We all love the game of football and what it stands for in this country but we also need to look at the health consequences of what football can do to young players and the impact it can have on their lives later in life.

Football is a very physical sport that takes a toll on the body when you are hit over and over again. There are things you can do to help prevent injury while playing football but sometimes injuries are unavoidable.

Here are some health issues that can arise from playing football and the wear and tear your body takes.

Head and brain issues: No, we are not talking about your hair thinning out from wearing a helmet and having to use products like Provillus. We're talking about something much more serious than losing your hair. A lot of the talk lately has been head and brain issues due to concussions and getting hit in the head while playing football. All players are at risk but quarterbacks are especially vulnerable since they are the target of the defense. A lot of players are retiring early due to the research that's coming out about concussions and how they can impact your life down the road. Football players have to weigh out the pros and cons to see if it's really worth the risk of having issues later in life to to head injuries.

Performance Enhancing Drugs: The drugs themselves are not the health issue but the consequences of taking performance enhancing drugs can have a very negative effect on your body and life. There is a huge competitive nature to be the biggest, strongest and fastest player and when this happens, drugs are often involved to help aid in making players improve their strength, speed, agility and overall athletic ability. These drugs not only effect your organs and can cause huge damage to them, they can also greatly impact things such as your fertility so later in life it's much harder to have kids. You will then possibly have to see fertility specialists or take fertility supplements to help boost your fertility like FertilAid. Fertility issues are something you really don't think about until they happen to you so you can help minimize this if you stay away from these performance enhancing drugs. These drugs can also impact your liver because your liver has to work extra hard to rid them from your body and doing this over time can cause serious issues. Best bet is to stay natural, work hard and see where the cards fall.

Back Issues: Back issues can happen without playing football or sports but being hit over and over again can really increase the likelihood of you having back issues later in life. There is protective gear you can wear to help prevent back injuries but these only work to a certain extent. If you do notice a back problem or pain, seek medical help immediately. The back is a precious part of our body and if it's hurt, it can make for a very tough time. Football players have to keep this in the back of their mind as another issue that might arise from playing the sport.

Overall Health Issues & General Pain: Sometimes a player can get through their football career without any major injuries. Congrats. But, this doesn't mean that they have no ailments at all. Because of the rough nature of football, their bodies might be a bit more likely to become hurt or injured later in life. Players will often have minor aches and pains throughout life like knee problems, joints hurting and just general aches and pains. This is part of the territory of playing football.

All in all, you can help minimize football injuries and health issues by using some common sense. Football is a wonderful game if you take it seriously, play smart and listen to your body. If you feel pain or something just doesn't feel quite right, go see your doctor. It's amazing what can be done if you just get help when you first notice any symptoms.

Football is currently America’s favorite sport and thousands of players from all over the country (and the world) want to compete on the grid iron to become the best. However, not every person that tries out for football is guaranteed to become famous or successful. If a player wants to improve their chances of becoming a standout player their training should begin early in life. They should learn how to develop a specific skill set related to this game. The following information will explain what types of abilities a player will need to become a standout high school football player.

Learn the Fundamentals

Learning how to properly catch, throw and carry a football are the basic fundamentals of the game. Knowing how to tackle and block are other important elements of the game. Players should learn how to properly do these things in their youth. They should receive some type of coaching from a qualified instructor. Without knowing the fundamentals of football all of the other skills really will not matter much. Also, they should know the rules of this game as well.

Strength

Strength is the most important physical aspect of football because this game involves a lot of hitting and impact. Players must develop their strength by lifting weights and be able to repeatedly take blows. Professional football players must repeatedly lift 225 pounds to test their endurance. High school players are typically required to do the same things with 200 pounds. Strength is crucial to the game of football and if a player lacks this attribute they probably will not last long in the sport.

Speed

While strength is the number one physical attribute, speed is a close second. A high school player must be able to run 40 yards in 4.5 seconds or less. This means all players must have this type of speed to get down field within the amount of time it takes a football to travel to the opposing team. Without speed, a high school player will not be able to perform well on the field. Speed is important and should not be overlooked especially for offensive receivers, backs and ends and for defensive corners and safeties.

