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Attention All High School Football Coaches — Know the Warning Signs of Concussion

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Here at SportsEddy, we are pretty passionate about the game of football. Our Colorado football camps are no-contact, eliminating much of the risk of injury in this aggressive sport. So we were saddened to see a tragic article in the news recently, about a high school football player in Texas who suffered so many concussions that he is disabled at the tender age of 20. He is currently suing his coach and his former high school, claiming his high school football coach and school district showed "no concern" after any of his many head injuries, leading to his permanently debilitated condition.

Frankly, this article is pretty painful to read, and it makes us wonder how much of this type of thing is happening to our young athletes around the country. According to the lawsuit, "the School District has covered up the facts surrounding plaintiff's injuries; it has refused to investigate or appropriately respond to the report of a serious injury; it has retaliated against an injured child, it has branded his family as a problem for the School District; and it has refused to alter its educational services in any meaningful way to accommodate the injury that Coach Woerner and other members of the football program caused."

However, when reading the account of what happened, one really has to wonder why the parents of this child continued to let him play, when his physical condition was so poor... Three physicians have stated that they believe this young man received 30 - 40 concussions and sub-concussive hits while on the field.

Without going into all the gory details, what we want to point out is that everyone shares in the responsibility for keeping our kids as safe and healthy as possible, when playing high school football. The coaches, the school, and the parents share equal responsibility. We sincerely hope that this is an isolated incident.

Here are the warning signs of concussion:

  • ~  Losing consciousness after head trauma of any kind

  • ~  Confusion or blurred vision

  • ~  Headache

  • ~  Nausea, dizziness or vomiting

  • ~  Short term memory loss, such as having no memory of the actual injury

  • ~  Repeating a question or other remark over and over, such as "What happened to me," even after being told the answer.

Seek medical treatment if:

  • The athlete experiences any of the above symptoms after striking their head

Go to an emergency department by ambulance in the following situations:

  • ~  If the athlete loses consciousness for longer than two minutes

  • ~  If the injured party is knocked out for a minute, comes to, but then passes out again

  • ~  If the athlete vomits more than one time

  • ~  If the athlete shows signs of confusion, restlessness or agitation that lingers for more than a couple of minutes

  • ~  If the athlete shows severe drowsiness, weakness, or inability to walk

  • ~  The athlete experiences any seizures or convulsions

  • ~  The athlete's speech is slurred

  • ~  If the injured athlete does not regain consciousness after two minutes, or the injury is very severe, it's important to prevent movement of the head and neck, because spinal injuries may be present.  Call 911 immediately in such a situation.

We sincerely hope that all high school and other football coaches take it as an important responsibility to learn the warning signs of concussion, as well as how to treat it. It goes without saying that no-one should risk a child's health or well being for the sake of a game, a scholarship, a championship, a record, or any other reason.

Click here for more information about concussions.

Football Sucess Starts with A Great Attitude

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Here at SportsEddy football camps, Colorado, we know that having talent, training hard, having a great coach, and being on a great team is not enough for success. Do you know the missing ingredient? It's a winning attitude!

How's your attitude? Does it need a bit of adjustment? Do you ever feel a bit down, like you might not be able to reach your goals? Do you compare yourself to others, or blame teammates for your performance? Do you resent others with more talent, who get more attention, or for whom great football seems to come so much easier? The issue is not your teammates, your talent or lack of it, it's your attitude! A great attitude compensates for so much...

If you play football or any other sport, sometimes you need a bit of attitude adjustment, inspiration, or new motivation to keep going. Attitude is everything when it comes to winning, or even exploring and fulfilling your talent.


These tips will help you not just with your football game, but with everything in life.

1. Believe in yourself. You need to be your own best friend. Notice negative self talk and ask yourself what you can do to combat it. Can you simply stop believing in your fears and doubts, or do you need a bit of help? Self help books, friends who see you objectively, or even your coach can help you.

2. Surround yourself with people who believe in you, and more importantly, believe in themselves. They already have a winning attitude.

3. Set challenging goals: Have something you are working towards, something that keeps you motivated. Only you know what matters to you. It's hard to stay motivated if you are working towards someone elses goals, but easy if your goals are things that really excite you.

4. Learn to be pragmatic. Your team will not win every game. You cannot physically be at your peak in every practice or every game. This doesn't mean you are a failure... it's just life. Learn to roll with the punches, see what you can learn from the experience, and keep right on going. Those who try to learn from every experience are winners!

