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Helmet Kisses: A Dear Football Mom column by Candy A. Westbrook

Dear Football Mom,

What do you think of middle school football teams working out all the time in the weight room during the season? My son’s coach had his team work out all summer at least three times a week and now, since their games have started, he still has them working out in their gym period. They also have football practice after school. Don’t you think this is little excessive? 

My knee-jerk reaction would be, maybe yes. Sounds a bit much for the age because muscle mass hasn’t developed enough. However, it may depend on the types and length of workouts his coach is requiring. Are they lifting weights all the time, or has he come up with conditioning drills too, or a mixture of both? Should be a mixture of both. 

We suggest working hard in the off-season to improve and enhance strength, hone conditioning, and increase time in the 40. Middle school games are usually short quarters and fewer games. Still, the workouts during playing season should be lighter and designed to maintain, not actually gain performance. I’m sure your coach is working in concert with the high school coach to prepare them once they reach that level. If you feel this coach is over the line, talk with other parents and see if they feel the same way. One thing for sure though, if your son has the desire to compete in high school or perhaps beyond those Friday nights, he will need to be a gym rat and see Spot run!

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Dear Football Mom,

College recruiters are scheduling visits to our home to see my son. I am divorced from his dad, but we are both remarried. How can (or should) my husband and I include his dad for the visits when we don’t socialize with them at all? What do you suggest we do?

What really matters is what is best for your son, or you would not be asking me. Great mom, you are. Providing you and your ex-husband do not fight like boxers in a boxing ring, you may try to include him and his wife in the home visits. Take a big gulp of humility. Talk to your husband first to see if he is cool with that, and come up with a plan on which you both can agree. Most divorced parents these days, realize that certain events like birthdays, proms, and such special events should be shared if possible, whether you get along or not. You don’t have to be bosom buddies. You are, after all, the adults and even with that, it is sometimes hard to be in the same room when one continues to behave inappropriately. Your son’s feelings should come first for everyone involved. Besides, it will make your son proud knowing you took the high road and at least offered.

Each question is handled with discretion and privacy. Identity of persons asking questions will not be shared. All information is strictly confidential. Questions are not limited to Forsyth County and encompass surrounding areas, including other states. As “The Heart Behind the Gridiron,” we try to answer a variety of questions and scenarios surrounding the game. Answers are opinion-based. We are not responsible for results. All questions should be submitted by email to