Championship Football Camp
By: Chassity Oubre and Kristen Bryson
Christian Life Academy’s Championship Football Camp took place recently, and featured LSU greats such as Michael Clayton and Jacob Hester. This duo alone would be amazing enough but when you take into account the fact that Ben Palmer the head coach for Christian Life Academy took charge of the camp, these young football players were destined to have a fantastic time. On the day of the camp cars filled up the parking lot and you could see excited young football players exiting with huge grins on their faces.
The young football players were divided into two groups that were led by Christian Life staff and the two former LSU players moved around from group to group helping each child. The campers were allowed to take pictures with both Michael Clayton and Jacob Hester. While this may seem like just a fancy photo opportunity, in reality it was an excellent opportunity for the players to improve their skill and precision. Each play was video recorded, and played back for the student with the coach indicating how the student could improve. After a short break the players got another chance to practice drills with their new techniques. Before ending the camp with a prayer lead by Michael Clayton, Jacob and Michael each gave a speech about staying focus in life and being better men off the field. Also, medals were awarded to the campers who performed best in the drills and food was given out for campers to eat as they left or waited on their parents to pick them up. What a fun day for these young men!
In addition to having a great day, the players learned some valuable lessons. Teamwork is one of those things that can turn a couple of okay players who know how to work together into an excellent football team. Contrary to what the mainstream media tells young men, life is not all about money or fame. Rather life is about living the right kind of life and taking pride in everything that you do. What do I mean by that? Well, if you are a 3rd string quarter back and you rarely get off the bench; you still need to show pride and determination in everything that you do. As the students at the camp practiced drills and played games designed to target specific football skills, they were reminded that even little changes to how someone else on the team was playing could greatly affect their ability to play as well. Truly this hands on lesson is invaluable to young athletes in my opinion.
The overarching theme of the day was becoming a better man and football player along with developing a strong relationship with God. Christian Life Academy is uniquely suited as a Christian school to provide these messages to young athletes. There are so many lessons that these young men received at this camp. They learned that with dedication and the right tools your athletic abilities can grow exponentially. In addition the young men were taught that there are more important things in life than the fame, money, and glory they see on TV and in the NFL. Even just seeing the care and concern that each of the LSU players exhibited with children that they didn’t even know showed the players what is really important in life. Michael Clayton and Jacob Hester truly do seem to have a natural inclination to help young athletes in the community.