My Future as a Football Mom

With a daughter moving on to college, my husband and I have realized that we’ll have more time in our schedule to accommodate more after-school activities for our other children.

This change also coincides with a big move and new schools and the challenges our kids will face in needing to make new friends.

Thinking over all of this, we decided it would be the perfect time to sign up our 11yo son, Isaac, for football.

Oh, my heart. It is worried.

It’s not like Isaac is a little guy or anything. At 11 years old he is already 5’4″ and a broad, strong, solid 150lbs. I think he’ll be able to hold his own.

But in my mother’s mind, I can’t help but still think of him like this sometimes:

isaac suit cropped

Isaac, at about 5 years old.

We chose a good football league, one that feeds right into the high school he will attend, if he is still playing when the time comes. They seem organized and conscientious and provided all sorts of helpful information on things like equipment and exercise and head injuries.

Oh, there goes my heart again.

Really, I am excited for him, and he’s eager to play. I’m praying that he won’t be *too* far behind the other boys in terms of never having played before, and I pray that he catches on quickly.

And, of course, I’m praying that I won’t need to dig too deep into the head injury literature from the football league.

Tell me: are you a football mom? Do you have any advice or words of encouragement for me?

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  • Nicole

    We just found out the baby on the way is a boy. My husband
    immediately started to plan his football career. After a lot of discussion, we
    decided that we won’t push football. If our son wants to play, I’ll at least consider
    it.

    From talking with my football mom friends, it’s all about
    finding the right team, league and coaches. They have to care about the kids
    and not winning at any cost. It sounds like you have done your research. Good on you.

    Good luck Isaac. Good luck Mom!

    • Thank you, Nicole! I’m looking forward to this first year and will use our experiences to decide if we’ll keep going. I appreciate your input!

  • Shmarvier

    Hi Stacey,

    I have been a football mom for 4yrs.  My son started at age 7 and is now almost 11.  He is nowhere near as big as your son (he weighs just 72lbs.) so I’m sure you can imagine how small he was when he first started……there was much concern he wouldn’t make the minimum weight requirement at the time.

    Football was 100% my son’s decision.  My husband was never a football player and rarely ever watched it on TV.  But Tyler BEGGED and we agreed to let him try it.  He LOVES it!!!

    Like you I was VERY nervous about injuries, but truthfully the kids are so well padded and they are going up against kids roughly their same size that injuries are minimal. 

    Tyler plays for San Marin Youth Football and his coaches, which for the past 3years has included his own Dad, are great and never put a kid in a position he is not ready for or “built” for.  For example because Tyler is so small his coaches would NEVER place him on the line, even though he would really like to be, he’s just not built for it.

    The toughest part is the first few weeks of conditioning.  By law kids are required to have a certain number of hours of condition traing before they can even play in a game.  For Tyler this means practice 5 days a week for 2 hours for the first 3 weeks, then it cuts down to 3 days a week for 2 hours. 

    This condioning starts out basic with the kids only wearing shorts and t-shirts.  Then after 2 days they start to add pieces of the uniform until they are in full gear.  They run laps around the field at Sinaloa, plus run the Turkey Trot…remember that!! 🙂

    My recommendation would be when your son gets his gear have him wear his helmet around the house as often as possible.  This is the most difficult piece of equipment for kids to adjust to.  It’s heavy and tight and awkward.  We had Tyler wear it while he watched TV, played the Wii and even while he played with his toys.

    My advise for you as a football mom is to sit high in the stands and remember to breath!!  Your son will get hit, he will get bruised, but most importantly HE WILL HAVE FUN!!!!

    Enjoy your time as a new football mom!!!

    Hillary

    • Hillary! This is fantastic!! Thank you so, so much. Honestly, every word of this is exactly what I needed to know and hear. I appreciate you taking the time to share with me!!

  • Bonnie

    Stacey, First I apologize as I see that you posted these questions last year, but I stumbled across your post tonight and felt the urge to respond. I hope that you do not mind and I hope that what I am about to say helps.
    First of all, I am a proud football Mom to 4 wonderful boys. My husband was a football coach during their early youth football league years. Currently, my boys are in the process of completing their football careers and I tell ya…I am heartbroken to see it all come to an end. In the 2013 season, we will have a high school JV player, a high school Varsity player and two playing at the college level. It seems like just yesterday that I watched my husband put shoulder pads on them for the first time.
    The first practice was the hardest. Not only could I not tell which kid was mine among all the “bobble-heads” on the field (they had no numbers on practice jerseys), but the sound of my son(s) getting bowled over scared the crap out of me! A veteran Football mom came to my aid & my life has never been the same. You see, football turned my little boys into men.
    A few hints…partner with seasoned football moms. They can tell you the best way to get ground in dirt (or blood…it will happen) out of white jerseys. They can tell you how to mold your sons mouth-piece. They can tell you how to get the stench out of your van after games. Always support your coaches, after all, they are helping your son become a man that you will be proud of. When you see your son laying on the field do not go out there…no matter what (unless you are summoned), but set the rule that they give you a thumbs up behind their back to let you know they are ok or a thumbs down showing that they are in need of a few minutes on the bench. Open your home to his team-mates. They WILL eat you out of house and home but they will also all call you Mom and will be your body guards. They will fill your home with laughter, you will feel part of their “brother-hood” and they will stop by to check on you when home on military leave & invite you to dance at their weddings.
    Being a football mom is a priviledge & you will be held in high regard. Though you want to scream “Get off my baby” you will find yourself screaming “You need to hold your block”. You will know what 1 & 10 means and you will know how to quickly cure leg cramps.
    This is a time in your son’s life that he will never forget. He will always remember Mom in the stands. He will look for you. You will be his strength & his biggest supporter. Do not let this opportunity pass you by!
    If you have specific questions, let me know. In the mean time…welcome to the Football Mom Club!

    • Hi Bonnie – your timing is perfect!! We had hoped to have our son in football last year, but with a move across country and some health issues for him, we had to pull out. BUT, we’ve signed him up for this year, and we’re ready to go! You advice is perfect, and I appreciate it so much!