It involves a lot of work to become qualified to join the National Football League (NFL). Many youths dream of becoming professional football, basketball and baseball players. The NFL is the highest professional football league which many football lovers want to be a part of. The journey to attain this level of professional football is not always easy and can take a lot of time, as well as hard work to get there. It involves focusing on football as early as the age of 10 or 11 years old. Many NFL players start when they are in high school, or join college football before they can make it to the 32 teams in the NFL league.
Middle School/Junior High Football
The journey to attaining a professional football career in the NFL starts as early as middle school or junior high school for many of the NFL players. Some of the professional footballers started with private leagues, but most took part in middle school football, which is usually the first football programme which youths are exposed to. Young boys at age 10 and 11, although still growing, are able to start out their football career. Players in junior high school are engaged in strong football programmes to help them.
High School Football
It is at high school that you begin to see youths who take football seriously. At this stage, the boys are now mature and are in their senior year. They have the necessary skills for the game, which they acquired through middle school or junior high school. NFL starts looking to scout boys in the senior high school.
There is a fixed rule at the NFL that anyone who wants to be drafted will need to have completed high school three years before they can be considered. This means that almost all NFL players must have at least played college football for some years. Many college football teams will usually recruit high school players who have great skill at playing. College players get to play for three or four years during college when they can show their skills to NFL teams which will scout them.
NFL Scouting Combine
The final chance for young players to impress NFL teams is at the NFL Scouting Combine. Here, over 300 prospective players will be invited to the yearly NFL Scouting Combine which usually takes place in February. They will be tested for their speed, strength, endurance, and agility. Players will be able to improve their chances of attaining the draft position if they are able to show a great performance during the scouting.