Following the first session, a friend emailed me to ask how Ace’s football camp has been going.
Oh yeah, by the way, we signed Ace up for a 3 day football camp. (American football, not the real football that American’s call soccer.) 🙂
Ace is not a tall kid. His muscles are not well developed. He’s not at all what you’d call rough and tough. He’s never been on a sports team and has never really shown any interest in contact sports. He’s more drawn to water activities or science experiments. Nonetheless, we decided that it would be good for him to try something outside of his comfort zone.
Here’s my response to the email.
“The whole thing was actually really good.
It’s a camp set up by Walmart and they bring in former NFL players to coach the kids. There were about 80 kids and 6 coaches. They broke up into groups by age (the kids were 8 – 12) and then at intervals they would switch stations and work on a different drill.
He didn’t catch any of the balls they threw to him but he tried hard and did well with the other stuff. The footwork and the “intro to tackling drill thingy”. He wasn’t the only one that wasn’t good with the catching so it’s not like he stood out as a clutz.
When they were done with the physical training part they sat the kids down and a couple of the nfl’ers gave them a little talk about how they made it to the nfl and about hard work and discipline and listening to their parents and doing well in school etc. There were some kids who were not paying attention or were clowning around and they called them out and brought them up to stand at the front and talked about respecting others and doing the right thing and being polite etc. I was like dayum! Thank God Ace wasn’t one of those kids.
He was exhausted when it was over but said he loved it and was ready to go back this evening.”
I was really pleased with how the first evening went. It made for a long day since the camp is from 6pm – 9pm and follows a full day of his regular summer camp, but all in all it’s worth it. I’m glad anytime the kids spend less time on electronics and spend more time outside or spend time doing something new. I’m big on having new experiences. It’s kinda my thing. I was proud of him for trying his hardest to do everything and for listening and following instructions. I was super proud of him for sitting at the end – even though he was tired and hungry – and paying attention. I was happy to hear that even though he knows he’ll have sore muscles he wants to go back. We’ve already talked to the local coach and have decided to sign him up for a full season of football in the fall. I’m not saying he’s headed for the NFL. I’m not running out to buy him the latest and most expensive gear or turning into one of those crazy sports parents yelling from the sidelines.
Firstly, I’m glad he has a new outlet to burn off some energy. Secondly, I’m glad that he’s realizing that he can do all sorts of different things and have fun doing things he never would have expected to like. Thirdly, I like the non-physical aspects of being a part of a team; the discipline and responsibility and respect that’s taught and expected.