Here are some videos that might just inspire you to train a little harder, keep going long after you want to quit, and reach your goals.


This video deals directly with "attitude." Check it out:

Impossible is NOTHING! (Featuring David Beckham) 

If you've never seen the All Black's do the Haka, brace yourselves!

Is Your Child Old Enough to Play Football?

Friday, August 24th, 2012

SportsEddy youth football camps are no contact camps, where kids can learn the game and brush up on their skills in a highly supervised and safe arena, while having a fantastic time. But the sport of football is a contact sport, which makes many parents nervous.

It’s a fact: parents who love to watch football are likely to have kids who love it too, and want to play it. But the sport that adults love to watch is rife with injuries, so many parents who would be delighted to see their kids play baseball or tennis are reluctant to allow them to play football.

Take heart, parents! There are many things you can do to assure that your kids have a great, safe experience with the game. The Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma actually did a study, showing that the injury rate for youth football (younger than the high school level) is substantially lower, ranging from only 1/3 to 1/9 of the rate at higher levels.

For parents of kids who are clamoring to be allowed to play football, here are some things to consider before you make your decision:

Children mature at very different speeds. According to the National Alliance for Youth Sports, by five to seven years of age kids already have the necessary motor skills to learn the skills necessary for football. But does that mean they have the emotional skills?

Know your own child. Football is both aggressive and competitive, with physical contact that can hurt or scare children if they aren’t ready for it! What one six year old can handle and find fun might take another child until junior high to be ready for. Fun is the key, if your child isn’t having it—he or she is either too young for the sport, or it’s just not the right sport.

Have your child learn flag football first. This is a fantastic way to prepare kids for tackle ball.

Before signing children up for any organized team sport, make sure they understand the level of commitment involved: how many practices a week, how many games, how long is the season; let your kids know what they are really getting into. (Many football leagues require practice at least four times a week, not including the actual game.) By the age of nine or ten, many kids are old enough to understand and make this type of commitment.

Talk to the coaches, and find out their philosophy. Is it to make the experience as fun for the kids as possible, to teach them teamwork and perseverance, or is it to rack up wins and “toughen them up?” Most experts agree that for young children, competition should not be emphasized, but rather learning the fundamentals and necessary skills of the game in a way that is the most fun possible.

According to former NFL head coach Tony Dungy. "Coaches who make the experience enjoyable have the best results with their players. Coaches are there to teach players the fundamentals of the game. Fun is a big part of fundamentals."

photo credit: MrPessimist via photo pin cc

High School Football Kicks Off in Colorado and Nationwide

Friday, August 17th, 2012

, via Wikimedia Commons"]

By Peter Rimar (en:User:Chitrapa) [Public domain

Fall is in the air here in Denver, and although our youth football camps are over for the season, our players are back in school and training with their junior and senior high football teams. Here at SportsEddy camps, we'd like to extend a round of thanks to everyone who made our camps so successful and so much fun.

And we'd also like to hear from you!

If you attended any of the Ed McCaffrey football camps or the Chad Brown defense clinic, we'd like to hear just how your experience has changed your game. As the football season gets underway at your school, if you notice that you've learned something at our camps that has really helped your attitude, upped your game, impressed your coach, made you stronger... well, you get the idea.

Please post a comment about your experience here, or you can put it on our Facebook Page or Tweet us! Tell us what you learned, how you are putting it into practice, and what your favorite part of the camp was.

Although professional football and college football grab most of the headlines, high school football is also all over the news. Many teams are already in motion and others are preparing to kickoff the season in style within the next couple of weeks.

In fact, 26 high school teams from 15 different states, including 12 defending state champions, will compete in  ESPN's third annual High School Football Kickoff happening August 24 to 26. This exciting showdown will start out with a match between  two top Illinois teams. Read more information and see the complete schedule on ESPN's blog.

Can't get enough football, even between your own team, college games and the NFL games?

Well, for football junkies like you, why not check out the network of the best high school teams in Colorado on Altitude Sports and Entertainment: Altitude is in it's sixth year of showing high school football. They recently announced that seven local high school football teams would be featured this year: Cherry Creek, Grandview, Pomona, Bear Creek, Broomfield, Fountain-Fort Carson, Highlands Ranch and ThunderRidge.

The first game,  Broomfield vs. Pomona, is coming right up on August 31! Check out the upcoming schedule in the Denver Post.

