Football is a game of Inches and Seconds

This will not come as a revelation to anyone who has played the game or seen
warning: harsh language
the inspirational (and fictional) speech by Al Pacino in the movie Any Given Sunday.

However, in this post I’m talking about Youth Football. I think many of the kids in Youth Football are more focused on playing the whole game. All four quarters and the full 40 minutes . As opposed to playing each down & each snap of the ball for what it is.

It seems kids have a hard time chunking down the game into what I see is the essence of football. That is … EVERY snap of the ball has a life of it’s own and while it may not seem possible to kids on the field … each play does have an impact on the final resuimagelt.

It’s hard for kids to get their heads around the reality that a football game is not 40 minutes.

Football is a game of Inches and Seconds

The Challenge is:

  • Kids don't think in inches
  • Kids don't think in seconds

It’s hard to teach kids that every play is a universe in and of itself. It’s also hard to teach kids that each play really can make a difference in the overall game. Finally, it’s hard to teach kids that it’s a team effort.

There are a lot of parallels to life in this statement.

Life is not a game … or is it?

Youth sports teaches our kids a lot about life. Beyond the obvious Win / Loss records. Youth Sports does teach kids about camaraderie and a lot about themselves. I’m still trying to figure out how to get kids thinking about taking each play, that 10-30 seconds of their lives, and giving it their all. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe these are things that they shouldn’t need to deal with until they are older. After all … this is Youth Spots.

What did you learn because of your involvement with youth sports? Either as a kid or as an adult. For me I learned ten times more coaching kids than I ever learned when I played. Back then I was that kid that couldn’t get my head around the idea that Football is a game of Inches and Seconds.

Video Credits: Warner Bros Pictures

Warning: This video clip is great, but may not be suitable for young children and those that have sensitive ears.


For me, Sports taught me self-improvement fundamentals, the power of trials, the reason to "keep going" when you wanted to quit.

Of course, while it was happening, I didn't know it was teaching me any of those things ;-)

Great post Jeff.