Agility

Being mobile on the football field today is essential to success for players and their team. High school players should possess the ability to out maneuver opponents on the field. Mobile quarterbacks must have agility and so should receivers and backs. Players who are agile and quick, can outmaneuver defenses and gain valuable yard or score big points. A high school player will benefit from this ability though it is not as important as strength and speed.

High School Players must know how to Market their Skills

Prospective college bound players should know how to market their skills to potential recruiters. They should send out tapes, emails and listen to their coach’s instruction pertaining to their skills and what they need to do to improve. They should also attend summer football camps and constantly work out with a team during practice and the off season. These are some of the basic things that players need to do to improve their chances of being approached by a scout.

Players should also stay out of trouble and make it a point to get good grades. A player’s character on and off the field is just as important as their playing ability. Maintaining good health is another important aspect of being a great high school player. All of these attributes are the basic skills and characteristics that a high school player needs to become an outstanding football player.

Well, the early high school football rankings are out by MaxPreps and this is sure to get everyone pumped up for high school football when it starts in August, which is JUST around the corner. Heck, before we know it, college football and the NFL will be back in action and life will be good.

The #1 MaxPreps team as of now is De La Salle out of Concord, California. This could definitely chance once the season gets underway but for now De LaSalle is in the lead! A big part of them being the top dogs is because they have key players on both offense and defense back again so they have a good shot.

Here are the top teams to round out the top 5 high school football teams for the early rankings:

  1. De La Salle (Concord, Calif.)
  2. Central (Miami)
  3. Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
  4. Archer (Lawrenceville, Ga.)
  5. DeSoto (Texas)

For the rest of the top 25 teams, seems like the southern part of the U.S. is taking names as of now as well as the strong football state of Texas.

Check out all top 25 teams: MaxPreps Top 25 High School Football Teams

You never know though. There is still summer left and injuries can happen, kids move to different schools and many other factors that can impact a great team in the top 25. So, we have to sit back and wait for now but soon enough, high school football will be back and we can see how this all plays out this year.

Who's your favorite high school team? Are they going to make it to state?

So, it is getting that time of the year when Iowa and the Midwest starts thinking about the upcoming football season. Many high schoolers would LOVE to play football but not all have the skill needed to play the game.  But, there are some things you can do to help improve your high school football skills so you too can be part of the team and play pigskin this fall.

Here are some tips for getting ready for high school football season:

  • Total devotion and dedication to football. Every inch of your being needs to be determined to play and you need to train like you want to play.  It's a rough sport so you need to prep yourself to be ready to perform.
  • Complete understanding of the sport. This can be achieved by reading books, watching games and talking with other players.  You should dive into everything football.  You need to be both mentally and physically strong to play high school football.
  • Regular training is a must.  You need to train on agility, strength, speed, power and smarts.
  • Perform regular assessments of yourself as a football player and seek your coach's honest opinion of your strengths and weaknesses.  Don't frown upon weaknesses.  Train more in those areas to improve.  Practice makes perfect so keep pushing forward.
  • Since high school football players are a bit undeveloped still, you should steer away from even the best testosterone supplements similar to pro testosterone or at least read the reviews until you are more grown and developed so you don't harm yourself. Take your body serious and treat it well so you can perform when the time comes to play.
  • Remain patient when things get a little tough.  Football is a tough sports and times will get tough but just keep an even head and you will be fine.
  • Communicate with your teammates. Learn from each other.  Build upon each other's strengths.  Learn from each other's weaknesses.
  • Eat healthy.  Make sure you are giving your body the proper nutrition it needs to succeed.  Eat a balance of fats proteins and carbs to load your body correctly.  Do not do a fat loss diet at this stage as you need fats to have the energy to help get you through those tough practices and training sessions.
  • Have fun.  Enjoy playing the wonderful game of football.