For some, their personal Football Journey will lead them to traditional tackle football. While New England Football doesn’t currently offer a tackle football option, we can help you prepare to play the game better and more safely with the fundamentals you’ll learn through our Flag Football or Flex Football leagues.
As parents and former tackle football players ourselves, we’d also offer some points to consider in making the decision to play tackle football. Football has evolved significantly in recent years. And, with the benefit of enlightened and innovative leadership, the game will continue to improve to make it even safer and more accessible to more athletes. As a general rule, tackle football has never been safer, more fun or better coached than it is today. But, do your homework and make sure the program and team you are considering is implementing best practices, including:
- Ask your prospective coach on his/her policies on contact during the week and in the preseason. The best coaches understand that non-game contact should and must be limited – football is about so much more than how hard or fast one player can run into another.
- The best programs have guidelines for proper player hydration and nutrition.
- Ask about how the program prepares for heat-related illnesses on those hot preseason or September days.
- Football equipment has evolved in recent years (helmets, shoulder pads, safety equipment, etc.). Ask your prospective program about their equipment replacement and maintenance policies.
- The best programs have protocols in place for dealing with bumps, bruises and injuries (at the time of occurrence and when it comes time for the player to return to play).
- The best programs are constantly learning and improving. Ask about the program’s policies on annual coaching certifications and the adoption of new safety and coaching protocols.