dads guide

A Dads’ Guide to the Value of Football

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From children wearing the oversize jersey of their favorite player in backyard games to the young men living out their dreams in the NFL, the values of football touch everyone. I have experienced football’s values both as a former player and as a parent of sons who play, and I believe that every child should have the same opportunity. These are the same values that make us exceptional — individually and as a nation.

It’s not just the players who benefit from football’s values: Coaches, trainers, officials, and other football people have a front row seat to see the positive effect that this game has on the lives of those involved in it.

Football inspires greatness, instills character, and creates leaders. Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan all played football. Here are more reasons why teaching kids football is valuable.

Football inspires greatness, instills character, and creates leaders.

President Eisenhower summed it up: “Morale — the will to win, the fighting heart — are the honored hallmarks of the football coach and player. Likewise, they are characteristic of the enterprising executive, the successful troop leader, the established artist and the dedicated teacher and scientist.”

Millions of Americans share these sentiments, whether they played the game at any level or are involved as officials or equipment managers or in front office positions.


They can speak to how the qualities of teamwork, integrity, honor, resiliency, respect, and sportsmanship — characteristics all parents want to instill in their children — are essential for a prosperous and thriving society.


Football transcends race, politics, and social standing, and it connects communities. From high school stadiums under the lights on Friday nights to college campuses on crisp fall Saturdays to professional stadiums on Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays, football unites people of all ages, walks of life, creeds, and colors.

Football people are identified by the quality of their character, the measure of their abilities, their commitment to teamwork, and a shared honor, love, and respect for the game.

As a dad, I believe it’s important to teach our children the values of sports — no matter how old they are or what sport they play. I urge you, as a dad, to encourage your children to get out on the playing field, where they can build confidence and strengthen relationships —with both their parents and their peers.

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is your favorite activity?”