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flag football cover
How I Became a Flag Football Mom

When my son first mentioned flag football, I was so confused. I told him, “Maybe one day,”  hoping he would just forget about it. But we all know how kids can be; they remember everything they WANT to remember. But still, as a Latina mom, I told myself, "In our culture we don’t really play that football... "

flag football
This is not the futbol I expected my son to want.

So 2022 rolls around and flyers go back up for flag football through our church. The minute he saw them all, he ran to me and said, “Mom, you said this year!” (*insert insistent, sorta whiny kid voice*)

I just kind of sighed and said he could play, but inside I wanted so badly to not sign him up. In addition to the cultural issues, I asked myself, “Why in the world would he want to play that? “ and “He’s so small; he stands no chance.” I thought, based on what I knew, that football players are big boys. My boy is the opposite of big. He’s petite and that’s okay. In soccer (that he’s been playing since he was 2.5) size doesn’t matter -- what matters is your speed and how you move your feet.

Then one day I had a realization: why am I tearing my own son down when I have no idea if he can grow up and become a great football player? Friends kept telling me that it’s not just about being big. And since he definitely has speed on his side, he really could be great!

How could I say he won't be any good when I never even let him try?

I beat myself up about it for a few days, because I never want him to think he can’t do something because he’s not the right size or it’s “not for him”. Who do I think I am telling him he can’t play?

A few days later, he was signed up and ready for flag football.

He was so excited the first day of practice that he slept in his jersey the night before. And he kept trying on his mouth guard, because he thought it was the coolest thing.

boy playing flag football
This is my friend's son, who is equally obsessed with his mouth guard.

I waited eagerly in the car for his first practice to end. When it was over, he came running to the car and said, "That was so fun mom!" My mama heart smiled, because there’s no greater joy than seeing your kiddos be genuinely happy.

It’s so fun watching them out there! It’s so competitive, but they're still little, so it's really cute too. They play their little hearts out. I was "that mom" who was so nervous, but he's so quick and fast that now I'm not completely scared of him getting tackled to the ground.

flag football
I'm JUST like this mom, except I'm not white or blonde.

I know that in flag football he will, and is going to, learn more about teamwork, good sportsmanship, and being active. Plus, even though he has an amazing daddy, I still want him surrounded by other strong, influential men, like his coaches.

kids playing a flag football game
Leaning from amazing coaches is definitely a top reason to do organized sports like flag football!

So if you’re a mama like me and having doubts about signing your kids up for flag football, then I would say do it! And if you need help finding a place to start, visit the Future for Football League Finder to help you find a team in your area! Let your kids be kids and explore their talents. If it’s not for them then fine, but at least you gave it a go and you won't ever regret them taking a chance on something.

While I now look forward to watching the flag football games, I also enjoy seeing him be so happy running back and forth with his teammates. Most of all? I admit I love being a football mom -- just not the futbol mom I expected to be.

I'm totally considering getting this t-shirt! Do you think I should? I mean, it only makes sense, right?

Never imagined yourself a football mom? Does your kid want to play but you don't know where to start? Visit Future for Football’s local league finder. Future For Football is an initiative by the National Football Foundation to promote and celebrate the game at all levels.

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