Registration has begun for youth football leagues across the country and parents have an important decision to make. With so many choices, such as Pop Warner, AYF (American Youth Football) and many independent leagues- which league should you choose? Follow these tips to help you make the right decision. Parents should look for a variety of key points when deciding on the right youth football league and/or team.
- Reputation of the league is important. Hear word of mouth recommendations from friends and family. Does the league have history of conflict between coaches parents and board members? If so, you may want to avoid.
- Reputation of coach. Call him and have a conversation. Is he just about winning youth football? Or is there more substance- does he have the makeup to teach kids good character traits? Is he patient? We want to stay clear of the Mike Rice from Rutgers University style of coaching. Remember this coach will be with your kid 2 hours a day for 5 days a week. Does he have a kid on his team ? You may decide to not be involved in the daddy coach dramatics.
- How up to date is the league’s website? Is it informative with a clear mission statement. Do they keep track of scores, standings, schedules. Or is everything on the website from 5 years ago?
- Check the prior record of the team that you’re considering in the league, they don’t necessarily need an undefeated record, but a history of doing well is a sign of a well coached team. You shouldn’t have a problem learning the team’s prior season record.
- The board of directors, contact them and ask what they are doing about football equipment safety. If the Athletic Director has no idea what you’re talking about- your decision has been made!
- Are they utilizing social media for regular updates, what are parents saying about the league via the social channels like Facebook and twitter.
- Take a tour of their facilities, including practice field. Is it in a safe area?
Gather the information that you have obtained on the youth football leagues and go with your instincts. Good luck with your search. Have any other tips? Post them in the comments below.