Boys in Football

As I sit here watching my 5 year old boy practice with his football team.  I wonder to myself, why did I agree to this?

Deciding to put your son in tackle football is a hard decision.  Many pros and cons, read how this mom made her decision to do it.

At first, I really had a LOT of reservations and did not want my young 5 year old exposed to tackle football at such an early age, flag football, yes … but tackle?  As a mother AND a nurse {and a Canadian … but we won’t talk about that right now}, I just was not wanting to put him in it, let alone my 7 year old.  I’ve watched ESPN specials on the adverse effects of young people and injuries in tackle football.  The concussions.  The chronic headaches as they grow.  It scares the hell out of me.

Deciding to put your son in tackle football can be a hard decision.  Read how this mom made hers

I worry about bad hits … from other kids and from my own.  I worry about him hitting another and hurting them; how my heart would sink and I would want to pull him from the sport.  I worry about other kids hitting him and delivering a blow that hurts him.  I pray each game and practice that it’s a safe experience for all.

But then, I see the pro football players in the NFL being carted out on gurneys and they’re PROFESSIONALS!  I guess it got me thinking that it happens no matter how old you are no matter what level you’re at.  I would love to think that they wouldn’t be hurt and that they would be safe in anything they do.  Yes, there may be safer sports, of course, but in just about any sport, there are accidents.  The boys like baseball {a lot}, but there are accidents in that sport and it’s non contact, some accidents deathly.

Deciding to put your son in tackle football can be a hard decision.  Read how this mom made hers

I am reassured by watching the coaches that we have for BOTH our boys.  I watch them at practice and I see them teaching the boys the fundamentals of the 3 point stance; how to hit with shoulder pads; teaching the dangers of hitting from behind or grabbing the face mask.  It’s not going to alleviate accidents or bad hits, but it assists with safety and learning the fundamentals right from the start.

Deciding to put your son in tackle football can be a hard decision.  Read how this mom made hers

My 5 year old plays in the 5-7 year old age group.  There are kids that are smaller than him and older than him.  I think this is another reason for my comfort, he’s a big boy weighing in at more than the average kid.  He is tall as well, so he has eased my worry just from that.  The league the boys play in is age and weight regulated, so they monitor this very closely to help in ensure that there are 60 pounders going up against 100 pounders.  This is certainly where injuries can occur.  They weigh the players in before EVERY game.  The boys are allowed to gain a pound a week and have to stay within the regulated weight for their age group.

Deciding to put your son in tackle football can be a hard decision.  Read how this mom made hers

There are some tiny little guys who have cried through practices telling their parents they don’t want to play.  Watching the coaches encourage these little guys without coddling them has been a breath of fresh air.  Watching the coaches push the boys to their full potential, all the while not disrespecting or being jerks to the kids.  It has been a true testament to positive coaching and role modeling … however, I do worry about the middle and high school years in football {but that’s another blog post}.

Deciding to put your son in tackle football can be a hard decision.  Read how this mom made hers

So, in saying ALL of this, it would be devastating and I would hate myself if my boys were injured to where it affected their lives forever.  It would be the single most biggest regret on my life.  But then I think of other things, other events, that could impact their lives.  Like driving my vehicle, we could get in a car accident.  Riding our bikes down the street, someone could fall asleep and hit us.

We still do these things because that’s part of living.

We are near the end of the season, and nothing has happened {thank goodness}.

Deciding to put your son in tackle football can be a hard decision.  Read how this mom made hers

Friends, please keep in mind that this is simply me sharing my thoughts.  It is in no way passing judgment or anything whether to allow kids to play contact sports or not.  Perhaps it’s simply a way for me to process a tough decision as a mother of boys.  Perhaps this is a way for me to go through my emotions.

I have played sports all my life and LOVED it.  I do want to provide opportunities for the boys to experience different sports to help them decide what they’d like to play.  It is different for boys in sports than girls in sports.  As a girl and a mom of young boys in sports, it is an adjustment to hear coaches yelling at them or seeing other teams play dirty.  Those are my babies.  I made them.  But, don’t be fooled, I will {and have} gone MAMA BEAR on a coach when he stepped over my line.

But, I know they are good solid boys who have endured quite a few years of sports in their young age already.  They have shown continual growth and committed work ethic.  It’s a joy to watch them excel at any sport they play.  It’s a pleasure to provide them opportunities to play different sports.  It will be spectacular when they find a sport they love and go far with it.

I will support my boys in ANYTHING they do as long as they enjoy it.


  1. I fell ya…I didn’t want my boys to play football for the same reasons. My fears…they played baseball instead, but there are probably just as many injuries there. I can say, for my boys, that it didn’t make a difference to them whether they played a sport or not, they grew up and moved out and it is all about savoring your special moments. Enjoy them while you have them…

    • Lisa, I agree with you. My boys have been begging to play football and hockey for a couple of years. We played flag football to start, but then they wanted to try tackle with the pads, etc. They have done well and learned lots. I love how you think, “savor special moments”, because that is certainly what we are doing. I love watching them play and hearing about their favorite moments. We both get enjoyment out of them playing and learning different sports. xo Tara

  2. It seems like you guys are all getting stronger for their participation. Football is an awesome sport. I think it’s important that people/kids get the chance to play something, to learn how to play hard, play right. I’m sure this will be a blessing–and an exercise in cheering! Very happy for you guys!

    • Elora, I think you’re right. We all had a great time, however, we are all kind of glad the season is over as it was very time consuming! All worth it for sure!!! xo

join the conversation