A.D. asks from Cibolo, TX on May 31, 2008
Youth Tackle Football Experiences
My oldest little boy (age 5) just finished t-ball for the first season, did a pretty good job, still playing for the All-star team. He would like to play football in the fall. I have talked to a few other t-ball moms who have said good things about football in terms of conditioning, stamina, and coordination. My concern is the intensive practices. They start practicing in August in the evening, for 5 days a week, 2 weeks in a row (Just like the high schoolers) to get them conditioned. They work up to helmets, pads, and full uniform. I know tackle football isn't going to be something that all parents would have their young sons participate in, but I am wondering about experiences those parents who have let their younger sons play and your take on it. Thank you in advance!
C.W. answers from Houston on June 02, 2008
I had a similar situation with my son and we decided to keep him in baseball until he was middle school. At that time when football was offered to the 7th graders, he could make an "informed" decision regarding participation. In the meantime, he stayed with baseball and developed those skills. Now that he is in 7th grade, he is going to try football taught by professional coaches so his first experieince with the sport will be worthwhile.
C.A. answers from Houston on June 02, 2008
I cannot tell you my experience with tackle, but my boys were in flag football.... Like you said, it's pretty intense.. not only did we have practice, but they had to learn the plays.. My boys were 10 yrs (twins), so I don't know if they would have 5 year old boys learning plays or not, but you had homework-- to learn the plays at home... My boys really enjoyed it. WE have done soccer in the past and really enjoyed it.. they wanted to try football, and I thought it was a great idea for them to try something new. Good luck!!
K.A. answers from Austin on June 02, 2008
Hi A. - Are you sure it is 6? My experience is that they start when they are 8 or 9! If it is 6, I believe that it is too young. Find a flag football program and put him in that for a couple of years. My Dad played football in college and was a coach and he advised that we not start our son early (he actually felt that he shouldn't start tackle until he was in 7th or 8th grade) but we allowed him to start playing tackle at 10.Other than your unavoidable "Daddy Ball", the experience was fine. Not sure about the extensive practices - but if they are only and hour or hour and a half at a time, it doesn't sound extreme at all. Any type of workout for an hour or so would be a good thing! My advice is to wait until he is at least 8 but preferably 10 - in the meantime, find a flag football league so he can begin learning the game!
Good luck -
L.C. answers from Austin on June 02, 2008
I have two sons 6 and 9 who both play football. My oldest has played for 2years and my youngest has played for 1. They really love it and my husband and I really enjoy watching them. They have been playing for the same coach and we've made alot of great friends in the process. My kids only practice 3 nights during the week and on Saturday mornings before games start. Then the games are on Saturdays. They do start in August however and it is really important for the kids to get used to the heat before they start padding up. My kids played in a tackle tournament Memorial Day weekend and it was miserably hot!! They play Spring and Fall Football, so one starts cold and ends hot and the Fall starts hot and ends cool.
The 3 day a week practice commitment does get old after awhile. My husband and I both work full time, so it's crazy sometimes, but my boys are the type that need lots of activity ALL the time!! It has kept me sane, needless to say.
Anyway, it's been a great experience for our family and they are looking forward to playing again in the fall. I'll be happy to give you some more info anytime.
J.K. answers from Houston on June 02, 2008
my name is J. knight i am commissioner of pee wee football in trinity .your son will be fine we watch them very close jackie goodall is my head coach.in summer we do morn camps its not manditory its just conditioning.no contact. my number is ###-###-#### p.s he has to be 6 by sept thank you
K.K. answers from San Antonio on June 01, 2008
Wow! I didn't realize at age 5 years they gear up to full uniform. My son is also 5 years old and would love to play football. Could you please tell me where you considering registering him for football?
R.C. answers from Killeen on June 03, 2008
Did you think about flag football. My son has played it for 4 years now and will play another year before I put him in tackle football. He is 9 now. I feel that they are still developing and all that hitting can cause damage to their bodies. Some coaches are to serious and take the fun out of the sport. You don't want to discourage him at a young age.
Have a great day
44 year old single mom of a 9 yr old
K.K. answers from Houston on June 01, 2008
I would let him be your guide - that sounds WAY too involved and strenuous to me, but then again I have never been very athletic myself. I am probably over-protective, but I would think that 5 day a week practices would be too much, especially if it is strenous and in this Texas heat - if he loves it and finds it fun once he starts, fine, but if he seems to suffer or feel pressure from the coach, I would pull him out in a heartbeat. He's still little! I would watch for how the coaches treat kids that age - if they push them too hard, like the high schoolers, I would't go for that either (there's plenty of time for all that pressure when they are old enough to choose to go through it). But, that's just me and my two cents! My kids play sports and love it also, by the way, so I have nothing against sports; I just am wary of how stressful sports can be made by the adults (coaches and over-eager parents) who are trying to re-live their athletic careers through kids who are supposed to be learning sportsmanship and how to have fun. You sound like a good mom so I am sure you will guide him in the right path, just don't be afraid to take him out if you don't feel comfortable w/ it.
B.C. answers from San Antonio on June 01, 2008
Good Morning A.;
I'm sorry, but, 5 years old is too young for tackle football.
Flag ball maybe, but, I wouldn't even have him do that, it
can also be rough.
I couched YMCA tackle ball for 6 years, but, there they have
a starting age, it is also the best program because it is
6 man and each child gets to play. Talk to your local YMCA
about their program.
Just because he wants to now, don't let him, his bones are
just now starting to develop!
D.B. answers from San Antonio on June 01, 2008
I say "go for it". We have had nothing but great experiences and FUN in football. We have three children ages 10;7;4. We decided early on, when our daughter was 5yrs old that we would let them "try" all activities and let them decide which ones they wanted to continue. Well, our daughter who is now 10 started out with tball in the Spring, Soccer in the Fall and Basketball in the Winter. She's also taken Karate and Dance(tap/ballet). Well, soccer seemed to be her forte and she absolutley loves the sport. She is now an Awesome soccer player and is looking forward to the Fall Season. Our son (7yrs) started out in Basketball in the Winter, Tball in the Spring and Flag Football in the Fall. We call him our "little allstar" because he is doing very well in all three. His favorite, however, is Football. This will be his first season in full gear and he is VERY excited about "suiting up". Our 4 yr old will be starting soccer, soon. :o)
If you are concerned about so many practices, I do find that we, as parents, are more involved in the football league, compared to all the other sports. The two week conditioning is very time consuming but after the first two days, I've found that my son is "fired up" and can't wait for the season to begin. He loves it and that's all that matters to me.
I suggest you try it and just have FUN!!
(link to the Live Oak Jaguars)
(you'll notice a change in name from Comal Steelers to The Canyon Jr. Cougars)
I notice you live in Cibilo. I'm sending you our link. Contact our President and he will let you know which league is closer to you. Our league is a new Branch from the Live Oak Jaguars (Live Oak/Universal City). Due to population growth in Cibilo and New Braunfels, they decided to branch out into our area. They are a "no boundaries" league. Therefore, you will be able to choose which league/team you want your son in.
Your son is 5 and will not be in full football gear and will not be tackling. At this age they teach them the basics and rules of the game. They wear the team Shirt and shorts but will be playing Flag Football. Next year he'll move on to the "Midgets" and will be in full gear and will be taught tackle football.