In this episode, we give support to youth football across the country, and especially in California, where the state legislature will soon vote on a bill that, if passed, would ban youth football. We share insights from three coaches who are creating a methodology that results in a better, safer game.
So many of our youth in this country remain in the midst of a mental health pandemic, lacking a true sense of self or positive setting in which to discover it.
Football offers critical life lessons and shared human experiences that generate moments of joy and fulfillment for its participants, who at the youth level, are just beginning to form their identities.
So why have calls to ban youth football, like what we’re observing in California, reemerged?
Proponents of legislation to ban youth football do so under the guise of “protecting kids.” But in reality, the act of banning a youth sport only serves to ban those impacted kids from connecting with each other, the communities in which they live their lives, and the skills they would otherwise cultivate to better serve those communities as they grow up.
Listen to this episode:
And not to be discounted, banning youth sports erects a barrier between those kids and fun. The act of play is a basic human instinct and fountainhead of happiness. Kids need to have fun. Kids need to play.
When youth football participation wavers amid health and safety concerns, and the calls for its bans grow louder backed by “science”, two important, and related, things get lost.
First, actions made illegal do not stop those actions from taking place. Instead, it only stops those actions from taking place safely. Some kids will unfortunately stop playing football without a structured league to play under. But other kids will keep playing in the neighborhood, in the school yard, in their back yard. And if these kids are not taught how to use their bodies properly, we are actually putting them in MORE danger.
The second fact is the fact that those health and safety concerns are a red herring for the real problem – poorly coached technique.
Most head injuries, and all injuries for that matter, are a result of the athlete not tackling or taking on a tackle with safe technique, not blocking or defeating a block with safe technique.
Instead of investing all the time, money, and resources into not playing football, we should be investing those resources into developing youth coaches who better understand the game and how it can be played safely.
We all want to protect kids. But denying them moments of love and friendship is not a way to protect kids. We must coach them better because we can coach them better. The techniques referred to in this thread are battle tested and proven at the highest level of the game.
Please revisit our episodes with Scott Peters and Mike Pollak from Tip of the Spear. Scott Peters is also currently the Assistant OL Coach for the Cleveland Browns, a team known for its physical downhill running attack and fewest head injuries on the offensive line due to superior technique without sacrificing performance.
Listen to those full episodes:
Scott Peters, Assistant OL Coach, Cleveland Browns and Founder of Tip of the Spear:
>Part 1: Creating a Better, Safer Game
>Part 2: What Is Leverage, Contact for Every Position
The Mushroom Society with Bob Wylie, Featuring Mike Pollak
Safety Through Superior Technique
Additional resources from Tip of the Spear:
Follow SAVE YOUTH FOOTBALL – CALIFORNIA on Twitter @saveyouthfbca.