporting cast.
There are individual awards at every single meet. This doesn't make either a bad sport, I love both, but it does indicate what value is placed on team performance compared to individual performance.
I was about to reply to your first comment re: soccer, until I read this. Having played soccer and football. I took more of a beating in soccer than football. That's not to say one is necessarily more violent than the other, it was just my experience. I would be interested in seeing data re: soccer and the amount of head injuries that occur.
I'm not sure how precise the soccer study can be though. With the VT football study, they placed sensors in the kids helmets and took data from that. Obviously you don't have that in soccer. For those that may not know. The VT study reported that there were several impacts of 8 and 10 g's. These were sandlot football players (9-10 yrs old I believe).
There is a lot of research around headers in soccer, and last week there was a segment on a Brian Williams TV show (can't remember the name of the program) that discussed concussions in girls soccer.
It is pretty interesting. They said that concussions in girls youth soccer rank second to only the NFL. This was specific to girls, and some signs show that girls with longer, thinner necks are more susceptable/likely to get a concussion. This isn't really figured out yet--but they were saying that because the boys are stronger, the header may not have the same torque on the brain as a thin girl, with a long neck. Additionally, the girls (14 years old, who had been playing since 6-8 years old) that were being interviewed had long term significant and chronic headaches (all said pain was a 6-7 on a scale of 10) all the time. The common factor with these girls was that they actually played through the concussions--to the point of some posts on this board. That better medical care could likely prevent long term problems.
That is why this discussion and education is good all the way around, because if fat head parents and coaches just say "Stuff happens!" "I played and I'm fine" and "We just need to let our kids be kids"...and don't actually think and advocate for our kids' health, avoidable injuries will be higher.
My whole thing is that head injuries freak me out because of the magintude of life change that they bring--not because I'm worried every time my kids play something. My kids play soccer and softball--and you can bet that while I value all the lessons and the love they have for the game, I will be there to make them sit out if a head injury occurs.
To comment on cross country, there is just as much team work in it as football. I ran for a decent program, so we actually had race strategy and pack running.
Between cross country and hockey (2/3 of my sports from high school) the emphasis on teamwork and the lessons learned are not even in the same ballpark.
I loved running cross, I loved my team, and I loved our trip to the state championship meet, but I don't know anyone I ran with who considers XC more of a team sport than hockey, lacrosse, football, soccer, ect.
I think this can totally depend on the individuals and coach. Of course inherintly sports like hockey, football, and lacrosse start higher on the team spectrum. Just like one football team can focus more on teamwork than another. In generalities I think you are correct but every situation is different.
Generally, I wouldn't trust a cross country team to develop teamwork ideals in my hypothetical son. I hope he runs, I remain an avid runner to this day despite not competing, but the fact remains that en elite runner can win a meet, and go home with a championship trophy even if his teammates finish in the bottom four.
Denard didn't win anything in 2010 despite having the most impressive dual threat numbers since 2005, if not ever. If he put up comparable numbers in track, he'd have a national championship to show for it. That's the main difference, to me.
Only because you brought up your research will I ask this, but have you read anything about heading the ball in soccer and its affects on the brain ?
Also - ive had 2 concussions so far; one from soccer and one from football.
...and fortunately, he'll be all of five this year, so there will have been plenty of time for equipment improvements and even better techniques to evolve so that the risk of injury is mitigated further, but even at that, there are benefits to playing team sports like football such as teamwork skills and goal-setting skills that I would never want to discourage him from experiencing through sports, if that's what he wanted.
Now, like others, I would probably encourage other sports (I played baseball myself) because of the potential for debilitating injury in football, but if my son was set on football, I wouldn't say "no". I would definitely want him to go into it with a full, three-dimensional understanding of what can happen, of course, but this would be my feeling towards any sport. I would also try to ensure my own involvement with the team and the league to make sure safety was a priority - the game can be played with a relative level of safety without sacrificing anything, in my opinion.
and he has played tackle since 2nd grade. Football is the only sport out there for a tall kid whose hand eye coordination is slow to catch up. (i.e., flag and seven on seven, baseball, soccer, ect. don't work). I have a kid who loves exercise and playing sports, but his baseball, soccer, and lacrosse coaches all had a "hard time working him in because of his ball skills" while his football coaches want him on the field. I will say that last season was the first outside of the Pop-Warner age weight restrictions, and there are some big kids (especially with a year difference in middle school). So that made me a little worried, especially since there were so many who hadn't played before and only two coaches for 40 kids. We both hope the game is changing fast enough.
