Tips For Trying Football at Every Age and Stage


Tips For Trying Football at Every Age and StageToday we’re chatting with Coach Kyle Enders, head football coach of Red Mountain High School’s football program with tips for trying football at every age and stage. 

Girls flag football is now a recognized sport for high school athletes in the state of Arizona. Football, especially flag football, is getting more attention as a safe sport option for families to explore at any age. 

Whether you’re a football fan eager to expose the sport to your toddler, or have a curious tween wanting to try the sport for the first time, Coach Enders has tips for navigating the sport. 

Red Mountain Football also hosts a few annual events that are great for all age kids. They have a free clinic, a game day focused on families where they have an inflatable slide and obstacle course, and they hosted the first ever community event where kids can collected autographs in photos with players, cheerleaders and band members on at the beginning of this football season.   


East Valley Moms 

Tots: How to expose them to the game

Coach Enders has a three-year-old son himself, and the best way to share the love of the game this early: take them to the games. 

Here’s his best tips:

Expose them to the sport as early and often as possible in the safest way: in the stands.

Local high school games (even the JV games) are ideal for young kids. Admission to the games is nominal, and it starts creating positive, family memories around the sport. Even if you can only stay until halftime, it’s a fun Friday night for tots (and older siblings).

Like most things for young kids, they’re interested in things that their parents get excited for. I think talking about the big Thursday night or Friday night game throughout the week for your young ones is a great way to get them excited about the sport. 

You want to create positive memories around the sport to get them interested at a young age. 

Things that we have found successful is having the kids and family participate in whatever the theme is for the game. 

Let them run around under the bleachers, learn the cheers, throw in a snack, and the kids have a blast.

Elementary aged kids: How to start playing football

Coach Enders: 

Lots of different flag football leagues start as young as 5 years old.  

I think every kid is different when it comes to what’s the right age to start them playing flag. I think the most important thing is to make it a fun thing for them and get other friends to join them. 

Don’t rush into tackle or get caught up on the year round football thing. Get them well rounded and involved in as many sports and activities as possible. In the long run it will make them a better well rounded athlete. 

Here in the East Valley, Coach Enders recommends the following youth leagues to sign up both boys and girls to play the sport.

1 9 sports, Mesa Youth Sports, Under The Lights Flag Football, AZ Premier Flag Football, (but most importantly somewhere your child’s friends might play or close to home where he can play with kids in his neighborhood or school). 

Tweens: Is it too late to start a sport?

Coach Enders: It’s never too late to try out the sport. Our freshman football team consists of at least 20 percent of the team who has never played the sport before.

I think in Junior high you can try out for the flag teams as they don’t offer a tackle team for the school. Our football program puts on a 3 – 6 week camp every year that introduces 5th-8th graders to basic weight training and football skills. It’s a great time and chance for players to be introduced to the sport and learn the basics.  

Teens: Girls eyeing new high school flag teams 

Mesa Public Schools now have full fledged varsity girls flag football teams. As a newer sport in schools, it’s okay for girls to join the team who are still new to the sport. 

Coach Enders: This is currently the largest growing sport in the state of Arizona for teens. Now that it has made its way to the high schools, girls flag football leagues will be popping up all over very shortly. 

All Mesa high schools offer camps in the summer that give girls in junior high a chance to try it out. But for most girls who played last year on the Red Mountain team, though it was their first time playing football, they all were athletes of other sports on campus as well. 

Thank you so much to Coach Enders for sharing these tips for kids of all ages to enjoy the sport. For more tips on supporting youth football, check out these posts:


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