"Does your child want to play football?" Let's start with this. If your child wants to play football, but you have conflicts in July and August, we will make it work and give your child a safe, positive, rewarding experience. Most of our players have some form of conflict in July and August. So don't be worried if your child does. We are very experienced and skilled at navigating through July and August. Therefore, the question is really, "Does your child want to play football?". If the answer is yes, then he should play.
3 Time Frames -Our practice policy can be separated into three distinct time frames - July workouts/practices, August PreSeason practices, and In Season practices (September and October).
Heat Acclimatization - Our July workouts and August preseason practices combine protocols for both heat acclimatization and contact progression in order to maximize your child's safety and learning.
July workouts/practices. 7/23 thru 7/25 and 7/30 thru August 1st, 6 to 8:00 PM, at Welles Park or Warren Park. We will be holding conditioning sessions run by professional fitness instructors while also beginning football drills. These workouts/practices will focus on three things - conditioning, improving individual movement, and introducing the contact concepts that we teach. These are extremely beneficial to everyone and highly recommended for everyone. If you are in Chicago and do not have conflicts, we recommend you come to these workouts as they will be considered when it comes to who is able to play in the first game. See more on that below.
August PreSeason Practices - 8/5 thru 9/1, Monday thru Friday, 4:30 to 6:30 at Welles Park for Bantamweights, Featherweights, and Middleweights; 4:45 to 6:45 at Warren Park for Lightweights, JV, and Varsity. To emphasize, we realize that families have many commitments and time constraints in the Summer. We do not expect families to cancel camps, vacations, family unions, et cetera. However, we do expect our players to be committed. Therefore, starting August 1st, we need to know when and why your child won't be at practice. If you are in town, with no major, preplanned activities, you are expected to be at practice. To emphasize - if your child has conflicts, we have a system in place so your child can participate and have a positive experience. That is our end of the agreement. Your end of the agreement is that your child is committed to practice. You must let us know when he is going to be gone so we can plan and inform you how it will work for your child. A form will be sent out to you in early July to let us know what dates you will be gone.
Major, preplanned event - What is a major, preplanned event in August? If you are wondering whether it is or isn't, it probably isn't. We are not looking in to get into semantics on the word justifiable. We are looking to teach kids commitment because we believe that is a positive for your child. Example: finishing up the baseball season with playoffs and playing games on Tuesday and Thursday is justifiable. Skipping Wednesday football practice because baseball season is not over is not justifiable.
Equipment and Contact Progression - Throughout The first two weeks of August, we will gradually increase the equipment that is worn and gradually increase contact. Your child will not enter full contact until we deem he/she is ready. All players must have a minimum number of non contact practices before they are allowed to join in a full contact practice. This is called contact progression. Players' practice attendance is monitored in order to make sure all players go through proper equipment and contact progression protocols.
Too many July and August absences? If you miss too many practices, you may sit out the 1st and possibly second game for safety purposes. Players who do not have a minimum of at least 14 (out of 26) practices may not be eligible to participate in the first game. For every player that completes at least 14 practices, NSYF will then make a determination on each player as to whether that player is ready to play in a game. Attendance at July workouts/ practices will be considered when evaluating the number of practices.
In Season Practices - Starting September 2nd, practices will run from 4:30 to 6:30, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for Bantamweights, Featherweights, and Middleweights at Welles Park. Starting September 2nd practices will run from 4:45 to 6:45 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays for Lightweights, Junior Varsity, and Varsity at Warren Park. During the first two weeks of the season, we will also hold practices on non practice days for those players who have not completed their minimum number of practices.
Practice Expectations - It is expected that your child is dressed, ready for practice, and on the field at the time his practice starts. Your child's practice will not go past 6:30 (Welles) or 6:45 (Warren). Practices end at those times every practice. If, because of commute and/or school end times, you can't be at practice by the designated start time, your child can absolutely still participate but you must let us know.
IMPORTANT - In Season Practice Policy -Starting September 2nd, practices are mandatory for all players except for academic, religious, or health reasons. If your son is going to miss practice for health, academic, or religious reasons, you must text, call, or email your coach before practice. Once the season begins, after a player misses a practice for an unexcused reason, we will talk with the family. If a player misses after that, he will have his playing time reduced in that week's game. If a player misses two or more practices for unexcused reasons in the same week, he will attend, but not play in that week's game.
Rationale for In Season Practice Policy - For many parents, this practice policy may seem excessive. However, there are many factors that go into this. We will focus on the one that matters most - players who do not make practice do not know what they are supposed to be doing on the field. That is not only unfair to other players as it reduces the team's chance for success but, more importantly, it increases the chance of injury, because one player does not know his role and that leaves other players in harm's way. Football is truly a team sport. It is obvious that some players are more talented than others. Talent does not matter if you do not know what you're supposed to be doing on the field. If a player does not know what he's doing on the field, he increases the chance someone is injured during play. If you feel you have out of the ordinary circumstances that do not allow your son to fulfill his practice policy, come., please contact North Side Youth Football, and we will discuss the solution.
Thes practice policies apply equally to all players, regardless of ability.
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