Curriculum for player development focuses on fundamentals on and off the field
By Christopher ShieldsWith football season just around the corner, the Pioneers of David Crockett put in some early preparation this past week by partnering with the NFL and National Guard for a player development football camp on the campus of the high school.
Joining Crockett in Jonesborough, were members of the National Guard along with high school players and coaches from neighboring Volunteer, Chuckey Doak, West Greene and Hampton.
The camp began on July 9 lasting for two and half hours each morning for five days last week. “The camp was free for all the kids that attended,” Crockett Head Coach Kent Green said. “In all we had around 150 kids each day. I couldn’t believe we had such a great turnout.”
The camp’s curriculum, which is designed by the NFL Player Development Department, puts focus on lessons on and off the field.
“The National Guard put together classes about character, nutrition and concussion awareness,” Green said. “They really went above and beyond in helping our kids this week and I really want to thank Sgts. Hough and Mir for being a part of this.”
Football fundamentals were also a significant part of the camp, with all the coaches in attendance breaking into groups to offer different instruction and drills based on a player’s position.
The camp would close each day with a 7-on-7 competition for backs, receivers, linebackers and defensive backs as well as tire flips and Humvee pulls for the lineman.
Following TSSAA regulations, camp participants took part in the drills and competitions in shorts, t-shirts, and helmets.
Crockett was one of two Tennessee high schools granted permission through the NFL to host the camp.
“We called the NFL player development department and said we would like to host a camp,” Green said.
“We applied for membership and they called us back and said they would like for us to do it. You have to be able to have 130 kids, and we sent out letters to all the schools.”
The NFL gives the coaches practice guidelines to follow as well as some freebies for the kids attending the camp.
Green credits the camp to one of his assistants who had participated in it as a coach in North Carolina.
“I really have to give a lot of the credit for putting this camp on to my assistant coach Jason Moore,” Green said. “He was really the one that got it kicked off. I don’t know what I would have done without him.”
Crockett quarterback Cody Chambers was selected as Outstanding Camper, an award his coach believes was well deserved.
“I think the biggest benefit of the camp from a football standpoint was how well we improved our fundamentals,” Green said.
“I believe the 7-on-7 competition really helped Cody from a passing standpoint. We definitely saw him improve as the camp progressed.”
With the success of the camp, Green definitely hopes it will be something they continue to utilize in the future. “I was tickled to death with how the camp went,” Green said. “We are definitely wanting to do it again next year. “