Are You Ready For Some Football?
From the early ages in history to the present day, sports have always been an important part of society. It teaches discipline, how to be a team player, how to interact with others and is a good source of physical activity. In specific, football utilizes all of these aspects of sports and it’s a great source of teaching self-restraint and perseverance. Some may say that football is a violent sport or it’s not beneficial in any way, but in reality it gives a person the basic tools needed not only for playing the game, but also how you interact with people in society.
The first process of playing football is getting involved. It is actually very easy to get involved because there are various football programs offered to children as well as teens. To get involved in football you must have the will and dedication because of the amount of time football consumes through practice, meetings and games. People who become initially involved in football usually start early in life usually around nine or ten in peewee football and lasts until they’re thirteen. Even at this early stage of peewee, football is very demanding because of the time involved. This involvement is usually by choice of the child because of interest in football and parents usually don’t force their children into playing. Involvement in peewee football is due to the fact that children have a lot more time to play than young adults. Football is also economically feasible for most families because it is relatively inexpensive so football is not restricted in who can play by the amount of money their parents make. The team provides the equipment, with the exception of spikes and a jersey. The total cost of playing football is usually around $60.00 . Usually at the peewee level, you have 1-2 practices a week and a game every week. Also in peewee you have team meetings to discuss defensive and offensive strategy and sometime just to bond with your teammates. Usually this takes place once a week.
Continuing involvement in football happens at the high school level because it is the most easily accessible program to teens. A teen will usually continue playing football in high school if they enjoyed playing or they really excelled at it in the peewee level. The good thing about playing high school football is that you don’t have to be the best player just dedicated. High school football is more time consuming because you practice 4-5 times a week and have a game once a week, where in peewee you had only one to two practices during a football season. In addition to having more practices you also have more team meetings. In high school football usually you meet every weekday at lunch hour to watch video tape and go over offensive and defensive responsibilities. You also find yourself under the microscope because their may be two to three other guys competing for the same job so you are constantly trying to improve your own abilities and techniques. If you excel at high school football you may continue your football career at the college level usually through recruitment. This quote shows that colleges recruit high school players.
‘That was when I started to realize that I was a pretty good athlete and that I was valuable to some people… I got a lot of media attention but I mean that only tells you so much, I mean when you start to find out that you are a good athlete is when the colleges start to recruit you’; (Dietz, Prus, Shaffir pg. 114).
Colleges don’t necessarily recruit you because you get a lot of attention, it’s what you do on the field. At this level, football is very demanding and doesn’t allow much time for other social activities during the football season. During football season in college you have eight to ten practices a week. Most days you have practice in the morning and one in the late afternoon. At the college level, only the best survive. Finally, if you are extremely good you may be drafted to play for a professional team. Here, football becomes more than just a game and physical activity, it becomes a career. Instead of being just a fall sport, football becomes a year round struggle to keep your job and preparing for the next season.
Usually dis-involvement comes after high school, around nineteen years old, because of the demanding nature of college and pro football. At this age most teens and young adults become interested in other things and most have other responsibilities that must come first. Most become dis-involved because of a part or full time job or their studies are too demanding. Others are just not up to the standards at which you must be to play at a higher level. If one does make it to the college level, usually they will stop playing after their college career is complete (this is typically 4 years). A professional team doesn’t draft most college players, and at this point you either get drafted or you move on with your life by pursuing a career. Finally if you make it professionally, you usually become dis-involved simply because you can’t compete at that level any more. Some may call it just getting older.
Although most teens and young adults quit playing football after high school, some may become re-involved shortly after completing their high school, college or professional career. Some people who have chosen to stop playing may re-involve themselves by becoming a coach at the high school or college level. Although being a coach is demanding, it is far less demanding than actually playing the game of football because you have other coaches with you sharing the responsibilities. Some people are able to find time between their studies and jobs to coach. Only a select few actually are able to coach that is why once you quit playing football you usually never play football again.
Playing the game of football also helps you in achieving identity. It helps build your self-confidence because every time make a nice block or a great tackle it increases your confidence that you can do it consistently. This usually extends to other aspects of life because you tell yourself that if you can succeed on the field you can succeed off of it as well. The fact that you were part of a team gives you a sense of accomplishment. Also in football, it doesn’t matter if you’re at the high school, college, or professional level, although this is mostly seen in professional football, you become a role model for younger people. They see that you playing and succeeding at the game it sometimes inspires others to work hard and drive to be the best in life. Football also gives you the identity of being a team player and not always looking out for yourself. People respect that and can also become an asset when applying for a job.
Another concept that football addresses is doing activity. By playing football it gives you the experience of teamwork and dedication. You can’t learn these in a classroom you must participate in some activity with others to learn these very important qualities and football is a great source of this. In doing activity it gives you a sense of accomplishment and self-fulfillment. You might not have been the best player but you didn’t quit and you persevered. Football is also great for future engagements, like getting a job, because it looks great on yourself as far as showing that you can be a team player as well as hard working.
The most important aspect of football is experiencing relations. Football allows you to meet and experience many different people over the course of your career. From team meetings to practices to games you spend a lot of time with other players and you become aware of how they operate and become a unit all trying to achieve the same goals. It is important in football to be able to anticipate what your teammates are going to do because not only does it make you better it makes the whole team better. When you play football you build relationships with your teammates, more often than not, you make a lot of new friends. You find yourself spending time with other players off the field such as watching the big game, going to a bar, playing a round of golf in the off season, or simply just ‘hang out’;. Football allows you to build relationships that last a lifetime not just a couple of weeks. If people didn’t build relationships in football, it would be more of an individual sport and the team would come second. It is also important as a player to have a good relationship with your coach. This allows you to tell him something that is bothering you, ask questions and ask how you can improve as a player.
Football has been my life for close to a decade. I have built many friendships over those years and most of those I still have. In my own case I started playing football when I was nine years old for a peewee team. I really wanted to play so my parents enrolled me. It was easy convincing them, considering my father is a legend in Windsor when it comes to football (I don’t mean to brag but this is what I was told). I wasn’t exactly the best player on the team, but I showed up for practice, team meetings, and games and dedicated myself to it. I loved the game then, just as much as I love it today. Then I played high school football for 5 years and my dedication paid off because in high school I started every game, even though I wasn’t the best player on the team. Football also helped me in many of my classes because of learning determination and self-confidence; I was able to increase my marks over the 5 years from sixties in grade nine to seventies and eighties in OAC. I believe football had a lot to do with that. After high school my football career ended and I became dis-involved in football because I couldn’t play at the college level. I was a solid player in high school I wasn’t a great player. Re-involvement came fairly quick for me because a short year later, this year as a matter of fact, I was asked to be a coach for a local high school team. I was honored by the offer and of coarse I took the opportunity. The fact that my father was the head coach probably had something to do with it, but I was just ecstatic to be back on the football field again, even though I wasn’t the one playing. With this coaching position I’ve experienced a lot of new relationships. From meeting a whole new group of players to other coaches it’s been a learning experience and I’ve already built new friendships that I know will last a long time. But the most important relationship I believe I have built because of this experience is a better relationship with my father. In the past we have had our differences but because of football we’ve been closer than I think we’ve ever been before. Football has proven to me to be worth while. It has taught me dedication, determination, teamwork among others. Football has given me an identity of being a part of team and friendships I will have for a lifetime, especially with the person that means the most to me… my father.