Soccer.  Baseball.  Basketball.  Lacrosse.  Hockey.  Tennis.  Music lessons.  Art Classes.  Theater classes. So many choices for our kids today, yet there are only so many hours in the day.  As a parent, how do you choose one activity over another?  Well, before you make those decisions, there’s something you need to know about football, in general, and our brand of football at NEFF, in particular.

We believe football is special beyond words, though with words we will try to make our case.

It’s like 11 games being played at once.

Unlike other sports, football teaches kids the concept of having to work together, in unison, almost as an organism, to achieve a common goal.  On every play, each kid (on both sides of the line of scrimmage) has a particular job to do that is intimately connected to all the other jobs on the field.

With every single snap in a football game, each of the eleven offensive players has a specific assignment that is critical to the success of the larger play.  It’s like 11 interconnected games happening at once. If the center doesn’t get the snap to the quarterback, the play fails.  If any of the linemen don’t make their blocks, the play is disrupted and headed for failure.  If the receivers don’t know the play, they either run the wrong pass routes or fail to execute the block necessary to make the running play work.

On the defensive side of the ball, we find the same interconnectedness.  No other sport requires eleven kids to be so in tune with each other and so dedicated to doing their individual jobs for the benefit of the collective team.

Now, don’t get us wrong. We LOVE other sports and think kids should play as many as they can. But as a parent you need to know that no other sport requires such intense interdependence amongst teammates to achieve team success.

Football is special.  #footballisspecial

Football is the ultimate meritocracy in sports. 

When you count all the positions across all the teams within a football squad, there’s an incredible division of labor, each position requiring different skills. There’s offense, defense, kickoff, kick return, punt, punt return, point after attempts and PAT defense, giving kids 88 separate opportunities to earn a spot on the field (not including the fact that many positions rotate in and out to keep kids rested).

Your child might not be fast, but not all positions require speed. Your child might not be big, but not all positions require size. Ask any football coach – they love the undersized, scrappy kid who works hard and just won’t be denied in practice.  Those coaches will find a way to get that kid on the field.  Just like in life, those who work hard in football will earn opportunities to succeed.

Football is special.  #footballisspecial

Football builds mental toughness like no other.

Maybe it’s the weeks of conditioning you do during the preseason when you aren’t sure you can do one more sprint, but you force yourself.  It could be the inner and outward strength you develop to get up every time you get knocked down (and you will get knocked down).  Or, it could be the pressure you feel on every play knowing that you have a job to do and if you fail, the team may fail.

Whatever it is, football teaches kids a form of self-regulated accountability, and leaves them with the mental fortitude to face head-on the difficult challenges that inevitably come with life.

Football is special.  #footballisspecial

Football crafts once in a lifetime experiences. It just does.

Think back to your own experiences with football, playing or watching.  Think about the Friday night games with the stands packed with people from all walks of life.  Think about those crisp Thanksgiving mornings, where friends, family and alumni descend on the high school to renew acquaintances, put on that football jacket again and just spend time with each other for a couple of hours once per year.  The friendships and bonds you make playing football are like no others.

If you played football, you know this.  If you didn’t play, ask someone who did.  I think you’ll find they feel the same.

Football is special.  #footballisspecial

NEFF is 100% football that any parent can say “yes” to.

At New England Flag Football, we offer two forms of the football experience that preserve the best parts of the game and leave behind the contact that concerns many parents. NEFF exists to bring you and your children a football experience that focuses entirely on the skills of football, not the hitting.

In fact, with both Flag and Flex Football there is no hitting – both leagues use flags to “tackle” the ball carrier. That means to succeed the kids must focus entirely on their skills – passing, catching, running, juking and, on defense, grabbing that moving flag. And with Flex, we add blocking (emphasizing footwork, body positioning, leverage and hand use) – which is not hitting – for added drama and excitement.

What’s wonderful about Flag and Flex is that everything about football listed above holds true.  But, both also eliminate the contact that concerns many families when it comes to tackle football. So we invite you to learn more about our movement and more about our Flag and Flex Football Leagues. Because we believe football doesn’t have to include hitting to be a hit.

And that makes our football even more special.  #footballisspecial