Pro Sports Experience Blog
3 Lessons Kids Never Forget
Better than the classroom, TV shows or our own the dinner table, some believe kids learn proper nutrition most effectively through competitive sports experiences.
That’s what Pro Sports Experience coach and health experts observe, as they run high impact training programs for partners Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, NFL Alumni and USA Football.
So why does sports competition more effectively teach nutrition habits? Big game competitions act as the perfect scientific test lab. Kids eat, drink, compete and then reflect on their performance. Highly competitive athletes will consider how the pregame meal preparation impacted their overall performance. It becomes trial and error with memorable results.
“When kids truly want to experience competitive success, they will remember all aspects of their approach” says AJ Connors, Health Director for Pro Sports Experience Youth Football Camps. “If kids practice well but fail during the game, they can often point to their nutrition choices in the days or hours leading up to that game. That’s a lesson that might be difficult to understand, but a result they’ll never forget.”
With AJ Connors, we highlight three experiences that can make or break a competitive sports experience.
1. Hydration is an all-the-time habit.
Athletes should not last minute “cram” fluids–like a student who does a “late night cram” for the final exam. Rather, you sustain hydration levels better when it’s a daily habit.
“Often times, kids do not recognize a state of dehydration until it’s too late,” says AJ Connors, Health Director for Pro Sports Experience Youth Football Camps. “During active play, you can replenish fluids, but if you start behind it leads to trouble. That requires a lifestyle approach of continually hydrating with water.”
Dehydrated athletes quickly loose energy and often feel sick. This feeling becomes a harsh memory and facilitates a permanent habit change in kids.
2. Failing to Eat = Guaranteed to Fail
Holy head-rush! When a young player feels a little dizzy and slow, they wonder what happened since their sparkling practice two days earlier.
“Beyond not eating properly, many times kids fail to eat anything at all before competitive events or practices,” says the Connors. “They mistakenly think they will be lighter and faster. Unfortunately, early in the first quarter, or even after warm ups they have nothing in the tank and are steps behind all day.”
Again, this burns a memory into a child’s mind. They are excited to play and want to play well. Top competitors will identify reason for the substandard performance (no food fuel) and never forget to eat well again.
3. Grease is Not the Word
Nothing cuts back on your rushing yards more than a queasy stomach due to greasy French Fries, chicken nuggets or rich sauces like fettuccini alfredo.
“There is no better way to learn than to experience the benefits and consequences of your nutrition habits,” says AJ Connors. “Some gastrointestinal distress during the big game is an awful situation and one you won’t soon forget. No classroom or book can compare to experiencing this moment.”
Connors believes summer camps offered by Philadelphia Eagles Youth Football Camps are a tremendous platform to teach nutrition. The non-contact football camps for kids ages 6-14 are very active. Kids run, sweat and need hydration as well as food fuel.
In addition to their “Eat Like a Pro” education game, the coaches speak to kids about their energy and hydration levels “in the moment” and recommend corrections over the course of five days.
“When our coaches make suggestions to campers, it will positively affect that camper’s performance and experience. They play better and they become motivated to continue that healthy eating for approach.”
Pro Sports Experience Youth Football Camps provide non-contact football instruction for kids’ ages 6 to 14 years old. Flag, Tackle and newcomers to the game are welcomed to attend.
6. Rather than summer school, really pushing Green Bay Packers Youth Football Camps as a place for higher learning.
1. Rather than “class dismissed,” says “Ready?…..Break!!”
We love working with our friends at 30Second Mom–who knew you could learn so much about our camps in just :30 seconds?! Watch for another video coming next week.
July is National Anti-Boredom Month–how are you celebrating? We encourage you to checkout our July camp dates and register your little athlete for one of our non-contact football camps for kids ages 6-14. There is still space available in some of our camp locations, but you need to register soon to reserve your space and kick summer boredom to the curb! Click on the team links below for a full calendar of locations and registration information.
