Whether you truly get it or not, the sport of American Football is really taking off in the UK, with a London NFL franchise often spoken about. But why should you care?
That’s what Liam is here to tell you. So whether you are someone who has had a bit too much of the mass gainer, or just a keen fan of the latest EA Sports Madden game, then read on.
Because here, are five reasons to try American Football.
All shapes and sizes welcome
American football truly is a sport for all shapes and sizes. Whether you are a 6ft2, 300lb monster, a slender built whippet or carrying more weight than you should be, there will be a position for you on a team. All the position specific requirements compliment your body composition, be it a running back or linebacker, a wide receiver or defensive back, lineman, or the intelligent (sort of) quarterback.
You need to look at yourself honestly, define your own personal strengths and weaknesses and find the position that works for you. Find a team and be get working but be patient, it won’t happen overnight.
Not only does the sport accommodate for all shapes and sizes, it offers varying levels of competition for you to start at or even aspire to. For children there are all age groups kitted and non-kitted teams for those looking to avoid contact. Most of these teams will feed nicely into the senior level as well.
For students, your university will more than likely have a team that specialises in taking complete beginners. For adults there is also kitted contact and non-kitted flag football. There is also a women’s contact league, as well as women’s flag and mixed flag. There is literally something for everybody.
There is also the national program, with students, senior, women, youth and flag all representing team GB in various competitions around the world. Something to set your sights on.
Here is how you can find an American Football Club.
This sport epitomises teamwork and everything it stands for. Each play is designed so that everyone on the field has a role to play and a job to do, if done correctly the team work together and win. It’s 11 vs. 11 with blocking assignments, routes to run, lanes to attack, fake plays, man coverage, zone coverage, it has it all.
Yes superstar athletes stand out from the crowd but they can’t do it on their own. That amazing quarterback can’t pass if the offensive line can’t protect him or the receivers can’t run their routes. Similarly the linebackers can’t make the big hits if the defensive line don’t take on the blocks; opening gaps to attack through. Without teamwork, this game does not work.
The all weather game
We aren’t stopping play because it’s raining, or too cold, or snowing or it’s too hot. American Football is played all year round in all conditions imaginable. Unless the ground is frozen solid and can’t take a stud, the game will go on! You can choose which season you play in (for those fair weather athletes) but don’t expect your game to be called off due to a bit of rain.
I’ve saved the best for last.
The physical challenge.
Elite American Football players have often been described as the best all round athletes. You have to be fast out of the traps, explosive in your tackles and blocks, strong enough to (quite literally sometimes) bench press someone off of you and absorb the hits, athletic enough to get up and challenge for the high ball. And all of this while maintaining a high level of endurance to last a full 60 minute regulation, but often up to 3 hours due to clock stoppages. This all requires a large amount of explosive muscle and very little excess body fat, which is what we all are chasing in the gym.
About the author
Liam Browne is a PE teacher and keen American Footballer. He currently plays as a linebacker for the Sheffield Predators, and is also a coach for the Sheffield Sabres. He was in the Great Britain training squad between 2012-13 and has also trialled for the Great Britain flag team. As part of the #SCElite, he is a keen gym goer, and loves leg day.
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— Liam Ransome Browne (@lbrowne52) May 31, 2015