There’s a vibrant energy surrounding sports stadiums and school fields and it can only mean that football season is upon us. If your child is into football or is thinking of getting into the sport, you should by all means support it. Not only is football loved all over America, it also promotes extraordinary physical fitness, improves the inclination for team work, and fortifies mental capabilities that are necessary for any child’s growth.
Pop Warner is a football scholarship program that recognizes the importance of training the youth for a life made better by football. The program started as a small conference with four teams in Northeast Philadelphia in 1929. Today, more states—including Michigan— have embraced the tradition of teaching kids the value and importance of embracing football at a young age.
Records indicate that there are now more than 250,000 youth participants in football programs all over the United States. Pop Warner sanctions all these leagues and training programs, and more and more communities are beginning to formulate their own football-for-the-youth programs across the nation.
How does Pop Warner do it?
Pop Warner recognizes the importance of making only kids of the same age and height compete with one another to avoid unnecessary injuries or feelings of disappointment. Pop Warner strictly enforces that youth football programs—whether national, regional or local—must abide by an official age and weight matrix.
Is football safe?
When you watch professional football matches, it becomes hard to imagine how your child can withstand the amount of physical toil and trauma that professional league players go through during each match. This is the very reason why Pop Warner was created—to help establish safety guidelines and smart training at the youngest age possible to aid aspiring individuals with their future football endeavors. The sooner one learns the proper way to protect oneself on the field, the better one’s performance is. The risk of injury is also minimized.
Recent surveys also suggest that football is even safer than soccer. Pop Warner matches have recorded 12% less injuries per person within an age range of 5 to 15 years old. More accidents can happen while playing soccer, according to a report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, NEISS.
The importance of respect and recognition
Here is another important difference that Pop Warner has over other training leagues. They do not record personal statistics per person. Although each player’s performance is observed, there is no worry about “keeping score” or catching up with those with more points.
Pop Warner’s mission is to develop healthy, strong-willed, responsible and wise young men and women through football and other athletic areas such as cheerleading and group dancing. Through Pop Warner’s training program, the youth are exposed to experiences that hone their understanding of leadership, teamwork, sportsmanship and daily discipline.
Although Pop Warner’s system veers away from the misleading points system, they hold high regard for uplifting each team member through team awards and well-deserved personal efforts. It is vital to reinforce these athletic efforts that highlight the importance of teamwork and camaraderie.
Boosting confidence the right way
There are many awards and trophies that one can receive after a successful football season. Merits like Mr. Hustle, Most Improved Player, and more importantly, Team Awards are necessary in building up everyone’s confidence.
Some individuals gain an inflated sense of self-esteem when they receive awards that highlight only themselves. This is why a variety of awards must also be given away to the team as a whole aside from individual awards for just the best player. Besides, personal awards don’t have to be self-centric. You can also reward the teammate who has the best passes and the best moral support.