So, you’ve been to a few football games at your high school, and now you’d like to try playing. First, you’ll need a quick overview of the rules. After that, our 3 basic learning tips can help you pick up the skills and knowledge you need to play American football.
In a football game, each team has 11 players on the field at a time. Other players wait on the side of the field. The team members in play can be switched out with the waiting players often.
In play, one team attempts to score points by getting the football into the other team’s end zone. They can either do this by using a mix of passing plays and running plays, or by kicking the football through the Y-shaped goal posts. Different types of points are given depending on how the football reaches the end zone. The goal posts can be found at the back of the end zone.
The other team needs to stop their opponents from scoring points. They need to take back the ball so they can score points instead.
The team in control of the ball is called the offensive team, or the offense. The offensive leader is the quarterback. The team that doesn’t possess the ball is the defensive team, or the defense.
Now, those are just the very basics. Football can be a complicated game, so you’ll need to devote time to truly understanding it. Sticking to these tips will keep you on the right track:
1. Watch football games every week.
Watch professional and college football games every week. You can view them on TV or online. Keep attending your high school games, too.
Pay close attention to the players. It helps if you read up on which position you want to play. For example, if you’d like to be a wide receiver, pay attention to the wide receivers on the field. How do they move when they’re catching the ball? How do they make successful receptions? You can learn a lot just by watching.
2. Read football strategy books.
Forget high school jock stereotypes; football strategies can be complicated and it takes a clever player to adapt to changes on the field. Your local library should have plenty of football strategy books you can use to hone your knowledge. Try visiting your high school’s football coach before or after the bell rings and ask them which books they’d recommend to a new player.
3. Practice as often as you can—with quality safety equipment!
Watching football and reading about it can be helpful, but you’ll only develop your instincts by playing. If you’re not ready for high school tryouts yet, find a local, recreational league first. It may not be as cool as being the school quarterback, but learning to play in a more laid-back environment may help you get the basics down.
Remember, quality safety equipment is a must when playing football. If you join a recreational league or high school team, they may give you basic items, like a helmet, but you’ll often have to buy other items yourself, like cleats and gloves. If you’re a guy, you should buy a cup.
If your mom or dad complains about the strain on their credit card, run this statistic by them: the yearly number of young players treated for football injuries in U.S. emergency rooms has risen 27% over the last 18 years, with 346,772 injuries reported in 2007! Those statistics are from the National Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and cover players between the ages of 6 and 17. Even top-of-the-line equipment is cheaper than an ER trip!
These tips apply to many different types of sports, not just football.
Lindsay Long is a blogger at CreditDonkey, where she helps families this summer find the best travel credit cards at CreditDonkey. Remember, you may feel discouraged when you first start, but many of the pros started out as high school kids just trying to make the team. So, play hard, study hard, and train hard. When you become a star player, you might be giving these same tips to the freshmen! Follow-us on our newly created CreditDonkey Twitter account.