During the season, a football team spends a lot of time together. NFL players and coaches have always talked about the how they spend more time with the team than they do with their own families. In youth football, it’s not that extreme but you get the picture. Let’s say there is practice three to four times a week and then you add in game-days. Youth football teams also probably spends about ten hours a week together.
That’s a lot of time and that’s just the time they spend on the football field and perhaps watching some film. But sometimes it takes more than just the work you put in between the white lines that can bring a team together and to build team chemistry. In my experience as a youth football parent, I’ve seen examples of team building through activities that take place off the field.
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One way that the players can get to know each other a little bit more and build some camaraderie is through fund raising events. When my son played for his town youth football team, the players took part in events like car washes, movie nights and family fun nights with games and raffle prizes.
Another activity that can bring a football team together can be going to watch the local high school, college, or NFL team in your area. In our community, the bleachers at the local high school games are always filled with local youth players wearing their team jerseys. It’s a cool experience for them because someday many of those kids might be playing on that high school field.
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If there’s an NFL team in your area, spending a day at training camp can be a positive experience for a youth football team with an opportunity to see how hard the pros work in practice. Depending on the team, there might even be an opportunity to go to a game as a team and have some fun watching an NFL game together. Some franchises also have opportunities for youth teams to play a game on the field before, at halftime, or after games so that might be something to explore.
Youth football teams certainly come together with all the hard work they put in on the field, but sometimes it’s a good idea to get the boys and girls away from their field and to build team chemistry in other areas. They’re kids. They’ll grow as teammates, but they also have a great opportunity to grow as friends through football.
Peter is a sports anchor for the CBS Sports Radio Network, FOX News Headlines 24/7 and WCBS 880 Radio in New York. His son Bradley plays middle school football on Long Island and is a participant in the U.S. National Team program while his younger son Jared plays flag football. Peter, his wife Sheryl and the boys are busy cheering on the New York Jets when they’re not at a youth football field.