NFL Health Playbook will feature a guest columnist every week, each with a different viewpoint of player health and safety from the youth level to pro football.
By Chris Golic, NFL Health Playbook columnist
This past weekend I was in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to attend a Mom's Football 101 clinic. It was offered to the ladies whose children play in the South Dakota Junior Football League.
Over 100 moms joined us for a night of football, food and fun. It was just a terrific event. Moms with different levels of football knowledge were there. I talked to two sisters that attended together, a mother and daughter, a grandmother, some moms who were new to the area and of course many moms who were just looking for a fun night out without the kids.
Some of their children were new to the sport, but many of their kids had been playing for a while. All the women I talked to, though, were excited about having the opportunity to learn more and ask questions about the sport that their children love to play.
The evening started around 5 p.m. and as the women were arriving coaches gathered them up and talked about equipment fitting. The moms tried on shoulder pads and helmets while they were taught little tricks of the trade about putting pads in pants and the likes.
From there the program officially began and I chatted with the ladies for a few minutes about what football has meant to my family, why I feel that the Heads Up Football program is so important to the future of football on every level and the significance of moms being involved in it all. The ladies then were divided into groups and moved through stations where they learned the positions on offense, defense and special teams along with the responsibilities of each player on the field. They ran offense plays and even did a kick off. They then finished up with the Heads Up tackling drills.
When they were done, we took some pictures and dined. We chatted about the event, their kids and the game of football. Overall it was a really great night.
Does you youth league offer such a night for moms? If it doesn't, it should seriously consider holding one. It's a wonderful way to teach moms more about the game and builds so much comradely amongst the women. I believe when the women are more confident in understanding the game and it may lead to them jumping into a bigger volunteer role with your youth group. Not to mention they will love you for giving them an excuse for a free night out.
Encourage them to bring a friend along who may be on the fence about allowing their child to play football. That friend may find they feel differently about the sport after they learn a bit more about it.
Helping to educate moms in your community is can be an important component in helping to build your organization into a strong and thriving league. Women are primarily the decision makers when it comes to which sports their children participate in and also can be strong leaders in your organization.
A Football 101 event is fun way to bring all the ladies together and help you build a sisterhood among your moms.
Christine Golic is the NFL's Consultant on Youth Football and a member of the Heads Up Football Advisory Committee. Golic is the wife of Mike Golic, a nine year NFL veteran and co-host of ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike in the Morning," and mother of two sons who played college football at Notre Dame and a daughter who is a swimmer at Notre Dame.