Motivational Tips for the Youth on How to Get into American Football

Three qualities will start you on the road to joining top-flight American football from youth leagues: ability, motivation, and attitude.

Lou Holtz, Head coach, New York Jets (1976), captured this eloquently when he said, “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”

Having internalized this, here are motivational tips for youth on how to get into American football.

Start your journey early

To turn out a successful football player and to earn yourself a ticket into the NFL, you must start early in youth football. The American Youth Football (AYF) has programs across the country for aspiring youth with talent in the game and it is the first place you get initiated into football. This shall be the testing ground for resilience in both the parent and the youngster.

Remember, American football is a highly combative sport and you must be ready to get hit and to hit others. There will be injuries and pain during the many hours of grueling practice as you work around other commitments like homework. However, this is when you should learn to enjoy the sport and develop the right attitude for later as you progress.

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Train hard and consistently

“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra” Jimmy Johnson, Head coach, Dallas Cowboys, and Miami Dolphins. Yes, it boils down to hard work and persistence to make it to the top ranks of American football. Do you really want it, then, start going the extra mile in every aspect of your training.

It is not the physical stamina that will fail you, rather the mental stamina, or the lack of it that will end your football dreams. Learn to persist despite the obstacles you may encounter and always complete what you started including the running drills.

Do not give up, do not quit and learn to give your best and your all in every assignment, for as coach George S. Halas said; “nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.”

Learn to listen

Yes, you love American football and that is why you are here in the first place. However, love is for fans, players are made on the training grid. You will learn to leave what you think you know about football at the gate and walk in with an open mind ready for training.

Listen to teammates, but above all, listen to your coach paying undivided attention to every word he and instruction he gives. To succeed in football, never argue with the coach, never show disrespect or any sign of indifference.

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Accept criticism

“You fail all the time, but you aren’t a failure until you start blaming someone else” – Bum Phillips, Head coach, New Orleans Saints.

You will make mistakes and there will be criticisms, sometimes very severe and likely to discourage the faint-hearted. However, you succeed by owning up to your mistakes and accepting criticism without shifting the blame or stringing excuses.

Constructive criticism is one way of teaching by correction of mistakes and cannot be taken as an affront on you. Coaches like learners who accept and value criticism because it demonstrates a willingness to learn. Tryouts can be tense and mistakes are bound to happen – keep your cool and do not let this escalate to create more through anxiety.

Stay focused

Another great football coach, Chuck Noll of Pittsburgh Steelers once quipped – “If you want to win, do the ordinary things better than anyone else does them day in and day out.”

Yes, you are playing on a team but your focus must be on you and let others deal with their situation. The trick here is that if every team member concentrated on self-improvement, the whole team stands to grow collectively.

Remember that whereas you can do something about your quality of play, you cannot force change on a teammate. The upshot of this is that you focus on improving your personal growth standards even as you contribute to team play. Keep in mind that for you to be a reliable team player, you must have something special to contribute.


“I have observed that if individuals who prevail in a highly competitive environment have one thing in common besides success, it is failure – and their ability to overcome it” – Bill Walsh of San Francisco 49ers:

If American football is your dream, then pursue it with the understanding that the only obstacle in your way to stardom is you. This goal is your motivation and you can choose to work hard with the right attitude to achieve it.

Author’s Bio:

Vendy Adams is a corporate professional and her current job is as a technical advisor for a tech startup. Being a subject expert and having great writing skills, she loves to work as a part-time academic writer, where she assists students with thesis and dissertations. In her free time, she likes to play video games, take boxing classes and read fiction.

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