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Monday, January 04, 2010

 

Don't Let Your Kids Play Football

Several years ago, we signed my son up for a flag football league. After just one practice, he told me he didn't like it and wanted to quit.

As I wrote in my previous post, I encourage my kids to not be quitters. But he was adamant about not wanting to play football, so I gave in.

My son is so much smarter than me sometimes.

I just finished reading this eye-opening article about former NFL star Dave Pear and his debilitating injuries, in which he says, "Don't let your kids play football. Never."

Now, the vast majority of kids will not go on to a pro football career, but you have to wonder how many painful life-long injuries are incurred in high school and college alone.

Is a game worth wrecking your body?

I want my kids to be active, and to participate in team sports, but I also don't want them doing things to their bodies that they'll regret in later years.

I would hate to hear my son echo the words of Dave Pear, who also said, "I wish I never played football. I wish that more than anything. Every single day, I want to take back those years of my life."

The fact that my son isn't interested in playing football makes it easy for me. I will not push him into it.

He likes soccer, swimming, and basketball. Any of those sports could result in an injury, but nowhere near the type and frequency which are inflicted in football.

Heck, he could hurt himself playing Wii Bowling.

But when you read that 60 percent of former NFL players experience blistering pain from a sport they last played two decades ago, it makes you think about the words of Dave Pear.

So, do you let your kids play football?


9 Comments:

Blogger Ed said...

Well, Zane is only 7 so tackle has not been an option. But he's played flag football for 2 years and loves it. I feel I'm going to have a tough time keeping him from the game.

He wants to be a quarterback---I'm encouraging him to be a kicker.

4:11 AM  
Blogger Rich S said...

Have you seen the article by Malcolm Gladwell on football and brain damage?

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/10/19/091019fa_fact_gladwell

I'm a sports guy. I played all the sports (including football and hockey) as a kid. I still do stupid stuff like dislocate shoulders from going over the handlebars on a mountain bike (last year).

I also have 2 young sons and I'm not sure what I'll do if they want to play football. On the one hand, they're not likely to get hurt as little kids. On the other hand, they're not likely to be old enough to understand the risks if they keep playing.

For now, it's soccer, basketball, and biking.

5:47 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

I don't plan on it. My husband had an uncle who was killed in a high school football game.

7:07 AM  
OpenID joyceandnorm said...

Stuff happens everyday that can harm us, like just tripping on our own feet and hitting our head on a corner, but those would be accidents. Why put yourself in danger and at risk on purpose? I just have girls so no football for them, but I worry about that stuff all the time. Like what if they want to be cheerleaders or do gymnastics? Surely, you can break something from those activities. I've always wondered about boxing. Yikes! I know we can protect them from everything.

11:16 AM  
Anonymous baby crib said...

I will never let my kids play football. I don't want them to experience the hard tough times of football players int heir careers. But if they insist, I have nothing to do with it. I will just pray for their safety.

5:41 PM  
OpenID blueskyhi said...

Over here we have three types of football (not including soccer). We have rugby league and rugby union which are alot like American gridiron except they don't have all the padding or helmets hence the reason why being knocked unconscious is not uncommon. We also have AFL (Aussie Rules) which is based on kicking, catching and atheleticism. There are knee injuries in AFL but never spine or brain injuries. So my boys play Aussie rules which is still at the no tackle stage, plus they swim.

It is a hard choice for parents to make but people need to take body build and personality into account when deciding.

7:41 PM  
Blogger James (SeattleDad) said...

It only took a few HS horror stories of mine before my wife decreed that our son would never play football. And he was at least 8 years from being born at the time.

10:03 PM  
Blogger Idaho Dad said...

Like I said, my son couldn't be less interested in playing football. Or even watching it, for that matter.

The ironic thing is that he has a great passing arm. We throw the football around in the backyard, and he really zips it across the yard with a nice spiral.

12:32 AM  
Blogger Cleo Qc said...

Just found your blog. You're lucky your son does not want to play football. I have a daughter in gymnastics. She has inherited my knees. I was in knee surgery by age 25. I don't want that to happen to her, but it's the only sport she wants to do! Injuries are high too in gymnastics, especially stress injuries. You're lucky you don't have to go against your son's desires.

8:02 AM  

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