Lions youth football camp tackles Sylvania

7/23/2013
BY NATALIE TRUSSO CAFARELLO
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Patrick Hill, instructor for the Detroit Lions Youth Football Camp instructs Dyson Hall, 10, on offensive line blocking.
Patrick Hill, instructor for the Detroit Lions Youth Football Camp instructs Dyson Hall, 10, on offensive line blocking.

Bad habits are hard to break, that’s why Jim Hamilton, camp director for the Detroit Lions Youth Football Camp, has youngsters take a step back to get a technique done right the first time.

“It’s about muscle memory. If we learn to do it right the first time we continue to do it right. As opposed to picking up the incorrect way which can become a bad habit,” he said.

For the first time in its 10 years, the camp held in southern Michigan cities crossed the border into Ohio, holding the first ever camp for children 6 to 14 in the state at Northview High School’s stadium from 8:30 a.m. to noon Monday. The camp will be held through Thursday, and includes training sessions with NFL football players. 

The training focuses teaching the basics of football in a throurogh but "intense manner," he said.  The four-day camp features interactive drills, video analysis, chalk talk, skill competition and scrimmages, and a leadership seminar.

“We want to spread the game of football. Playing the game builds good character traits for life,” Mr. Hamilton, who also coaches at Siena Heights University in Adrian, said. Also there are “many Lions’ fans in Toledo.”

Despite the drizzle of rain Monday morning, the children executed wide receiver drills like stance and start, coached by college level football trainers on the green field at Northview.

OBJECTWhen 6-year-old Derek Morgan ran out for a pass, playing his favorite role of the day as wide receiver, he was reminded to hold his hands out in the correct diamond shape as Mr. Hamilton threw him the football. The perfect pass, he caught the ball, cuddling it in the cradle of his arms, as he ran around the line of kids in his age group waiting their turn.

Derek, one of about 70 area children participating in the football camp, was learning the offensive moves from Coach Hamilton, as he was called for the day. Mr. Hamilton reviewed stances and the correct form when playing various offensive roles in football. If someone was about to receive the ball incorrectly Mr. Hamilton would have them take a step back and correct the pose.

On Tuesday, the children will have a special guest teach them football fundamentals, Detroit Lions linebacker Tahir Whitehead.

For more information about the Detroit Lions Football Camp call 313-262-2248 or visit www.DetroitLions.com/youthfootball.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356 or ntrusso@theblade.com