Flag football can be an excellent way for kids to learn and better understand the skill set required to play football with limited risk. We know about concussions now; it might be best to have your child play flag football if unsure about playing tackle football. That way, they can gain confidence. Here are some ways you can get your child ready for flag football.
Flag tag is played just like freeze tag, but you pull flags instead of using your hands. One person is it, and they try to go around and remove as many flags as they can. You can also divide into teams, and one team has to pull the flags of the other. Playing games like this allows them to practice avoidance without worrying about the different skills required in football.
When playing Dodgeball, kids should only have a foam ball. The dodgeball game gives kids a chance to practice avoidance and tracking the ball in the air. Dodgeball is played by dividing into two teams, and then they throw balls at each other. The object is to get as many people out as possible by hitting them. If they catch the ball, then the person that threw the ball is out. Much like tracking the football when running a go route, kids need to track the dodgeballs coming at them with their eyes and either avoid the ball or catch it.
Traditional Catch & Tag
Playing catch in the backyard can help your child develop the confidence they need to succeed during a game. In addition, playing in the backyard or at the park puts the child in a low-stress environment where they have to focus on those two skills and not all of the other stuff during gameplay.
The tag has always been a fun game growing up. The game teaches an essential skill from a very early age, avoidance. Going around a defender in basketball or running away from the defense in football, avoidance is a skill that can be developed through the tag. Kids have to focus on getting away from the tagger without worrying about other skills needed. The person has to anticipate what the other kids will do to successfully tag them, much like a linebacker trying to tackle a running back.
Kids like to jump on and off of objects. When we are young, we play and are active often, but we tend to set more and become tight when we get older. That is when we have to learn how to jump and land properly. Keeping kids active and letting them play where they jump and do various movements will help them down the road. In football, there is a lot of change of direction. If an athlete knows how to jump and land properly, their risk of knee injuries can be considerably less.
Lastly, this skill is learned through most games. Football is a team sport. However, with social media, some athletes can get lost and focus on their own goals rather than the team goals. Kids need to understand that they are just one piece of the team, and they need everyone else to do their part to help the team win. A receiver can not excel without the quarterback, and a quarterback can not excel without the skill positions. This trait is learned through good coaching. Flag football will allow this trait to be learned before they move on to tackle football. Understanding the concept of the team will only benefit them as they grow older.
Hopefully, these ideas and games will help your child have the confidence to play flag football. With the skills developed through the game above, your child can gain confidence and learn the life skills that football can teach.