Every professional sports organization competes for the attention of the young fan—kids ages 6 to 14 years old—all of whom are deciding their favorite sports and long-term team loyalties.
NFL teams pay particularly close attention to this decision. As the nation’s most popular sport, football has a tremendous advantage. Other sports options such as soccer, hockey and basketball provide formidable competition. So how does an NFL team sustain its place as “favorite sport” among the youngest fan demographic?
One strategy features NFL teams providing terrific opportunities for children through safe, non-contact youth football camps in the summer.
The Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles and the National Football League Alumni Association have hired Pro Sports Experience, a Chicago-based company, to launch comprehensive, community-based day camps for kids ages 6-14 years old. Pro Sports Experience brings USA Football certified coaches and their Heads Up Football curriculum to each camp.
This summer, these NFL organizations will offer a combined 90 non-contact, week-long, day-camps for kids ages 6 to 14 years old.
All camps use a safe, non-contact program model designed teach the kids the flag and tackle game, while providing comfort to parents with concerns about tackle football.
Tom Finks, President of Pro Sports Experience explains: “The philosophy is simple: When a child is fully educated in a game, the child is then equipped to become a long-term, highly-active fan of that game.” The challenge however comes when competing against many other sports that provide an exciting, affordable opportunity.
“It starts with being accessible to kids,” says Finks. “In order to do this, the camps need to be conveniently located, safe and high quality. We have tremendous coaching resources, including many alumni NFL heroes. The non-contact format allows us to safely introduce the game to newcomers, while at the same time we can challenge and develop experienced players.”
While youth football camps are common, few non-contact programs are available. Finks believes the Bears, Packers, Giants and Eagles are filling that void and providing a great option for kids who like the game.
Finks has been around football his entire life. His late father Jim Finks was once the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints General Manager and is a member of the NFL Hall of Fame. Finks is applying some of his Dads philosophy to the camp curriculum.
“Athleticism and energy are very important to me.” said Finks. “Whether it was a quarterback, linebacker or an offensive lineman, my Dad needed to see a wide variety of skills, speed and agility. He loved linemen who could run, catch and shoot a basketball. That idea of developing athleticism is a key part of our non-contact football camps.”
Finks listed a number of unique modifications Pro Sports Experience applies to their camp initiative. The purpose is to make the camps as accessible as possible for kids to attend. Those differences include:
*NON-CONTACT INSTRUCTION: All program locations offer non-contact instruction. With non-contact instruction, any athlete who likes the game can try it. Kids wear t-shirts and shorts and develop skills without any issues related to tackle practice.
*HIGH QUALITY STAFF WITH REAL NFL HEROES: Camps are led by professional educators with high school or college coaching experience. These staffers travel to all camp locations. Former NFL players such as the John Anderson, Johnnie Gray, Fred Barnett, Bill Bergey, Al Harris, Jim Morrissey, Eric Dorsey, Bill Schroeder, William Thomas, Perry Williams and others NFL heroes provide supplemental instruction at all camps. Certified athletic trainers are also available.
*CONVENIENT LOCATIONS: Pro Sports Experience manages the official youth football camps of the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles and NFL Alumni (Atlanta and Cincinnati) for a combined total of 90 camp locations scheduled during June and July, therefore making the program geographically convenient for many.
*FIVE-DAY CAMPS: Week-long, full-day and half-day camps provide comprehensive instruction to kids ages 6 to 14 years old. The five-day full-day format helps helps households with two working parents. The half-day, half-day format helps makes the camp more affordable.
For more about NFL Team Youth Football Camps, visit www.ProSportExperience.com or call 312.226.5553.