When i was a kid. I played fir 8 years
I have no injuries and most of my childhood motors relate to football.
My 7 year old starts this fall.
Are you sure you didn't expereince any traumatic brain injuries?
- I played fir 8 years
- most of my childhood motors relate to football
Not sure if serious...
I played from seven years old until three years into college, and I had one concussion. People wearing the equipment incorrectly is the major reason people get as many concussions as they do. (Of course some are just more prone to get head trauma) With there now being a major focus on this, concussions will go down. Rules changes (If a players helmet comes off during a play, that player will have to sit out the next play as if they were injured) will also keep people wearing the equipment correctly, because the last thing football players want is to come off the field. Plus, you will only foster resentment from not allowing your son the opportunity to try.
I would not have a problem with my son playing football. People get all bent out of shape when a handful of former NFL players are affected by multiple concussions. When we start seeing tens of thousands of former football players who only played high school or high school and college showing signs of debilitation, then I'll start buying into the hysteria about the dangers of football.
A lot of activities carry risks with them: skateboarding, skiing, riding a bicycle, riding a motorcycle, and, yes, playing football. I wouldn't try to prevent my kid from doing any of these activities.
Except for the motorcycle part.
The families of Dave Dureson, Junior Seau, and Corwin Brown would like to have a talk with you.
Heavens to Betsy, no. I want my son to play badminton, table tennis, or checkers, but never football!!! Let the boy play football if he wants to. Boys do all kinds of wacky stuff where they can get hurt, football being less likely than the other crap whatever that may be.
I would probably try to get my son to play lacrosse and hockey, both violent sports, because those are the ones I played. I know that my body type is simply not suited for football, but if they want to play I would say yes.
I have seen 1 concussion (in practice). In two years of lacrosse I have seen at least 1, and spoken with youth hocky parents who are on thier second concussion and speak of it like it is common in youth hockey to have experienced one by this age.
Maybe we were lucky. But I know the Pop-Warner coaches (dad's in many cases) made a big deal about keeping your head up, not leading with your head, paying attention to avoid injuries ect. I would like to see them have concussion agreements like the schools now require for all sports, but I also like to think that coaching has made the game safer.
Our sandlot football league has been around for 12 years and (knock on wood) there has only been 1 serious injury. That's somewhere in the neighborhood of 5-7 teams w/20+ players per team over the course of 12 seasons. I've coached for the last 3 years and haven't seen a child show any signs of a concussion.
Coaching, and improvements in equipment have made the game safer.
My son plays football. He has played the last two years on the defensive line. In terms of teamwork, discipline, and physical fitness, football is great. Once it becomes clear that he is too slow or too small, or he is injured, etc., that'll be it. This coming Fall, he'll be an 11 year old playing in a 103 pound weight class.
Yes, the positives outweigh the negatives, just like they do in pretty much every sport. If he wants to play, then he plays. Agree with those who said if you won't let your kids do it, then don't watch it.
Let's not forget the benefits of sports for development and self-esteem (particularly girls, of which I have a one year old daughter). Kids do all kinds of stuff and there's danger everywhere (particularly electrical outlets and flights of stairs these days). As she grows up, I'd rather my kid was involved in sports, after that, it's really up to her to decide which ones.
I know I would make sure he knows proper technique, and I would attend al l the league meetings to ensure that proper technique is being taught across the board. I would do everythign I could to get a rule instituted that if a kid is leading with his head, going for the "kill shot" instead of using proper technique, wrapping up and putting his hat on the ball, that the kid must be pulled from the game until such time as he can learn to tackle properly.
A good football tackle is violent, jarring, exciting AND relatively safe.