The Colorado Prep Report has updated the Class of 2013 player rankings on their site, check it out here:

And if you've ever heard the expression "dumb jock", well we're here to tell you that it just isn't so. Check out this fantastic article in the Wall Street Journal, of all places: Economists Link Athletics to Success in School, Job Markets. The article concludes with the line, "Maybe athletics should be added to reading, writing and arithmetic." We strongly agree! In our experience, playing team sports doesn't just keep kids fit and give them something to do after school -- it provides important life lessons such as the importance of teamwork, hard work, perseverance, sportsmanship and more.

To all of Colorado's young athletes -- we're proud of you! Keep up the good work, and keep us posted on your accomplishments.

Adjust Your Attitude — Think Like an Olympian for Better Football Performance

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Although our SportsEddy youth football camp season for summer 2012 has come to an end, the world of sports marches on. We've been avidly enjoying the London Olympics, and particularly admiring the spirit of the amazing athletes on the US Olympic team. Whether they win or lose, get silver or gold, when interviewed they are always gracious, grateful, and honest about their feelings -- even if that feeling is major disappointment.

Of course, attitude is as important as training when it comes to becoming an elite athlete. It is one of the life lessons stressed at every SportsEddy football camp. The right attitude, along with the right training, can take you from your high school football team straight into the college of your choice, or perhaps even the NFL. No, it can't make you into a great player if you don't have the talent, but it can make up for a lot!

After all, if you give up, doubt yourself, or let setbacks define your experience in your favorite sport -- you will never be able to go as far as if your attitude is olympian!

Here are some fantastic quotes from Olympic athletes, past and present, showcasing their indomitable spirit:

“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.”
- Pierre de Coubertin (Pierre was the main man responsible for the revival of the Olympic Games in 1894)

“You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the further you get.” “I think goals should never be easy, they should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time.”                                                                                                                                                                            - Michael Phelps (most decorated Olympian of ALL TIME, with 21 medals!!)

"I wasn't in Berlin to compete against any one athlete. The purpose of the Olympics, anyway, was to do your best. As I'd learned long ago from Charles Riley, the only victory that counts is the one over yourself."
- Jesse Owens (Winner of four gold medals in track and field, 1936 Berlin Olympics)

"It is the inspiration of the Olympic Games that drives people not only to compete but to improve, and to bring lasting spiritual and moral benefits to the athlete and inspiration to those lucky enough to witness the athletic dedication."
- Herb Elliott (Australian middle-distance Runner)

Are you inspired by the London Olympics? How about Oscar Pistorius, aka the Blade Runner? That guy is simply inspiration in motion.  Born without fibulas, both legs were amputated below the knee before he was one year old. Pistorius became the first double leg amputee ever to participate in the Olympics (for South Africa) when he entered the men's 400 metres race on August 4th. It required a special ruling by the International Olympic Committee to allow him to compete.

Here are some Oscar - isms:

“People ask why I want to run in the Olympics, what am I trying to prove. Well, I just want to prove to myself that I am the best I can be."

Check out this great interview with Oscar:

How's your attitude towards your football training, your coaches, your chances, your teammates? Do you need an attitude adjustment?



Get Recruited! Tips for High School Football Players

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Most football players are "discovered" doing the very thing they do best -- giving the sport their all on the field, each and every time they step out onto it. If you're are on a high school team and playing college football or perhaps even turning pro is your dream, be smart. Get good grades, stay out of trouble, and practice, practice, practice. You never know when a coach or agent from the school of your dreams might be watching from the stands. And yes, they certainly have been known to show up at summer Colorado football camps as well.

Here are some other things you can do to help your chances of being recruited for a great college football team:

1. Keep your skills sharp and improving, all year. This might be a no-brainer, but don't let a whole summer go by without keeping up with your skills. Attending a summer youth football camp is a must, whether you are hoping to someday go pro or just to hold your own on your school team when the fall semester rolls around.

Make sure the camp you attend has the highest possible level of instruction so you can get the most possible from the experience. SportsEddy Colorado Football Camps always have professional athletes, both current and former NFL pros, coaching our students. Learn from the guys who have really made it -- they know the theory, the practice, and the tips you need to up your game to the next level of the sport.

2. Make sure to register  with the NCAA Eligibility Center. They can help you find the schools you qualify for on the academic level, and also at the Division I and II level. The best time to register is before starting your junior year of high school. They will steer you straight so you don't waste time applying to schools you are not a good fit for or don't qualify for.

3. Did you know that over one third of college athletes currently are attending school on athletic scholarships, not just in football but many other sports as well?  If you think you might be scholarship material, check out an athletic scholarship program such as They will help you to determine the most effective steps you can take to win an athletic scholarship.

