Tha Sports Junkies 101

Youth Football Camps Part Of ‘Play Football’ Summer

youth Parker Anderson via Flickr


Youth Football Camps

As a part of the 2017 ‘Play Football’ summer activities, 350 NFL players, current and former, and coaches will be hosting free, non-contact youth football camps across the country. The NFL Foundation, the NFL’s nonprofit organization, has awarded $1 million in grants to support these camps. As a result, over 80,000 kids will be able to ‘Play Football’ all summer. In addition, other NFL Foundation-funded events will be hosted by teams and NFL partners, such as USA Football.

Youth Football Camp Grant Program

Now in its 20th year, the Youth Football Camp Grant Program recognizes players and coaches in the NFL who give back to the community. These coaches and players also provide young athletes with chances to play in an environment that is both healthy and fun. Camps throughout the country will focus on teaching proper technique at various skill levels as well as emphasizing the importance of sportsmanship and teamwork.

Some names that you will find among the grant recipients this year are Torrey Smith (wide receiver, Eagles), Randall Cobb (wide receiver, Packers), NFL Legend Greg Jennings, Mike Tomlin (head coach, Steelers), Lorenzo Alexander (linebacker, Bills), Blake Bortles (quarterback, Jaguars), Thomas Davis (linebacker, Panthers), Shane Ray (linebacker, Broncos), and Eric Berry (safety, Chiefs).

Berry, hosting his third camp, is honored to give back to his community.

“My parents taught me from a young age to think about others’ needs in addition to our own. That’s why holding youth camps is so important to me and why we do it each year. By hosting these youth camps, I hope to take some of the burden away from these kids’ parents while offering them the opportunity to get out here and have some fun. I’m honored to have the ability to give back to the communities that have given me so much along the way.”

A Few Words From The Commissioner

Roger Goodell says that the NFL is proud to support outstanding role models in giving back to the community.

“The NFL is proud to support current and former NFL players and coaches as they give back to their communities and expand opportunities for children to play football and have fun. This summer, thousands of children will attend these free camps and learn the fundamentals of football directly from members of the NFL family who are outstanding role models both on and off the field.”

USA Football FUNdamentals Camps

Partnering with USA Football, 200 of the NFL Foundation grant recipients will host FUNdamentals Camps this summer. These camps will introduce young athletes to football by teaching them the basic skills. The FUNdamentals camps use drills that are based on USA Football’s Player Progression Development Model. This ensures that all camp participants are learning in an age-appropriate manner.

Retired Army General Raymond Odierno, who served as the 38th Chief of Staff of the U. S. Army from 2011-15, is the current chairman of USA Football. He compares the team nature of sports with that of the military. USA Football helps provide fitness, friendship, and values.

“The team nature of the military and sports hold distinct similarities — both can foster exceptional character and inspire extraordinary achievement. Playing football afforded me these qualities and USA Football’s FUNdamentals camps, made possible through the NFL Foundation, deliver this to thousands of kids today. Our fun and forward-thinking programs open doors to fitness, friendships and life-enriching values that last a lifetime.”

First-Time Coaches

All first-time coaches participating in the NFL Foundation-funded camps are required to complete Coach Smart. This is an online course that teaches player health and safety fundamentals, including sudden cardiac arrest and concussion. It also provides instruction on preventing, recognizing, and responding to dehydration and overheating.

NFL Foundation Support

The NFL is well-known to support players’ philanthropic endeavors through the NFL Foundation. Since 1998, they have awarded over $7 million in grants supporting these free, non-contact youth football camps. If you would like to see a complete list of this year’s grant recipients, visit NFL Foundation Youth Football Camps.