When one of my sons began playing on a tackle football team for the first time, he was nervous. He had played flag football before and we had spent many hours playing catch, but this was his first time with pads. He was a seventh grader and he knew he would be getting hit by some boys much bigger than he was. He was excited to play and give it a shot, but there were a lot of challenges he would face.
He and I would talk daily about practice. We would discuss the drills they were working on, plays being installed, and the progress he was making. One particular day he told me about a drill that didn't go well. They were doing a tackling drill and he was having a hard time getting his man knocked down. He was frustrated as he recalled being bounced around and failing to perform as well as he wanted to.