We're big into football around here. I blog about it often enough that I'm sure some of my readers question my sanity. I promise you I'm sane, I just believe in the lessons organized sports can teach us and our kids.
My dad coached football; my four brothers played football. The sport has always been a part of my life. My oldest son started playing several years ago, when he was seven. He played almost every minute of every game that first season, and he spent hours on that practice field along with all of his teammates.
He learned about hard work, dedication and discipline. While he didn't play the position he wanted, he learned what it meant to be part of a team. Football taught him lessons that couldn't be taught in a classroom.
When my son turned eight, he had to move up a level and play with eight and nine year olds. He was the "little guy," and he would have to take his turn sitting the bench. Every child on our town's team is supposed to play a minimum of eight plays, which ensures every boy learns the game regardless of ability.
Unfortunately, our coach that year played favorites, and he ran a tough ship. My little guy didn't see much of the field at all his second season of football. His heart was broken, but he kept working. He went to practice, gave up time with friends after school and suited up for his games. He was dedicated to his team despite feeling he wasn't a part of it.
It's tough to want something so badly and to feel like the dream is out of reach. My son voiced his dream to me many times when we spoke before bed at night. He squinted his little eyes shut and told me how badly he wanted to play a skill position. He wanted to be a quarterback, not a lineman. He wanted to be on that field for most of the game, not just a few minutes.
I could feel his heartbreak, and I told him to never give up. Keep working and don't back down. Your life is what you make it; no one is allowed to tell you what you're capable of.
My son practiced in our yard every night leading up to his third season. He had my husband work with him until the sun went down, running plays and practicing passing. He never gave up on his dream, he never backed away from the challenge. His third season of football, when my son walked on to that field for his first game, he took his first ever snap as a starting quarterback. His story is an inspirational to me still, proving that when you don’t give up on your dreams, they can come true.
Won't Back Down, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis, inspires viewers to never give up and to fight for what they believe in. When their children's inner city school begins to fail its students, these two mothers stop at nothing to ensure their children get the education they are entitled to.
With school starting this fall, this is the perfect movie to enjoy with your whole family. The film hits theaters September 28th. Like Won't Back Down on Facebook to watch the trailer and keep up with movie news. You can even buy group tickets on their page if you'd like to make an outing of it!