This is an updated version of a blog that originally posted Aug. 1, 2013.
Football is blue-collar America. It’s working class, working together.
In this game – America’s favorite game – there are no isolation plays that cast a team aside. Nor are there intentional walks to avoid an obstacle.
In life, like in football, the easy route is rarely an option.
Reflecting early America, football fields are wide and open, but a stout defense – like challenging terrain – can hinder the most determined advance.
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And great teams are united, like the states we call home.
By playing this sport, young athletes learn football’s timeless qualities of leadership, responsibility, perseverance and teamwork.
The passion evoked by football is as timeless as its values of sacrifice and discipline, standing forever firm regardless of society’s swings.
Every year, millions of children age 6 to 14 take to football fields across America to play the game they love. They may not realize it, but these young athletes are enjoying the benefits of physical exercise while learning life lessons through the sport:
1.) Studies show that being physically active through football lowers body fat, strengthens muscles and increases the likelihood of continuing good health habits later in life.
2.) Football also introduces young players to new social groups and to a set of coaches who serve as role models.
3.) Research shows athletes tend to have higher levels of self-esteem and lower levels of depression.
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To the kids, though, the game is about fun, friendships and camaraderie. It’s about achieving success or learning from failure then lining right back up to try again.
Football has captured America’s imagination for a century. There’s no better time to be a part of the game than right now. Take it from sports psychologist Dr. Chris Carr and former NFL linebacker Hardy Nickerson below: