This content is a paid product endorsement for the NFL and in collaboration with Dime Media. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
Growing up I did not play any team sports and the only sport in my life was futbol (soccer). Now I am the wife of a Dallas Cowboys fan who played football in high school and mom of two boys. I know all the reasons why playing a team sport is important for kids. Sports has many positive aspects from physical, social to even academic benefits and the Dancing Hotdogs boys have been trying to find their sport. We have tried baseball to soccer to track and now basketball, the boys love the friendships and the goal of working together to win.
Football is one sport we still have not tried though Rock can start playing pop warner.
Like any modern mom, football makes me nervous you see the statistics and scary surveys and you naturally get worried. So, when I was invited to the Play Football Family festival in Houston, Texas to see firsthand how the NFL Youth & High School Football team and current and former NFL players were working with local Houston youth I was very excited to attend.
Eddy grew up in Carlton, Texas just outside of Dallas, Texas and talked about how football was a religion in Texas. Walking onto the field at the M.O. Campbell Educational Center was an eye-opening experience.
A huge stadium made for Friday Night Lights and high school glory.
Kids patiently waited in line for a picture with Joey Bosa from the San Diego Chargers, to get fitted for a helmet and to practice real skills and drills with legendary coaches.
Parents sat in on Football Town Halls with NFL ambassadors and coaches to ask questions about how the game is changing and how they can get involved.
Coaches ran drill after drill with young players so that they play with discipline, skill and safety.
In that 2-hour event I saw all the benefits of football come to life.
- supportive relationships between players, coaches and parents, and best of all, positive role models
- high self-esteem, teamwork and critical thinking
- physical activity and promoting of a healthy lifestyle
Lastly retired NFL players like Tony Gonzales came back to instill good sportsmanship and love of the game to the future generations of football. Tony spoke about a whole range of topics and issues. Yet the one that really caught my attention was when someone asked, “what if I do not make it to the NFL?” The answer was simple, “statistics are not on your side,” said the NFL legend, “but the dedication and relationships you make in this game will help you in life.”
Truly phenomenal night and a huge thank you to the NFL, NFL players, coaches, parents and youth players for bringing us together for a night to celebrate the game.
To learn more about Play Football visit playfootball.com or follow @NFLPlayFootball #LetsPlayFootball on social.