Putting your child in pee wee football is a big decision. Just like any sport, when you sign your kids up for a new sport, there are a lot of emotions involved. From fear of meeting new coaches and teammates, to learning a new sport and hoping they're good at it, there's a lot of pressure for your young kids going into that first practice. Help your child prepare by going over the rules, practicing in the backyard, and encouraging them as their first day of football gets closer.
Rules of Pee Wee Football
Kids as young as five years old can play pee wee football. All players must play a predetermined minimum number of plays and the game is played on an either 80-yard field or the standard 100-yard field.
To participate, all players must be wearing a certified helmet, wear shoulder, hip, tailbone, thigh, and knee pads as well as mouth guards. Metal cleats are not allowed and helmet tackling is not permitted.
Timed quarters are included, but the time of each quarter varies according to your child’s age group. Pee wee football is designed for kids 5 years old through 12 years old. The specific rules will vary according to your child’s age group. Typically, tackling isn’t incorporated until the highest level of pee wee, which is the 12-year-old group. And even then, tackling is taught in a very strict and structured method to avoid injuries.
Practicing and Preparing
Whether you and your child decide on pee wee football at age 5 or wait until age 12, playing the game is a great way to incorporate a healthy lifestyle. Learning how to eat right and exercise is a part of playing sports. Help your child practice outside of scheduled events by playing catch in the yard, working on techniques, and working out together.
Make their sport more than just playing twice a week. Teach them how to eat before game days and help them exercise throughout the week to build endurance and stamina. Getting them to understand that sports are more than just game day is crucial in their overall concept of athletics.
Encouraging Your Athletes
When your child signs up for sports, their world changes. They suddenly become an athlete and this can boost confidence exponentially. Encourage your young athlete without pressuring them. When they’re old enough to choose sports for themselves, remind them of their commitment and responsibilities for the entire season. Build up their self-esteem by telling them how proud you are of them and their efforts.
As your child’s biggest fan, you have a lot of influence on them. Use this to build them up and not tear them down. Don’t rehash a missed play or a mess-up. Instead, encourage them, practice with them, and be there to talk about their passion for the game.