4. Market yourself. Reach out to coaches of college teams you are interested in. Just like trying to land any other gig, tell them about yourself, your stats, your GPA, your ambitions, either via email or old school snail mail. Got any videos of you on the field? Send a link to it.

Alternatively, there are recruiting consulting companies that can help you find schools you might never have heard of; schools that would be a great match for you. They'll help you write those aforementioned intro letters to coaches and won't let you miss a trick!

Best of luck! We look forward to cheering you on from the stands!





Sun Safety at Colorado Football Camps

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Although usually football is played in the fall and winter, when it's fairly cool out, Colorado football camps are an exception. They take place during the height of the summer's heat. And for the kids here in Denver, experiencing some of the hottest days on record, precautions must be taken to assure their safety.

The threat of heat exhaustion, sunburn and dehydration are nothing to be taken lightly.

Tips to Prevent Dehydration:

Regular breaks and vigilant hydration are necessary for active athletes training in the full glare of the hot Colorado sun. Experts recommend that kids drink five to nine ounces of water every half hour or so.

Parents, make sure that the sports camp your kids attend has a good supply of water on hand at all times and that the staff understands the importance of proper hydration. Coaches and camp directors should know the signs of dehydration as well. These include: dizziness or nausea, paleness, excessive sweating and headaches.

Although kids seem impervious to the heat, after a few days with too little water and too much sun, heat exhaustion can occur. If too many of the body's electrolytes are lost via excessive sweating and not replaced with adequate fluids, the results can be dangerous. When dehydration turns into the more serious condition known as heat exhaustion, the above symptoms can be seen along with fainting, muscle cramps, confusion and a rapid heartbeat.

If a child seems to be suffering from dehydration or heat exhaustion, immediately get him or her out of the heat, preferably into an air-conditioned room if one is available.

Ways to Treat Heat Exhaustion:

  • ~  Drink abundant fluids -- nothing with caffeine or alcohol

  • ~  Remove excess clothing, loosen tight clothing

  • ~  Take a cool shower or sponge down with cool water

  • ~  Try any other cooling measures available such as fans or even cold compresses or towels

This is important: if no significant improvement is seen in a half hour, after trying the above treatments, medical attention should be sought immediately. 

Heat exhaustion is not as serious as heat stroke, but if left unnoticed and untreated, it can progress to that more dangerous condition. Heat stroke is no joke -- it can actually damage the brain or other organs and in severe cases has been known to be fatal.

At SportsEddy youth football camps, we always have a trained camp director on hand, who knows how to keep your kids safe. When considering a Colorado football camp for your kids, it's better to be safe than sorry. Ask if the staff is trained in proper hydration and whether they know what to do if a child becomes dehydrated or seems ill during camp activities.

By the way parents, don't forget that kids' tender skin needs protection from the sun's UV rays as well. Make sure they are wearing sunblock!

When it comes to Colorado football camps and the summer sun, the best offense is most definitely a good defense. Elements of that defense include education; a caring, attentive and conscientious camp staff and most of all, sufficient water. So drink up!





Register for the Chad Brown Defense Clinic

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Defending against attacking wingers?

Dealing with aerial bombardment?

Keeping attackers at bay?

Defending as a unit?

No, it's not world war three -- it's football. SportsEddy presents the Chad Brown Defense Clinic, where junior and senior high school football players learn everything they need to know about the art of defense -- NFL style -- and take their game to the next level. Chad had fifteen years as an NFL linebacker (as opposed to the usual four or five year career), so you better believe he knows his stuff. Along with playing for various NFL teams including the Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks, Chad was coached by some pretty amazing legends.

Get the benefit of his wisdom, experience and passion for the game in this action packed three day football camp. Register here.

Check Chad Brown out in this great Colorado Sports Connection video. Chad talks about his long NFL career and his two Super Bowl appearances.

This SportsEddy Denver football camp will teach you everything you ever wanted to know about defensive footwork, strategy and hand placement, using a combination of drills, classroom work, film, field work and hands on instruction.

And that's not all. Along with Chad, Ed McCaffrey and some other special guest athletes, we'll also have the services of Loren Landow, recently named Denver's "top personal trainer" by 5280 Magazine. Calling Loren a "personal trainer" is kind of like calling Luciano Pavoratti a singer. Loren's special talent lies in his ability to analyze and correct biomechanics. We consider ourselves very lucky to have him! Check Loren out here.