I think this is the direction the game is going -- the rules for what consitutes an illegal tackle will expand, along with the other rules with regard to contact.
People will bitch and moan about how the new rules are ruining the game, but in the end it will turn out to be just as exciting as before, but with fewer concussions.
Most people will never be good enough to play past high school. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the rate of brain damage is pretty low unless you're playing into well into a professional career.
My parents told me that I could play football if I wanted, but my dad pulled me off to the side, and stated that it would be better for me to focus on other sports because of the wear and tear on your body. He never really warned me of the concussions, or broken bones, but more so in the knee injuries and broken bones he experienced and how it was affecting him today. I chose to play golf, and I can see the effect it had on my friends who played football who are requiring knee surgeries today, I am 23.
I guess that brings me to my point. I would support my child if they wanted to play football and I would let them play, but I would also warn them about the potential injuries that go along with it.
Yes, i let my kids chose their sports.It just worked out that football wasnt it.
I let my son play as a 9 y.o. and coached his team as well. I played through high school and never had any serious injuries, whereas I broke my ankle and tore ligaments playing basketball as well as snapped my left achilles playing softball and snapped my right achilles playing hoops. Broke my hand playing baseball. Hip, pelvis, collarbone and tailbone all broken while sledding. At one point the family doctor pulled me aside and started asking questions about whether or not something was going on at home with my parents I had so many broken bones. Nope Doc, no domestic violence, just a kid who wants to play ball and have fun.
So yes, I'll let him play. The teamwork, accountability, hard work...they're all fantastic lessons for life to be gained on the gridiron, more than I ever experienced while playing any other team sport.
I will not let him play, however, if the coach's last name is the same as the city Cedar Point is located.
If by football you mean soccer. Honestly though, that's a decision he'll make on his own although I don't plan to enroll him in a pee-wee league.
that football increasingly becomes a sport that we watch poor people playing. To some extent that's already the case. I realize that the people at the very top make big money, but I once heard someone say (was it in one of those bball movies like Soul In the Hole?) that 1 aspiring kid in 20,000 makes it. Figure could be wildly off and still make the point--fair amount of carnage.
Maybe technology can improve everyone's odds, but everyone has a spinal column and our heads swing on them in all kinds of useful ways that smashing somebody tends to ignore.
Fairly painful subject. I really love watching Michigan football. And I have been surprised by how this debate is reaching people. My bro-in-law, who has a certain grunt-love for mansport and hunting, was talking yesterday about how glad he is his kid plays baseball. To a real extent--and I speak only for myself--letting your kid play football is putting him in harm's way.
I'm a maybe.
First of all, he'd need a growth spurt since he is the smallest boy in his class by both weight and height.
Kicker sounds good to me.
I think letting your kid choose is the best move as a parent. It's always best to let them do what they enjoy so they get the most out of it.
I can't deny though that I would enjoy the (very slim) possibility of seeing my son in the winged helmet.
my 2 year old already says he's going to play football for Michigan, so who am I to crush his dreams. I played in high school and a year in college, may have had a mild concussion once, tore ligaments in my left foot, broke a finger or two, sprained my knee and my back hurts a lot but I wouldn't trade the memories and fun I had playing for anything and hope my son feels the same.
You just have to teach the kids to play intelligently. Hands between the pads. No orse collars, "flying" tackles or headhunting, know your limits and your position. If anything feels wrong, you come out until you and other professionals are POSITIVE that it is okay. Always wear your gear properly, and if your gear doesn't fit right, get new gear. Never forget that the goal is to win by scoring or defending the BALL. Not the other player.
Look at a kid like Jordan Kovacs. Not the biggest. Not the most athletic. Hits a LOT. But he also knows how to play properly, makes big plays and does not suffer for them. Can you imagine how exciting and awesome football would be if every kid were coached to play as well and as intelligently as Kovacs?
Yes, I will let him play football. I was fortunate ebough to play for 3 years in HS. I was recuited by the varsity coach when I was a freshman walking down the hall one day. I was lucky to play a lot of sports growing up but playing Football was the most fun I had that could not get me arrested.
