Signing your kid up for youth football is a big deal. Finding the proper league and team is essential for your kid to get the most out of their experience. Most of the challenge is understanding (and being realistic) about how your kid stacks up against their peers. Beyond that, it is important to ask the following questions.
- How competitive is my child?
- How developed (physically and mentally) is my child?
- What level of coaching has my child had to date?
- Does my child want to play tackle football, or are they being pressured into it?
- Am I going to be a good football parent?
When you get to the point that those questions are answered, then, and only then, should you start doing research into what football team your child should join.
Before throwing them in at the deep end, we recommend one-on-one or small group coaching to get your child into a position to be successful. We all know that the tackle in football is where most serious injuries can occur, so use the coaching resources from our site to put your kid into a position where they are confident and safe in every tackle they make. We cannot stress enough how important this is and how kids that have a background in how to take in football before they play in games will be far more prepared for the step up into game action than their friends.
One of your first moves should be to ask family and friends if they have any recommendations. Odds are that if you have a child interested in youth tackle football, you have a contact in the area that already knows about the setup in the region. The internet is another valuable resource, but there is something to be said for word of mouth, as it will give you a good idea of the level of play, the level of coaching, and the safety standards of leagues your child might join.
Your next move is to prepare to be overwhelmed with options, especially if you live in a major metro area where football is in the blood. For example, a quick internet search for tackle football in North Texas pops up the following (which are just some of the options available).
- Carrollton Youth Football League
- North Texas Youth Football Association
- Texas Youth Football League
- Denton County Youth League
- Frisco Football League
- Prosper Youth Sports Association
There is also 30+ flag football leagues in the region, along with 7-on-7 leagues too. Each of these leagues has something to offer. They will start at different ages, offer different levels of competitiveness (some travel all over Texas when kids are still in elementary school), and have different social experiences. All are valid but choosing the right one is essential.
One thing to note is that changing your mind is fine. What seems like a good fit initially may not be the one through no fault of anyone involved. If that is the case, then make a change. All you will do by sticking with the same situation is make your child fall out of love with the game. The flip side is to ensure that tackle football isn’t everything. Study after study has shown how training across sports develops children into better – and less injured – athletes.
Your kid might prove to thrive for the tackle in football. If that is the case, have them try rugby to hone their skills and technique in that part of the game. Life is about opening avenues for your child. Tackle football will do that when you put your kid on a team where they succeed both on and off the field.
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