A Letter to my Football-Loving Son
It’s hard to believe that opening day for youth football is just around the corner. After weeks of practicing in the hot summer sun, weeks before school even started, your team will finally put those sweaty hard-earned training sessions to use.
So as you step onto that grassy green field in full pads for that first game, I hope you walk with confidence, banking on the time and effort you’ve put into this season so far.
Football hasn’t always come easy to you, but I’m proud of your unwavering commitment as you put in the work to eagerly learn new skills and positions.
Though you may feel like one of many players on the field on game day, just know that I spot you right away. I know your ready stance, the way you rush at the snap of the ball, and the tilt of your head as you track the ball.
In fact, there’s so much I can see from my distant seat in the stands.
I see the way you push through the pain of a hard tackle or the queasy stomach from having eaten too close to practice. But you always get back up and regain your composure to finish the drill.
I see the way you respect your coaches, accept criticism, and use it as a springboard to improve. It’s not always easy getting called out, but I see how you take responsibility, mentally work through the correct approach and then work to do better.
I see that grin of achievement for a play well done. It’s written all over your face and I love that I get to witness that confidence boost firsthand. You’re learning how to give it your all so you can leave it all on the field.
And I also see the way you continually support your teammates, that sacred football brotherhood:
- When a teammate gets hurt, you’re there with a hand on the shoulder.
- When a teammate has a bad day, you’re there with an uplifting word of encouragement.
- When a teammate makes a great play, you’re there with a slap of congratulations on the helmet.
And the amazing thing is that your teammates are always there for you, too, lifting you up and supporting you just the same.
When one player has to run an extra lap, the whole team joins in to run with him. When one player falls behind on sprints, you all double back to finish with him.
Don’t think that I don’t see these things—that all of us parents don’t notice them. In fact, we could stand to take a few cues from the team ourselves on morale and motivation, and teamwork, just to name a few.
Because when your team works together to earn that taste of victory, I see the brotherhood huddled in a tight circle, celebrating the unity—not perfectionism—of a job well done.
But, son, what I really want you to know is:
Whether you start every game on the field
or on the sidelines,
whether you make the game-winning interception
or miss the game-losing tackle,
whether you win
or you lose (seriously),
I’m proud of you.
So, son, keep up the hard work, the discipline, and the drive. Even if those skills never lead you down the road to big-league football, they will surely pave the way to a purposeful, impactful life.