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The "Flexibility" of Flex Football

By American Flex Football, 08/21/19, 3:00PM CDT


One of the great aspects of Flex is the ability to cross over and translate so well to different genres of Football to include flag, flex, 7on & tackle.  For years our game of football had no real bridge game or stepping stone game like baseball with (t-ball, coach pitch and then kid-pitch progression).  Parents choices were (1)  A really simple game of non contact 5v5 flag on a tiny field where skill kids had to line up in the tackle box and center was an eligible player?  Or (2) full contact tackle 11v11 on a hundred yard field?  Flag didn't translate to what you would learn about the game in tackle without contact and lack of real positions and full contact tackle at a early age were just driving kids to play other sports fast.  Lots of standing around waiting for your turn to "practice" blocking or tackling. Lots of unnecessary drills that have no football purpose like monkey rolls or crab walk or bear crawls or whatever.  All that practice for months to basically end up watching the QB and RB touch the ball 90 percent of the time while the others just kind of bumped into one another?  


When we introduced Flex it wasn't to take kids away from tackle, it was to give kids another alternative to Flag that would be played on a regulation width field with real positions with correct spacing. We would have contact but limit it to blocking about the waist with the hands. Our intent was to keep the head out of the game until your player is 100 percent ready for head to head impact.  We were hopefully building a new player that would love the game of football and have more kids staying with the game to play in Middle School and in High School.   Entering kids under 10 in full contact in my opinion just serves no purpose.  You want to keep kids in Football, not drive them away. In Flex we are building your foundation, working on your fundamentals and your athleticism to become a better player once you decide to move forward.  High School Football has lost over 66K players in the last ten years? Many reasons i'm sure that contribute like  concussion talk , cte talk etc as its all over the news. Fact is the equipment we have is the safest its ever been (I have two boys playing in College, they have great equipment) but its still Football and any wrong hit they may encounter can still have lasting effects.  I know it and they know it but they love the game so we support it and move forward and always hope for the best. But I tell you I feel better as a parent regarding their safety  because of the contact regulations in HS & College. They are  diligent and protective of the kids and their bodies.  I wish I could say the same for Youth Football "Coaches" as unfortunately there are no rules in place in "select" football that regulate the amount of contact players receive except Pop Warner.   These "select" teams have kids in pads for over 6 months each year? Kids are playing more tackle games in youth ball now then NFL players do in a regular season in those 6 plus months of pads.


Here is what I know and I'm confident on, our game is a great "bridge game" to introduce contact to new players and players moving up from flag. We are also a great outlet for Tackle players that play on teams and quite frankly are not involved in the offense or defensive scheme for whatever reason on their Saturday Teams?  Those players come over and get extra reps with us to perfect their craft.  I also know this, our game is the fastest growing segment of youth football in the country and its only Year 2.  If you want your player to learn everything about football other then head to head impact send them our way and we will do our absolute best to increase their football awareness , skills, fundamentals  and passion for the game so they may continue to play this great game.

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