Football, like raising children, requires a village. In the gridiron community of coaches, players, league administrators, officials and others, perhaps no one is more important than parents, who often serve as the first teacher, coach and referee that an athlete will encounter.
But parenting isn’t easy; football parenting, even less so.
In addition to the sacrifices of time and money that many parents make to support their children’s football careers, parents are tasked with supporting their athletes, interacting with coaches, dealing with fellow parents, knowing when to speak up—and understanding when to withhold comments.
Football parents know that, although it’s not easy, it’s worth it.
USA Football is excited to release Youth Football Parents 101, a free online video course designed to help parents navigate their child’s youth football career.
Steering the ship are two of America’s most well-known football parents, Mike and Christine Golic, whose sons Mike Jr. and Jake both played the sport from youth football through college. Their daughter Sydney also swam collegiately.
Both Mike and Christine provide unique perspective and guidance about being the parent of a young football player in today’s game,
“It’s easy as a parent to get caught up in youth sports as if they are much bigger than they are. Our job is to support the team, the coaches and all the kids on the field, including our own,” Christine said. “Be the role model that our kids need. And most importantly, the time our children are young goes by so fast. Never forget to enjoy it.”
For Mike, who played professionally for eight years, football can be challenging, but the value in what the sport teaches far exceeds the bumps in the road.
“I can’t express how much that youth sports helped our kids,” he said. “There are challenges, and there are tough times, but the high points so far outweigh them. I hope that by Chris and myself sharing what we went through, this help the parents of young athletes out there and gives them a perspective of what’s coming and what’s expected of them.”
Parents can take the six-chapter video course at their convenience, starting and resuming when necessary. Click here to get started.