The funny thing is I had a consussion playing youth hockey, a concussion on my alpine ski racing team and 2 concussions playing college lacrosse. Not one playing football.
If he was looking to play beyond high school at a high level, only as a kicker. D-III college ball wouldn't bother me, but playing for Michigan would. The high level game has gone beyond physical and turned into a machine into which you feed your body. Of course it isn't like I can tell my son what to do after high school though, but I'd discourage it as much as possible.
I can't believe you would discourage your son from playing football for Michigan. If I had a son and he played for Michigan it would be the proudest moment of my life.
I hope by the time my child comes of age I feel football is safe again. As it stands though I feel that the NFL actively coverups the full impact of pro football on the body and there is little interest in studying the longterm playing of football on the brain. Basically training is significantly ahead of safety rght now. We're getting 300+ pound guys slamming into each other when they're 18 years old (the top recruits) and the safety equipment isn't keeping pace with the game.
Unless he gets ALL of your genes, I'm not sure you have to worry about it.
You could possibly put a golf club in his (or her) hand and retire early, though.
Well I never had the genes to carry me past high school ball, so not a threat. Although Nebraska does have a Korean offensive lineman, so you never know. He's buried on their 2-Deep, but he still made it onto the team.
And the way you describe most of her immediate family. She might have some long lost Uncle who's 6'6" and 280, but unless there's some recessive gene in there waiting to get out, any kids might be better suited where athleticism also doesn't require a lot of size.
I played a lot of football at many levels and the game is in my blood.
I have a son who just completed his high school career. Twice I watched him get carted off the field with concussive related injuries. The last time was his first game as the starting QB his junior year.
I've also coached football for a lot of years.
I believe the guys from my era and before have been subjected to a lack of understanding about concussions and adequate equipment. But I alo think people are using cases like Duerson and Seau and applying their circumstances to kids in high school. Personally, I think that's flawed. Today's high school players A) have much better technologically advanced equipment and B) aren't hitting with near the force that those guys were. I don't think you can use Mohammed Ali or any of these other guys who have repeated blows to the head while competing at the highest level of their sport as an indication of what MIGHT happen.
In my opinion the health risks associated with football are being inflated by the NFL's current issues. From Pop Warner to the NFL there is a vast difference of experience. The NFL has the largest people on the planet hitting each other nearly continuosly through training camps, countless practices, 20 games, etc. It's a lot more hitting than even college, by a lot bigger, stronger men.
My son has zero chance to ever play in the NFL, and probably not much chance to play in college, at least under scholarship. His risk of serious injury is virtually nil. Of course I would allow him to play, and as far as his talent would allow him to progress.
The benefits of playing in a structured team sport, learning a role, discipline, etc. far outweigh any risk.
I'd let my son play football because how can I tell him no after I raise him with an obsession for Michigan Football. I haven't taken a piano lesson since '99 but if I sat down in front of a piano today there is only one song I can still play, The Victors.
The key is soccer at a young age to help then develop good footwork and then around 6/7th grade move to football.
Plus by the time my sons (I'm not married so they are hypothetical) play the helmet technology will be improved and concussions will be way down.
If my [theoretical] kid wanted to play, I'd let him. A lot of it has to do with my parents not letting me play, but I think the head injuries are overblown. Yes, it's a serious concern and yes, I'd like to see the game do more to protect players. However, football is a great way for a kid to stay healthy as are most sports. If my kid develops a passion for it, no way am I going to stop him. Also, I think sports but football in particular helps develop life skills that will help him later on. So yeah, I'd let my kid play.
Also, the Ban College Football debate is one of the dumbest things I have ever seen.
He will be headed into 9th grade next fall. He has played since 3rd grade. Although I understand health concern, I feel the lessens learned through teamwork and competition as well as accountability outweigh the risk.
I was one of those kids whose parents keep them out of organized sports. That's an oversimplification: I did run track and cross country. But I didn't get to play basketball, football, or baseball.
My mother was the one who drove this, and I resented her for years because I didn't play. Finally, you get over it, but I regret her choice. We were a white family living in the inner-city of Chicago back in the 60's. She was afraid of gangs and what could happen if I was at the park without adults around, so I wasn't allowed to roam freely. Guess you could say she was the precursor of the helicopter mom. Anyway, if you don't start playing most sports at a young age, unless you have exceeding natural athletic ability, you are hopelessly behind.
