Football is a strong thread that often connects fathers and sons. Love of the game can establish common ground and create shared memories that bring families together. For Phil and Brendan Brady, that connection exists on the field. Phil coaches his seven-year-old son Brendan in a Pee Wee Football league.
The Bradys coach and play for the Durham “Smokin’” Eagles, one of the teams with the Durham Eagles football organization, which itself is part of the Consolidated Football Federation within Pop Warner youth football.
“In 2017, I started my own nonprofit organization called Man of Steel Services, or M.O.S.S. I offer a service to young boys to teach essential life tools, mentor and encourage them,” Phil says. “My mission is to positively influence and add value to the lives of individuals who participate by developing positive attitudes and character while teaching them to take full advantage of their opportunities.”
M.O.S.S. developed from Phil’s experiences coaching, playing basketball and being a father to his own son, Brendan. Phil already was interacting with youth through his activities and was inspired to do more for them.
“I hosted my first event earlier in 2018,” Phil says. “I had eight young men in a one-day camp, with activities that included motivational speaking, creating a vision board, how to tie a tie and sports training. Ultimately, my goal is to open my own facility that offers before and after school programs and summer camps.”
Fundamentals and Safety
As a football coach, Phil understands that one of his most important jobs is teaching the young players the basics of the game.
“If I had to put my coaching philosophy into words, I would use the phrase ‘fundamentally sound.’ I’m a firm believer that to truly excel and perform at your best in any sport, you must first know the fundamentals of the game,” Phil explains.
“The fundamentals are the foundation upon which everything is constructed. Understanding them delivers the best results and develops players,” he continues. “In football, it is particularly important to teach the correct fundamentals to prevent injury and ensure the safety of players.”
With the issue of concussions and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) coming to the forefront, safety is an even bigger point of focus today than it was in the past. The coverage of brain injuries in the NFL has made an impact on youth football with more parents deciding not to allow their kids to play. That has affected the local teams and leagues.
“We have seen a fluctuation in numbers due to the concussion issue,” Phil says. “In addition, basketball has become a year-round sport and its popularity has grown in the area.”
In response, there have been renewed efforts by youth football organizations to keep the sport safe and viable.