I’ve never seen anything bring people together like the game of football. People from all different parts of the state and all different walks of life, come together to cheer for their favorite team! Stadiums are packed full of tens of thousands of people and in that moment – all else is forgotten.
Some of my best childhood memories involve watching our local high school team on Friday nights. There is something so special about those ‘Friday Night Lights’ that gives me a sense of nostalgia.
And now 25 years later – I get to watch my own son play with his team under those same lights. So many memories come flooding back and as proud as I am of him – there are life lessons that I know football is teaching him. Things he can take with him into adulthood. And maybe someday he will be watching his own kids play on this same field!
8 Life Lessons that Football Teaches:
Accountability & Commitment
When you join a team, you are making a commitment. And the expectation is that you always show up with a positive attitude. Practices and games are not optional – just like showing up for work is not optional as an adult. It’s an important lesson to learn at an early age. We always finish our commitments!
And just like commitment — it’s important to be a team player. Regardless of when things go our way (or don’t go our way), we need to be a good teammate. If a teammate makes a mistake – we pat them on the back and keep encouraging them. Working together as a team is an important life lesson!
Playing football is hard work. It’s tough and gritty. And there are times that my son probably feels like throwing in the towel. But through committing to the team and showing up for practice day after day and week after week, he is learning how to be disciplined.
In life, there are leaders and there are followers. Both are needed – but when we step out of our comfort zones, we often gain confidence. And with that confidence can bring valuable leadership skills. Being a leader that someone looks up to is part of being a great teammate!
When the going gets tough – the tough keep going… perseverance is the continued effort to do or achieve something, despite the difficulty of it. Football is not an easy sport – just like life is not always easy. But the important thing is to never give up!
It takes courage to play in front of a crowd. Or to learn a new skill. Or to have your teammates relying on you. But every time we try something new – we are building courage (and confidence!).
Obviously the goal in football is to win as many games as you can. But there is always going to be one team who prevails (and one who loses). It’s important to set goals and to continue to improve. I tell my kids that the most important life lesson here is to always strive to be their best… to be better than they were yesterday. There will alway be people out there who are better than them – but they should focus on goals where they are bettering themselves!
Communication is one of the most important skills in life. And being part of a team requires you to be able to communicate effectively with your coaches and your teammates.
Football is more than just a game; it teaches lessons that the players carry with them long after they’ve hung up their cleats. It’s a sport that I love watching my son play!
Future For Football is an initiative by the National Football Foundation to promote and celebrate the game at all levels. Follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. You can also visit their site for other helpful resources and to find a league near you.