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NFL Youth Football -- Flag Football and Tackle Football for Boys and Girls

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NFL Youth Football Focus and Goals:

According to their Web site, "NFL Youth Football programs help children and their families enjoy the football experience every time they step on a field." All programs follow the NFL Youth Footballs Seven Guiding Principles:

  1. Make it fun
  2. Limit standing around
  3. Everyone plays
  4. Teach Every Position To Every Participant
  5. Emphasize the fundamentals
  6. Incorporate A Progression Of Skill Development For Every Participant
  7. Yell Encouragement, Whisper Constructive Criticism

Age Level:

NFL Youth Football offers programs for boys and girls ages 5 to 17, or through high school.

NFL FLAG Football Division:

  • Non-contact football for girls and boys ages 5 to 17
  • Begun in 1996
  • Emphasizes participation and sportsmanship
  • 2 divisions: flag football and ultimate (a sort of combination of football, soccer, basketball and ultimate frisbee)
  • Age Levels:
    • 5-6 co-ed
    • 7-8 co-ed
    • 9-11 co-ed
    • 12-14 boys
    • 12-14 girls
    • 15-17 boys
    • 15-17 girls
  • 2 seasons: spring and fall
  • Cost $20 for equipment and uniforms, plus individual league fees
  • Regional and National tournaments for age brackets 9-11 and 12-14

NFL Pepsi Punt, Kick and Pass:

  • National skills competition for girls and boys ages 8 to 15 in 4 age brackets: 8-9, 10-11, 12-13, and 14-15
  • Establish in 1961, the oldest of the NFL Youth Football programs
  • Participation is free

NFL Junior Player Development:

"The NFL Junior Player Development program is an attempt to rebuild youth tackle football as an effective feeder system for high school programs." The program is for Junior High School aged children, both boys and girls, ages 12-14. It is designed for children to learn the game and skills progressively. Life skills such as responsibility and goal setting are incorporated into the training.

NFL High School Player Development:

"NFL High School Player Development provides incoming, fall season, sophomores, juniors and seniors a program focusing on academic counseling as well as specific football skill training by position." The online curriculum provides life lessons in areas such as study skills, time management, anger management and more while the on-field training gives intense skill development. The program is enhanced with guest speakers.

Students who complete the NFL High School Player Development program are better prepared for collegiate programs. They get their own portfolio outlining skills and areas still needing improvement.

Find an NFL Youth Football League:

Why NFL Youth Football:

Pros:

  • Both boys and girls play
  • Flag football and ultimate offer non-contact football options
  • Development programs train children for the next level of play
  • Leagues appear to be easy to find and wide-spread
Cons:
  • Some may not like girls and boys playing together on co-ed teams
  • Some may prefer teams remain co-ed through the teen years

NFL Youth Football offers a great selection of programs for both boys and girls of all ages. Their programs include fun, skill development, academic encouragement and preparation for playing at higher levels. NFL Youth Football is a great choice for any child interested in playing football.

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