Football has been under attack over the last decade from from many different sources. Much of what has been said and written has been exaggerations from media and attorneys looking to exploit the game for their own benefit. But it has also required football governing bodies, schools and coaches to take a hard look at the game and make some changes that have made football safer for the participants than ever before.
There was a time when it wasn’t really necessary to promote high school football in the state of Alabama. The popularity of the game and the excitement it created made football desirable for the majority of young men in southern communities. Today students have many more choices of activities and it is easier for fans to sit at home and watch one of 300 television channels than it is to attend a high school football game. The attacks on football as a dangerous game have created doubts about football in the minds of parents. Today more than ever, high school coaches need to promote the game of football in their communities and encourage participation with students and parents.
Coaches should be armed with the positive values of high school football and never miss an opportunity to talk about the sport. Whether a coach is speaking to the Rotary Club, watching a little league game or posting on Twitter, he should always be looking to promote the game. Here is some valuable information that coaches can use to remind people about this great game.
WHY YOUNG MEN SHOULD PLAY HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
- No other sport builds the self image of a young man like playing high school football. Players gain discipline through training and learn to accept difficult challenges through football unlike any other sport. A player who achieves something he did not think possible gains confidence that will benefit him in other areas of his life.
- Football will allow a young man to be around others with strong integrity and character. Some of the finest men in our communities are high school football coaches. They stand for the right things and can guide athletes away from the wrong path. Coaches can influence young men when parents are at a loss to do so. Every team has players who have strong work ethic, character and leadership traits. For a student to join an organization with high ideals and be around other students of integrity is priceless.
- Football is quite possibly the best training a young person can receive to prepare to hold a job in the future. High school football teams work. Young men can learn work ethic and how to be accountable for their attendance, punctuality and efforts. The military loves to find recruits who were high school football players. Nothing prepares a high school student for life like high school football.
- Members of a high school football team must learn to work together for the good of the organization. Teams teach players not to be selfish and work for the good of others rather than themselves. Unselfishness is a very uncommon trait in our society today.
- No sport teaches how to handle the adversity of life like football. A hard tackle, a tough loss, one on one against a bigger player or playing with a nagging injury are just a few of the opportunities that a young man encounters in high school football. Coaches can teach young men to handle those situations in a positive manner and build the self worth of the player. There are a multitude of teaching lessons that parents can use through the course of their son’s football career. One of the greatest things a young man can learn is to not feel sorry for himself. The great Ohio State coach Woody Hayes once said, “Self pity is self destruction.”
- Football brings together all kinds of people. A young man can learn to accept a teammate regardless of his race, religion, nationality, talent or social standing. All 11 teammates who enter the huddle in football are important to the success of the team. They are all different. Football is a great venue to learn to appreciate others and their role on the team.
- Football teaches young men to be leaders. High school football players learn that when things look bleak, it is up to them to step up and make a difference. They encourage the younger players and provide a great example of effort and enthusiasm everyday. Chances are that a player who serves as a team leader will find himself in a similar role as a leader of his family, his business, his church or his community in the future.
- Football players learn responsibility. They are accountable for their efforts, their attitudes, their equipment, their grades and their performance. Football coaches teach young men not to make excuses for their shortcomings.
- The only tough thing left today in most communities is football. It is a tough game that was meant to be played and coached by tough people. Society has tried to take toughness out of everything. The best thing a young man can be involved in is a tough activity that will build his confidence. Because football is tough, it is the best training a young man can have before entering the military.
- High school football coaches teach their players the importance of having a positive attitude toward life. They must believe in their teammates, their coaches, the game plan and their own ability to do the job. These young men are taught to never quit on themselves or their teammates.