Our practice policy can be separated into two time frames - Preseason and In Season. It is important to understand both.
PRESEASON (July 24th through August 25th)
Let's start with this - If your child wants to play football but you have conflicts in August, we will make it work so that he has a safe, positive, rewarding experience. So, the question is really "Does your son want to play football?" If the answer is yes but he has preseason conflicts in August, we will let you know the path he will take due to his absences. Most of our players have some form of conflict in August so don't be worried if your son does too.
***Our preseason practices combine protocols for both heat acclimation and contact progression in order to maximize your child's safety and learning.
We will hold conditioning and football skills sessions run by professional fitness instructors and Willowbrook football coaches throughout the summer. These are optional but are beneficial to everyone and highly recommended for everyone who can make them. More details will be provided.
We realize that families have many commitments and time constraints in the summer. We do not expect families to cancel camps, vacations, family reunions, etc. However, we do expect our players to be committed. Therefore, starting August 1st, whether your son is in town or out of town, we need to know when and why your son won't be at practice.
For preseason practices in August, if your child is out of town and misses extended practices for camp, vacation, family reunions, etc., we have a system set up that will still allow your son to learn the game, prepare properly, and end up with a safe and rewarding experience. However, you must let us know when he is going to be gone so we can plan and inform you how it will work for your child.
For preseason practices in August (starting August 1st), if your child is not out of town, with no previously scheduled, major event that justifies him missing practice, we expect him to be at practice. What is justifiable? If you are wondering whether it is or isn't, it probably isn't. We are looking to teach kids commitment because we believe that is a positive for your child. Example: finishing up your baseball season with playoffs and playing games on Tuesday and Thursday is justifiable. Skipping Wednesday football practice just because baseball season is not over is not justifiable.
Remember, during August, if your child has conflicts, we will figure out a solution so your child can participate and have a positive experience. That is our end of the agreement. Your end of the agreement is that your son is committed to practice when there are no conflicts.
We will hold our transition week practices beginning July 31st. Why do we call it transition week? We are moving away from general workouts to specific football related drills. We are also starting the transition into equipment by wearing helmets and finishing the week in helmets and shoulder pads for those players that qualify. All players must have a minimum number of non contact practices before they are allowed to join in a full contact practice (contact progression).
DO NOT MAKE THE DECISION FOR YOUR CHILD NOT TO PLAY BECAUSE YOU THINK HE WILL FALL BEHIND FOR BEING GONE FOR A PORTION OF AUGUST PRACTICES. To repeat above, many of our players miss a week or more of these practices because of family Summer commitments. We expect that and plan for that. Do not let that affect your decision. If your son wants to play, we will make sure he is on a path that allows him to learn the game safely and completely.
If you miss too much of August, you may sit out the first and possibly second game for safety purposes. Players must have a minimum of at least 10 practices to be eligible to participate in the first game. For every player who has completed at least 10 practices, Villa Park Warriors coaches will then make a determination on each player individually as to whether that player is ready to play in the first game. In making that decision, our coaches take into account all possible factors. The goal here is to have a positive experience this season. The season is 9 games long - not one.
IN SEASON (August 28th to the end of the season)
Starting on 8/28, practices are mandatory except for academic, religious, or health reasons. It is expected that your child arrive dressed and ready to practice at least 10 minutes before the scheduled start of practice. That means fully dressed, with all pads and cleats. If your family has a late Summer vacation or event scheduled past Labor Day, please let us know.
Some coaches may hold Saturday walk through practices. These Saturday practices are non contact and will always be in shorts, t-shirts, and cleats. Saturday practices vary by coach and team. You must speak to your son’s individual coach and find out his plan for Saturday practices. If your son is going to miss practice for health, academic, or religious reasons, you must message your coach through GameChanger before practice. If your son is going to unexpectedly miss practice due to a sickness, please message your coach through GameChanger ASAP so that he can plan accordingly.
Once the season begins, if a player misses one practice for unexcused reasons, he will have his playing time reduced in that week’s game. If a player misses two or more practices for unexcused reasons, he will attend but not play in that week’s game.
For many parents, this policy may seem excessive. However, there are many factors that go into this policy. We will focus on the one that matters most. First and foremost, players who do not make practice do not know what they are supposed to be doing on the field. This is not only unfair to other players as it reduces the team’s chance for success, but more importantly it increases the chance of injury because one player does not know his role and leaves other players in harms way. Football is truly a team sport. If a player does not know what he is doing on the field, he increases the chance someone is injured during play. If you feel you have out of the ordinary circumstances that do not allow your son to fulfill this practice policy, please contact Villa Park Warriors Football and we will discuss a solution.
This practice policy applies equally to all players, regardless of ability!