Youth Football

Through our grant programs and partnerships, hundreds of thousands of youth have been given the opportunity to learn the game of football, get physically fit, and stay involved in productive after-school activities with adult mentors. The programs supported by the NFL Foundation also have provided youth football participants with safe and accessible places to play, as well as programs and initiatives that address the importance of proper coaching, health, safety and wellness, academic and life skills development & character education programs.


Each year, the NFL Foundation supports current and former NFL players and coaches who organize and host free, non-contact youth football camps during the summer. In its 22nd year, the program recognizes NFL players and coaches who give back to communities in their hometowns or club markets and offer young athletes the opportunity to play in a healthy and fun environment. As part of summer camp season festivities, more than 450 current players, NFL Legends and coaches hosted free, non-contact youth football camps for more than 80,000 children across the country. Camps were open to boys and girls ages 5-18. 

More than 200 recipients also received grants to host a single-day First Down Camp, featuring a USA Football curriculum. First Down (formerly called FUNdamentals) introduces kids to football in a fun, free and friendly way. No contact, no cost, all fun.


The NFL Foundation champions the development of football at youth and scholastic levels through funding support of USA Football, the sport’s national governing body and a member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee. USA Football’s grant program benefits young athletes by providing new equipment, uniforms and other supplies. Grants are valued up to $1,000 each and are distributed based on merit, need and a school’s or sports organization’s commitment to coaching education and best practices. Organizations can apply for a grant at

USA Football helps make the game smarter, safer and more fun for the kids who play it. Through training, education and events, USA Football gets everyone on the same page – from parents and players to coaches and commissioners. The organization was endowed in 2002 by the National Football League and the NFL Players’ Association. Head to to find resources for every role in the game.

FIRST DOWN (changed from FUNdamentals)

First Down is a fun and free introduction to football for kids and their parents. No contact, no cost, all fun. Young athletes get active and learn the basics like running, jumping, passing and catching. Through hundreds of events, tens of thousands of kids experience football for the first time. All skills and drills selected are based on the Football Development Model*.

First Down curriculum is able to fit your camp’s needs based on length of time, space, age and number of kids attending. Join the hundreds of current and former NFL players that bring First Down to their community each summer. For more, visit

*The Football Development Model is designed to help coaches teach athletes based on their age, the skill they are learning and game type. Our approach assists with the development of young athletes and allows them to learn the game and related skills in a progression that best suits them.

All First Down Camps should be run in accordance with local COVID-19 laws. USA Football has sport-specific guidelines and resources at Review the Return to Youth Football Guidelines before hosting a First Down Camp.


USA Football partnered with Good Sports, a nationally recognized youth sports nonprofit that drives equitable access in youth sports and physical activity, to deliver more than $450,000 in youth football equioment packages for children nationwide. Thousands of children across 57 youth football organizations in high-need communities spanning 30 states now have the opportunity to enjoy the fun and fitness of football through this partnership and its awarded equiment packages.

USA Football and Good Sports’ partnership represents an expansion of USA Football’s annual grant program, which awarded more than $2 million in equipment and other resources to youth football programs in 2021.


Grant Programs

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Player Matching Youth & High School Football Grants

  • Youth Football
  • Matching Grants

Supports former and current NFL players through financial matching and coach support grants to high schools and youth football programs.

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NFL Club Community Grants

  • Health & Safety
  • Youth Football
  • Social Justice

Grants are provided to each of the 32 NFL teams to support the implementation of the league’s national initiatives throughout the year in local team markets.

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NFL High School Football Coach of the Week

  • Youth Football

Provides NFL clubs with funds to recognize local high school coaches who demonstrate hard work and dedication to their football programs.

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Youth Football Camp Grants

  • Youth Football

Through this program, grants are awarded to free, non-contact youth football clinics and camps organized by current and former NFL players and coaches.

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Don Shula NFL High School Football Coach of the Year

  • Youth Football

The Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year award honors high school football coaches that display the integrity, achievement, and leadership exemplified by the winningest coach in NFL history, Don Shula.

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NFL YET Grant Program

  • Youth Football

Youth Education Towns (YETs) are the education enrichment centers that serve as legacies in Super Bowl host cities. This program supports established YETs in cities across the country.

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