Update: I wrote this one at the beginning of my second son’s rookie year in full pads tackle football. Now, it is four months later and the season is over. He played safety and, despite being the second-smallest kid on the team, showed a real fearlessness about tackling bigger runners. In the last game of the year, he came out to meet head-on a bigger running back and got slammed down to the turf but made the tackle. I held my breath but he got up and went back to the huddle and made 5-6 more tackles in that game. It is great to see your son bounce up and keep playing. Here’s the video of that play. He’s number 8.
My 7-year-old son is playing full pads tackle football for the first time this year and is one of the smallest and youngest on the roster. When the coaches divided the kids into two lines for the first tackling drill of the year, my son was fourth in his line. My eyes quickly went to the other line and I counted back four to see who he was matched up against. In his first attempt at a tackle, he had to bring down one of the biggest and fastest kids on the team. I got butterflies in my stomach imagining that my little rookie in a minute or two could be lying flat on his back, crying and saying, “Daddy, I don’t think football is for me.”