Youth Football Online visited the LaDainian Tomlinson Preparatory Academy clinic at Texas Christian University in Ft Worth, Texas on June 28-30. The core focus of this football clinic was to break down what it takes for high school and youth football athletes to get to the next level.
To set forth this mission LaDainian Tomlinson assembled a team of experienced coaches, led by his former TCU football teammates, Greg Walls, Russell Gary and Shannon Brazzell. Local high school football coaches, speed/strength and conditioning coaches and other leaders in their respective fields were hand selected to complete this team of talented instructors.
The LT Prep Academy differs from what we know is a football camp. Football instruction is just a partial component of what their overall mission is. Their objective is to educate parents and youth athletes
Here were the key areas of instruction for the young attendees:
Academics. It was evident that these coaches were not going to simply preach that academics matter, but they were going to prove why studies are a crucial component of the recruiting phase. The kids joined their parents for the Dan Eassa core course GPA session. The group attentively listened as Mr. Eassa explained key points for obtaining a college scholarship. This was a must see presentation with important facts cited such as 3% of high school student athletes actually receive a scholarship.
Pre-hab and re-hab. Brennan Bertrand (CD, ACP) gave a masterful presentation on the importance of using a foam roller to ‘iron out’ the fascia (layer of fibrous tissue that surrounds muscles). He further explained that using the foam roller, with proper stretching, would help athletes become faster while preventing injuries.
Leadership. Former Nebraska TE Sheldon Jackson gave a beneficial speech (from the feedback we received) on the subject of leadership.
Nutrition. Often conveyed by the coaches at the clinic was nutrition transforms an average performance to an excellent performance. Coach Roy Williams provided an eye-opening presentation about good and bad foods that kid athletes should consume.
Heard around camp- ‘It’s not about sports; it’s about using sports as an avenue for success.’
Football Coaching. The coaches assigned to instruct this clinic were well organized. The practices were fluent, upbeat and productive. They coached with passion and enthusiasm throughout the entire clinic. Dynamic and well structured, we could see that a lot of preparation was put into this 3 day clinic.
Each player that attended the camp had at least one position coach. The players spent a good amount of time working individual drill sessions. The position coaches did an excellent job of teaching the kids the basic techniques and fundamentals that are required for playing their position successfully. The benefit of having multiple coaches at each station meant the youth athletes were able to get in a greater amount of reps. One of the first things we look for when reporting at a football camp or clinic is how many reps are the kids getting? This clinic did an outstanding job of making sure these players got in the sufficient amount of reps needed to improve.
The kids responded well to the upbeat, disciplined, and enthusiastic environment. The 7 on 7 drills were awesome to watch; it was very competitive. These coaches had the kids competing on every single play. A big play was deserving of a loud ovation with a mini exuberant celebration, kept the kids pumped. The one on one drills were also very competitive. This camp did an excellent job of instilling the importance of competition and playing as a team.
One of the aspects we loved about this clinic was how they implemented film study. Utilization of film in youth football is critical. Ladianian Tomlinson Preparatory Academy filmed all the of 7 on7 and team sessions. At the conclusion of the 7 on 7 sessions, they then took the kids into the film room by position. The videotape sessions proved to be an effective way for the coaches to point out and correct the mistakes the players were making.
Overall an excellent football clinic. Your youth football athlete will benefit greatly from attending this football camp.