July 7-11: Arlington Heights, Frankfort, Lincolnshire & Wilmette
July 14-18: Barrington, Chicago (Lane Tech), Evanston, & Libertyville
July 21-25: Chicago (St. Ignatius), Geneva, Glen Ellyn & Northfield
July 7-11: Kenosha & Oshkosh
July 14-18: Glendale & Green Bay
July 21-25: Elm Grove & Madison
July 7-11: Denville (NJ), Old Brookville (NY), Princeton (NJ), Rye (NY)*, Tom’s River (NJ) & Wallingford (CT)
July 14-18: Basking Ridge/Bernardsville (NJ), Freeport (NY), Livingston (NJ),
Midland Park (NJ), Stamford (CT) & White Plaines (NY)
July 21-25: Clark (NJ), Florham Park (NJ), Manhattan (NY), Hauppauge (NY), New Canaan (CT), New Rochelle (NY),
and Wayne (NJ)
July 7-11: Cherry Hill (NJ)*, Lancaster (PA) & West Chester (PA)
July 14-18: Newtown (PA) & Wilmington (DE)
July 21-25: Bethlehem (PA)
*Those camp locations are currently sold out, but you can be placed on a waiting list.
Wear Sunscreen: Look for an SPF of 30 or higher especially if you will be spending a big chunk of your day outside during peak sunlight hours (10 AM-4 PM). We always think about coating our legs and arms, but don’t forget other areas that are exposed to the sun–nose, ears, hands, feet, shoulders, and behind the neck. Lips can also burn, so apply a lip balm with SPF protection. Even if your child is wearing waterproof sunscreen, you should reapply every 2 to 3.
Cover Up: Need to know if your clothing will protect your child from harmful UV rays? Place your hand inside the garment and make sure you can’t see it. In addition to clothing, send your child outside with a hat that will shadow his face.
Get Shady: Make sure kids spend time resting in a shady area in between their busy activities. If you are unable to find a nice, cool shady area, create one by bringing a pop-up tent or large umbrella. When kids take their break, it is the prefect time to re-apply the sunscreen and drink plenty of water.
Stay Hydrated: Let your child drink as much water as possible and insist on frequent water breaks–even if they think they don’t need one.
You Tell Us: What tips do you have for keeping your kids safe in the sun?
- With all kids do at camp, they will be too tired to argue with siblings when they get home.
- They will have the opportunity to make new friends, which means new carpool opportunities for Mom.
- Although impressed by their great Minecraft ability, Mom is looking forward to her kids being outside and active this summer.
- While Mom thinks it’s great that her kids can quote SpongeBob SquarePants, she is really happy that they will be surrounded by positive (and REAL) role models.
- Mom can’t wait to hear the stories from camp, especially those that involve how the shirts got so dirty and why her car smells like the inside of a gym locker after camp pick up.
You Tell Us: What is your favorite reason for sending kids to one of our camps this summer?
Checkout our camp schedules to see when we will be in your neighborhood and contact us today to reserve your space.
Chicago Bears Youth Football Camps
Green Bay Packers Youth Football Camps
New York Giants Youth Football Camps
Philadelphia Eagles Youth Football Camps
What does it take to be a coach at one of our summer camps? Here are just a few of things that make our coaches so great. Do you have what it takes to make this team? Our coaches:
Keep Kids Safe
Safety is a top priority for our camps and our coaches believe that keeping kids safe means showing them how to properly play the game. “Coaching football gives me the opportunity to teach our youth the proper and safe way to play football by teaching the fundamentals and stressing proper technique,” says Coach Bill Hesslau, of the Chicago Bears Youth Football Camps.
Teach Important Life Skills
Our coaches realize that football is more than just a game–it is also a way to teach campers skills that will serve them throughout life. “What I love most about coaching is teaching young men and women not only the skills of the sport, but the life lessons that go with it,” says Coach Patrick Dowling with the New York Giants Youth Football Camps. “At the end of the day, the greatest joy is seeing the sense of accomplishment and joy in their faces when they have achieved success as an individual and as a team.” Adds Coach Keith Vanden Heuvel of the Green Bay Packers Youth Football Camps: “Football, more than any other sport, requires everyone to work together in order to achieve success. It provides daily opportunities to reinforce important life lessons in leadership, responsibility, teamwork, and service.”
Want to Give Back to the Game
Our camp coaches are experienced players and/or coaches and have a deep appreciation for the game of football and what it has done for them. “Coaching football gives me an opportunity to give back to the game that has given me so much,” says Coach Jason Hendry of the Chicago Bears Youth Football Camps. “I wouldn’t be the person I am without the life lessons I learned through playing football. Philadelphia Eagles Youth Football Camps Coach Dale Smith agrees: “It allows me to share the tools I’ve learned throughout the various levels of play. It allows me to make a positive impact in a student-athlete’s life.”
