As some of you may know, GridironStuds.com is not the only thing I do. I also run All Eyes DB Camp and train defensive backs. I am often approached by parents of youngsters in the age range of 8-12 years old asking if I would train their child to be a defensive back. My immediate response is no. Of course I don’t ever just leave it at that. With that no comes the explanation that I only train individuals age 13 plus and I recommend that their child play a different sport in the offseason.
The number of concussion-related incidents in professional and youth football alike in the past decade has prompted ample concern. The media spotlight has been prominent as well. The discovery of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the concussion-related ailment that many football players suffer from without notable symptoms, was chronicled in the relatively recent film “Concussion,” starring Will Smith.
I have three children and anyone who knows me knows I love them with all my heart. When they were young and all at home, I wonder if ranking them on a daily or monthly basis would have helped get more things done, earn better grades or achieve more in their chosen sports. Could you imagine? One big grease board in the kitchen with the current rankings of the Top 3 kids as of so and so date.
I think we all know how that would’ve gone. Surely there would have been arguments with the wife over who should be ranked where and what married couple is striving for more arguments? I can also imagine the back stabbing and sabotage that may have gone on to grab that #1 spot. We may have well raised three full on Donnie Brasco’s if that grease board would have been the play in our household. This is not even to mention the destruction of psyche, future adulthood problems and social ineptitude that would have developed from such a system imposed on impressionable minors. You can also forget about the whole family / team dynamic being built, that’s out the window. Yea, the top ranked kids idea would not have been an idea that benefitted from escape out of the deep corners of the mind.
Youth football is all the craze down here in the state of Florida. Parks across the state on a Saturday morning in the Fall are packed with onlookers filled with hope, pride and emotion. Somewhere in those oversized pads and helmets is the next Aaron Rogers, Adrian Peterson or Richard Sherman. Ask any or all of the parents in attendance and they’ll tell you that their kid will be the next NFL superstar.
As a father of two that have gone through the youth football ranks, I am blessed to have the wisdom to reach back to the parents that are now embarking on the youth football journey. I know my message will fall on many a deaf ear and blind eye because emotion fuels the heart when it comes to children. However, if I can reach the mind of a few, I can help some kids have a chance to succeed in this sport but more importantly have a healthy relationship with their parents.
The 6’1″ 185 lb. 13 year old would be big in the trenches of any middle school football game but that’s not the story. Redmond is a 6’1″ 185 lb. running back that will make you miss and make you wish you had when he doesn’t. Redmond displays a great deal of athleticism on the football field as he leads the charge for his South Forsyth Middle School team. Redmond can do a number of things. Watch him take the handoff and bust through the middle of the defense and slide by the safety that has sold out to trying and bring the big man down. Watch him plow through the linebacker that’s uncertain whether Redmond will put a move on him or give him the Mac treatment. Redmond’s film will also show him slipping out of the backfield and hauling in a pass with the ease of a polished wide receiver. Once he’s in the flat with the ball, defensive backs reconsider their will to play the sport.
An entire season comes down to this as West Pines and Pasadena are the two teams left standing in the 120 lb. division of the American Youth Football Playoffs. The season has been both exciting and intense as many teams entered the playoffs with a legitimate shot at winning the big trophy. West Pines earned their way to the dance by knocking off Cooper City for the second time this season 29-6 at PPO on Saturday. Pasadena busted their way into the Super Bowl in grand fashion as they thrashed defending champion Weston 34-6 in Ft. Lauderdale.