The second reason I didn't play had to do with that natural athletic ability (or lack thereof.) I was average: neither particularly fast nor slow, strong nor weak, coordinated nor uncoordinated. Just another more or less average boy, like most of us. Problem was, my mom was a jock. She grew up in Texas, and swam and dived, played baseball, basketball, and volleyball. Volleyball was her forte, and she was tall, and mean. Eventually, she coached collegiately, until getting married and having kids relatively late in life. Mom realized that her kids were somewhat average, and would probably never play at the highest level. And so, she pushed us in other directions.
As a result, I never had the opportunity to learn on the field, to develop friendships and relationships with teammates, to be put through the drills and the discipline, to have those experiences some of you had. I do not regret not being a professional athlete. Very few have the talent or drive or luck to make this happen. But here's the thing. Boys and girls like to dream, and when you're a kid, you dream of being an astronaut, or a fire fighter, or a football player, or basketball, etc. And so you play. Eventually, most kids realize they aren't strong enough, or big enough, or fast enough, or driven enough, or they get injured, and so they quit. Which is just fine. But they had the exercise and experience in the interim.
Because I am 6'4", and weighed about 190 pounds, I wish I would have been able to play. In the overall scheme of life, how well I blocked or tackled or ran the ball, or caught the ball wouldn't matter a bit. After all, how often does someone over 50 tackle a grown man? It just doesn't happen.
However, this overlong post is meant as a warning to those of you who would keep your young children from an experience they may well treasure for a lifetime. Very few of your kids will make it to high school, even fewer to college ball, and a miniscule number to professional football. I simply believe that your fears of concussions and neurological damage are overblown, especially for children between the ages of 7 and 12.
Except this experience causes life long physiological damage, even with the micro concussions that may occur.
I know from your above post that you have done research in this area. So my question:
what is a link to a study or studies that shows conclusively there is life long physiological damage occuring in those who play team sports (particularly football) between approximately the ages of 7 and 12 as compared to those who do not. (I am willing to defer to your judgement, as regards college and pro football, and to a lesser degree, high school football.)
I also am interested in concussive damage caused in youth soccer and lacrosse. I'm assuming that the incidence of neurological trauma in youth baseball, basketball, track, swimming, etc., is much less.
My oldest is 8 and he has played 3 years and says he will play again this fall. I'm more aware and concerned that I used to be due the research that has been done more recently. Virginia Tech did a study with a sandlot league in a neighboring county last year. But I'm not concerned to the point that I will make him quit. Proper technique needs to be stressed and going forward we will probably change the way we practice to reduce the risk of injury, since most of the big hits that kids take are on the practice fields.
Honestly? Probably not. I played football a bit in pee-wee, and distinctly remember the time I stopped was after getting booted in the head when I was trying to tackle a kid. Wasn't bad form or anything, but just a kid fighting for yards and me trying to stop him. Had a headache, and realized that I was never going to make millions playing it, and I just didn't like the feeling I got from being hit. Maybe that makes me a wuss, but whatever.
If my child truly loves playing it (and I'm getting close to that age when I need to make those types of decisions), I'd support him or her to an extent. But honestly, there are other sports where you can get the same level of competition without the dangers of lasting injury. Hard to dispute that in light of what we've seen recently.
The recent high profile cases here:
These guys played ball in the 70's, 80's and 90's. Their formative years were all in the 70's and 80's. The equipment and mindset of coaches and players is SO different from what it was then. Unfortunately, it's impossible to look into the future and see if the current tactics are effective, but It'd be like saying you won't let someone drive wearing a three point safety harness because old fashioned lap belts were highly ineffective.
Before I'd let my daughter be a cheerleader.
I'll let him play, but by golly if he gets cut from the team, gets a bruise, or gets called an obscene name....I'm suing somebody for a million dollars in actual damages and 10 million in punitive damages. The emotional scarring is the worst, I say, the worst!!