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NFL's Kurt Warner Teaches Kids the Fundamentals of Football

Jan 11, 2011 – 10:54 AM
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Retired NFL quarterback Kurt Warner knows a whole lot about football, and now he's sharing that knowledge with curious kids who want to learn more about his favorite sport.

Warner -- a two-time NFL MVP who played for the Arizona Cardinals, New York Giants and St. Louis Rams -- has created an iPad application called "Kurt Warner's Football 101 for Kids," designed to teach children 10 and younger the fundamentals of football.

"Ultimately, I want kids to walk away with a better understanding of the game, while also seeing the fun side of football. The goal is for them to see the bigger picture by learning the basics one by one," Warner told AOL News.
Former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner walks on the field at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.
Christian Petersen, Getty Images
Former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner has created a fun and educational iPad app for kids that teaches tots the basics of football.

"Football 101" teaches tots everything they need to know about the gridiron by breaking down a lesson plan into four parts or, more appropriately, quarters.

The topics covered in the four quarters include players' positions and duties on the field, features of the field, understanding downs and how to score touchdowns, field goals and extra points.

After each quarter, a little pop quiz is given through a lightning round of questions, just to make sure kids were really listening.

"This is great for the competitive kids because they have to pass one level in order to get to the next one," Warner said. "Knowing there's a little test at the end encourages them to pay attention, read things slowly and really let the information sink in. The point is for them to actually get it in the end."

Throughout the interactive pages, activities and games, Warner is there to guide pint-sized pigskin players. He's accompanied by a friendly talking football named "Qubee," an animated character from Warner's popular "Good Sports Gang" kids' videos he began making many years ago.

Warner said "Qubee" already had a pretty solid fanbase among children, so he was the obvious choice for the role of emcee in this particular project. He said the character is so warm, friendly and relatable, kids instantly take to the talking football.

And, really, Warner knows exactly what kids like. As a father of seven, he has his own built-in focus group right at home.

"My 7-year-old son, who absolutely loves football, was one of our main test kids for the app. He enjoyed it and seemed to learn a lot. My 12-year-old also liked it, although he already knew a lot of the stuff. I think it's perfect for younger kids just getting into football or anyone who needs a little refresher course. The biggest obstacle was finding a way to cater it to young kids, while also making it challenging for the older ones."

With 2011 NFL playoffs in full swing, Warner hopes his digital project gets kids and parents talking and interacting while watching football games at home. He hopes it leads to more family discussions about teamwork, fair play, perseverance and dedication, too.

Besides helping families bond over football, Warner said proceeds from the app -- available on iTunes for $2.99 -- will go toward his First Things First Foundation, a nonprofit, family-focused charity he runs with his wife, Brenda.

He said proceeds will be used to develop more multimedia projects for kids through their GSG Media company, including additional iPad apps.

Warner said he'll be tackling apps about other sports like volleyball, basketball and baseball next, and maybe even a little dancing, since he did so well on "Dancing With the Stars" last year.

"I hadn't really thought about that, but you never know," he said with a laugh. "Dancing has become so popular, [a simple lesson on] the basics for kids might be a good idea."

Warner also plans to develop another branch of apps covering scholastic subjects like problem-solving, math, reading and critical thinking.

He figures that if he can engage kids and get them to have fun while learning, they'll be more likely to retain the information and walk away with a brain full of facts.

Touchdown -- everybody wins.

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