Nate Coehoorn Retires
jamie wrote:Depop...given your history would you want your son ( if you have one) playing football?
That is actually something I have talked about with a few people on here over the years, a lot on PM when they were wanting a take on it...it is also something the wife and I had endless discussion on and were really back and forth on. At the end of the day...yes.
When we were first looking at it we felt we had to see how serious he was about it. We started him off in some flag football and he loved the game (as well as others). Basically hat we did was when he started playing we watched a lot of practice to see how receptive he was with the coaching staff and how he adapted to what they told him...he did that well, so that was a check mark. We also watched the coaches to see what they focused on and were really impressed. yes, they learned the game itself, but especially to start they put a lot (almost all) of emphasis on on proper technique for hitting, being hit, falling, how to position your body in traffic...it was pretty impressive.next they focused heavily on tackling technique...both on O and D. They emphasized the belt buckle rule a lot and told the offensive players that they had a responsibility in safe tackles as well....that was something I thought was really interesting. They essentially wanted ball carriers to go down on contact or before contact if someone was in a sprint at them. I talked to the staff about that and asked if it would not be better to have them protect for the hit instead, and he had a pretty brilliant answer...he wanted them to learn to make good decisions and he felt that if you taught them to stay in play/fight off tackles/take the hit from the start that it would normally grow into the player who lowered their shoulder when they shouldn't, but if you taught them that it was okay to take what you could get without getting banged up that it would lead to better decisions later. I thought that was a pretty impressive philosophy.
I think it is important for parents to see the practices and get a feeling if it is safe or not....and that will vary from coach to coach. My advise is that if you are considering letting your kid play, then go watch the team and talk to the coach a year in advance...ideally if you do not want to put your kid in it just to yank them later. A third of concussions happen in practice, so seeing how they operate is important.
I can understand parents protecting their children, and if they choose to keep them out of certain sports it is an understandable decision. But where do you draw the line? Hockey sees a lot of concussions, but I have always been of the opinion that those are a lot more severe. Soccer is right up there on the list as well. Kids are going to be at risk no matter what sport they play, and I want my kids playing some sort of sport, and they also want to play. Yes football has a higher occurrence, but we inform ourselves of the situation, something that lot of parents don't do. There are countless parents who don't watch the early on practices much and many that do watch them are not focusing on the right things. Don't worry about how your kid performs when they start out...worry about how the practice is as a whole. Does the coach correct players who lay into a ball carrier in an unsafe manner such as a high hit or not following the belt buckle rule? Does a ball carrier lower his head or turn his shoulder, and what does the coach do when he does? It is hard to teach little kids technique, but that is where responsible coaching needs to start.
For us we feel that if the kid is receptive to positive instruction that we do not want our kids in a bubble. We are fine with our kids getting banged up...we both lived through it growing up. We refuse to be helicopter parents and push our kids to learn from mistakes, but still review environments that they simply are not able to at our level.
yeah, it is not an easy decision for sure. Believe me, if they favored something with lower injury risk we would have been all over it lol. I think it is a matter of balancing passions and risk. They boy really likes football. It is his preferred sport, so we encourage it. One thing that is nice now is that kids can join groups that cycle through sports and do a different one each week. We liked that because it gave the kids impressions of multiple sports and opened them up to them. There were a half dozen or so activities they did over a year. The boy even did gymnastics and will actually watch it on TV...nothing I ever had a big interest in because I was not exposed to it. We want him to take on another activity and he is trying to decide between a few....the leading contenders are gymnastics and martial arts. We want the kids in an activity that will improve full body strength and general agility, because that will help with impact sports in a big way. I guess that is one point I should stress...I am strongly of the opinion that if your kid is going to play something like football or hockey that they should also be in something like that. From my history it seems like people who do one of those are less prone to severe injury. I would actually love to see some stats on it because it is just an assumption based on what I have noticed over the years.
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