Any parent knows that many children dream of being professional athletes from the moment they first begin competing in organized sports. However, as most parents also know, the chances of your child going on to earn a college athletic scholarship, let alone play sports at the professional level, are minuscule. Nevertheless, if your child has shown an interest in playing football, parents may have reservations about placing their youth (and aspiring future professional) football players in tackle football leagues due to the heightened injury risks inherent in participating in tackle football at a young age.
By playing flag football, your future NFL star will not compromise their chances to play tackle football later on in life, whether it be at the high school, college, or professional level. Not only did a number of current and former National Football League stars get their start playing flag football as youths, but some of the greatest players of all time did so. Even more telling, many current and former NFL players are currently enrolling their own children in flag football leagues out of concern for their children’s safety. Therefore, you are not compromising your child’s ability to later compete in tackle football by enrolling them in flag football as a youth; if the NFL greats were able to make it to the very top of the ranks of the NFL by playing flag football as youth, then your little superstar will as well.
Playing tackle football in your youth is not necessary in order to go on to success as a professional football player. Indeed, some of the biggest stars in NFL history got their start playing flag football rather than tackle football. For example, Tom Brady, who recently lead his New England Patriots to victory in the 2018 NFL playoffs over the Tennessee Titans, played flag football in his youth and did not even play tackle football until ninth grade. At the age of 40, Brady is the oldest professional quarterback still playing at such a high level, is only one of two players in NFL history to win five Super Bowls and is the only player in NFL history to win four Super Bowl MVP awards. Archie Manning, the father of All Pro and Super Bowl MVP quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning, and himself a former Heisman Trophy-winning and NFL starting quarterback for the New Orleans Saints also enrolled both his sons in flag football until seventh grade. Tom Brady, the best NFL quarterback of all time, as well as Peyton and Eli Manning, two Super Bowl MVP quarterbacks, made it not only to the NFL, but also to the very top echelon of the league; given these facts, your son or daughter will help their future football career by participating in flag football.
A number of NFL players also have expressed concerns regarding the links between contact football and the risks of repeated head trauma and the other safety concerns that many normal parents also express about tackle football. Instead of youth tackle football, these current and former NFL players have put their faith in the increased safety and other benefits offered by youth flag football by placing their own children in flag football leagues. According to an ABC News story from April 2016, Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson had the following to say when asked whether he thought that playing flag football rather than tackle football would set kids behind: “Try to get them to pull a flag from someone's hip, it's something that is going to take being in full control of your body, and knowing what your body is doing and telling it what to do, instead of just being the bigger kid who can fly around and blow somebody up because you're bigger and faster than they are.” Former NFL defensive lineman Aaron Kampmann, who played ten years in the NFL and now coaches high school football, shares Nelson’s views. Kampmann sponsors a flag football league in the small town in Iowa where he now lives that has seen participation grow steadily since that league began operations in 2012.
If you are in the San Diego area and your son or daughter is interested in football, then consider NFL Flag San Diego. Offering both competitive and recreational divisions in a variety of different age groups, our league guarantees every player a significant amount of playing time and gives players the chance to make friends, be a part of a small, tight-knit team, meet current and former National Football League players and participate in a sport that could land your child a college scholarship and the chance to play in a nationally televised national championship game on ESPN. Even if your little star never plays in the NFL, our leagues are a great opportunity to build physical, leadership and teamwork skills. While requiring a minimum time commitment with practices only once per week and games once per week, NFL Flag San Diego offers year round opportunities for children from kindergarten through tenth grade to participate in flag football. If you have any questions, contact NFL Flag San Diego at (760) 237-8278 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information today.