INDIAN WELLS, CA - MARCH 08: Borna Coric of Croatia, Alexander Zverev of Germany, Hyeon Chung of Korea, Taylor Fritz, Kyle Edmund of Great Britain, Jared Donaldson and Frances Tiafoe pose for photographers after participating in the ATP #NextGen player panel during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 8, 2016 in Indian Wells, California. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Joel Drucker: Letter to a Football Father

It’s August, time for training camp. Soon enough, football season will be underway.

You’ve long loved the idea of your son becoming a football player. Maybe right now he’s playing Pop Warner, with hopes of earning a spot on the high school team and, then, well, who knows? He’s attended camps and put in work on his own – sprints, time in the gym. So you know he’s disciplined.

But you might also be starting to get a little concerned about all these research studies. All those concussions, and potential problems. Just about every day it’s possible to read about a recent NFL player faced with a horrible health issue.

There’s also the delicate matter of team play. You’re convinced your boy has the skills to be a running back, or possible a wide receiver. But you’re not so sure what his coaches think. Are there other candidates for those positions? At one meeting, you heard a coach talk about trying different people on defense, which in your mind would be a complete waste of your son’s speed and hand-eye skills.

So here now, an alternative. Meet tennis, a sport where an individual can play every position – quarterback, receiver, linebacker, safety. A tennis player will touch the ball on every point. Nor need you convince the coach how good you are. Oh, yes, that might be a factor on a high school team, but really, all you need do is win your challenge matches – that is, earn your spot rather than have someone else evaluate you. And even if that doesn’t quite work, just go play tournaments.

Better yet, tennis is healthy – no concussions. And while football players rarely play tennis past college, tennis is a sport your child will be able to play his whole life.

So, sir, before you invest in another helmet or a pair of cleats, take a close look at tennis.

Read more articles by Joel Drucker

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