Players of American Football, a big family
Being involved in a British American football club is like joining a new family, a group of players and coaches that fight, support, commit and respect each other. This is what I found players talked about a lot during my time throughout my MSc placement and research at an American football club.
Through my short time in offering support to an American football team, it was clear that coaches aim and actively try to promote good life values and behaviours through the sport of American football. Such as work ethic, commitment, and the value of teamwork. Alongside, humility, respect and the ability to always support your teammates on and off the field.
Everyone is connected
I have observed a connection between multiple players across different teams and coaches, support staff, and officials. I believe this is down to the love for the game and respect that is shown due to no financial gain. Just the fact they want to play ball. This has created a real brotherhood across the UK as an American football community but also within individual clubs.
New players, rookies, have enjoyed the respect shown by coaches, compared to other sports, alongside the scheduled style of training. Also, filmed sessions where coaches and players review last weekend’s game or the upcoming game, allow players and coaches to build stronger communication as a team and mates.
However, within the UK we need more highly educated coaches. In order for American football to keep progressing from elite-amateur to professional football. There are some very good coaches in England, the UK. However, the UK has a lack of coaches to cover all the playing positions in a team. Meaning that training can be restricted and progression stagnated due to lack of coaches. BAFA need to aim at getting more coaches involved but also encouraging all coaches to be students of the game.
This could result in more qualifications or even harder criteria to obtain a coaching badge. This will allow a higher level of American football to be coached but also make sure all teams have enough coaches to coach each playing position (i.e. O-line/ D-line, line-backers, QB, etc.).