Love an Excuse to Play Their Favorite Sport All Summer
What could be better than spending your summer playing the game you love? Nothing, if you are one of our camp coaches. “There is nothing like the rush you get on game day, the culmination of all the hard word you put in throughout the week. Behind my wedding day and the birth of my children, there is nothing like it,” says Coach Dave Morgensen of the Green Bay Packers Youth Football Camps. And, Coach Al Crosby from the Philadelphia Eagles Youth Football Camps sums it up best: “Play hard, play fast and think smart! I love this game.”
Our summer camps will soon be starting and with so many kids getting ready to hit one of our non-contact youth football camps this summer, we thought we would give some tips on what to bring. Wait, you still haven’t registered? There’sstill some room in some of our summer camp locations. Checkout our website to see when your favorite team’s youth football camp will be headed to your neighborhood!
Regardless of which camp you will be attending, Monday morning check-in opens 45 minutes prior to the official start of camp. A parent or guardian must accompany the camper to check-in and is required to pick up the camper at dismissal each day. Each remaining day, simply arrive by the camp start time. Campers should bring a lunch, water bottle with name on it, sunscreen and towel each day of camp. A mouthguard is optional but recommended. Wear athletic shorts and athletic shoes. While you may wear cleats, always bring tennis shoes in case we use an indoor gymnasium or get muddy. Campers will be issued an officialcampt-shirt at check-in. Peanut Products: A number of children with nut/peanut allergies are attending our camps. To further assist these campers, we are asking that you refrain from packing nut/peanut products in your child’s lunch. We will have designated nut/peanut-free tables at which these campers will eat their lunch.
Can’t wait to see all of our campers soon!!!
This weekend marks the unofficial beginning of the summer seasonâ€”are you ready?Â To kick-off the summer season, grab your family and friends and head outside for some old-fashioned backyard games.Â Hereâ€™s a list of ideas to get you startedâ€”with some football fun twists to keep your little athletes at the top of their game.
As a non-contact camp, we love flag football!Â Divide your group into two teams and have each team place flag belts on their waists.Â Donâ€™t have flag belts?Â Stick socks into the elastic waistband of playersâ€™ shorts.Â Play a regular game of football, but instead of tackling, pull the flags instead.
Red Rover, Red Rover
Have players get into two lines of equal number facing each other.Â The teams take turns calling out â€œRed Rover, Red Rover, send (personâ€™s name) right over.â€Â The person you named leaves their line, runs as fast as they can toward the other line and tries to break through.Â If they break through, they get to take someone back to their team.Â If they donâ€™t, they join the new team.
Football Twist:Â If your kids have been practicing their football skills, have them use offensive and/or defensive techniques to try and break through the lines.
One person is Simon and says, â€œSimon says, (whatever the action).â€Â Everyone must do the action. However, if Simon says an action without saying â€œSimon saysâ€, anyone that does the action is out.
Football Twist: Â Make Simon the â€œCoachâ€ with all actions instructing players to do common football tasks such as â€œ3-point stanceâ€ or â€œpassâ€.
Kick the Can
Place an empty can in the middle of the yard to serve as base.Â The person who is â€œitâ€ counts to 100 while everyone else hides.Â The person who is â€œitâ€ searches for the others, and when someone is found the two of them race back to see who can kick the can first.
Football Twist:Â Instead of a can, make a football for base.Â The first person to kick it (or pick it up) is the winner.
Duck, Duck, Goose
Players sit in a circle while one person (the â€œfoxâ€) walks around the outside of the group, tapping heads and saying, â€œDuck, duck, duck, duckâ€¦â€ until they name a â€œgoose.â€Â The goose has to chase the fox around the circle and sit in the empty spot.Â If the goose tags the fox before he/she gets to the spot, the fox is it again.Â If the fox gets to the spot before being tagged, the goose becomes the fox.
Football Twist:Â Instead of saying â€œDuck and Gooseâ€ have the kids say â€œHut and Hikeâ€.
What games do you pan to play this weekend?