Loren will be teaching speed and "explosion" drills, so important to success on the playing field. Did you know that Loren, Director of Sports Performance at Steadman Hawkins Performance, has coached literally hundreds of professional and olympic athletes in all different sports?

Have you ever heard the saying, "the best offense is a good defense?" This little chestnut holds true nowhere more than in the game of football. Get your defenses on high alert -- click here for more information and to register for this not-to-be-missed camp.

The Chad Brown Defense Clinic will take place July 13-15, at Valor Christian High School, Highlands Ranch, CO. Join us for three days of fun, excitement, hard work and great camaraderie. SportsEddy camps have a high ratio of coaches to students, ensuring that each camper gets personal attention to reach his or her goals. Camp founder Ed McCaffrey's got some pretty stellar credentials. Not only did he win three Super Bowls, he's also been successfully coaching football camps for the past eleven years.

Get in on the fun -- register today!

By the way, parents, you are always welcome to watch from the stands. And there will probably be time to get an autographed photo or jersey, if you've been hankering for one.



DARE to PLAY Photo Album, Highlands Ranch CO, 2012

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

We hope these photos from the 2012 DARE to PLAY Football and DARE to CHEER Camps capture the joy and excitement of this fabulous annual event.

Many thanks to our outstanding guest coaches Brian Dawkins and Jack Del Rio and of course, to Ed McCaffrey for hosting this event for the third year in a row.


Thanks to the coaches and football team of Valor Christian High School, the Denver Broncos Cheerleaders, everyone at Global Down Syndrome for organizing this event, and all the vendors and entertainers who volunteered their time!


Thanks to our wonderful campers -- they gave us the time of our lives!! Thanks to all the parents and well wishers who came out to support these Down syndrome athletes for their big game!



Check us out on Facebook to see the rest of these great photos! And by the way, we'd love to see your photos as well or any feedback on the DARE to PLAY camps. Please post them to SportsEddy on Facebook ...

If you missed this event, it's annual and the public is invited -- so please come on down next year! Follow us on Twitter for up to the moment news.





DARE to PLAY Football Camp Denver a Great Time for Campers and Coaches Alike

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

DARE to PLAY brings mainstream football fun to those who live outside the mainstream, the people with Down syndrome.

One of the saddest things for people with disabilities is they are not included in more mainstream fun. There's no way a Down syndrome kid will make a regular high school football team, but that doesn't mean they don't love the sport and want to play as much as anyone else. It's in the spirit of equality and helping those with disabilities have as rewarding of a life as anyone else that Ed McCaffrey puts on the DARE to PLAY football camp and cheer camps here in Highlands Ranch each year.

Speaking with a reporter for CBS after the DARE to PLAY game this past Saturday, Ed explained, “We weren’t sure what we were getting into year one, but I tell you what, the campers captured our hearts. It’s one of the most fun things I do all year long.”

Apparently his guest coaches, recently retired Denver Bronco Brian Dawkins and Jack Del Rio, the Broncos current defensive coordinator, agreed!

“Today is all about having these young people who are maybe disadvantaged in some ways; have them come out and be a part of it — just compete and have fun,” Del Rio said. He is no stranger to helping out disadvantaged kids, having started the Jack Del Rio Foundation to help out needy kids in north eastern Florida.

“When you step out on that field and start running around, it’s not about disabilities … it’s about having a good time,” Dawkins added.

Sports Eddy youth football camps Denver has a long list of people we'd like to thank for this wonderful event.

~  Let's start with all the spectators who cheered our campers on, and made them feel special! As our celebrity coaches can tell you, there's nothing quite like the roar of the crowd after you've made that great play... Heartfelt thanks for turning out on that hot, hot, Saturday to support the game. You guys are the coolest!

~  One of the highlights of the afternoon was the half-time show including the Denver Broncos cheerleaders with their students -- the Down syndrome cheer camp participants. Thanks ladies! Your talent and giving spirit is much appreciated.

~  Thanks to Global Down Syndrome, without whom none of this would be possible. Thanks for all you do! Check this organization out here.

~ Thanks again to Brian Dawkins and Jack Del Rio for their time, their talent and their passion to help others.

~ Thanks to former Bronco David Treadwell, Broncos mascot Miles, and all the skydivers, tumblers and more than 50 players and coaches from Valor Christian High School, Colorado's state champs three years running.

~ And last but not least, thanks to our own Eddy Mac, who was overheard saying, “Obviously I’m biased but I think football is the greatest team sport in the world. ...people from all different walks of life come together and work hard with each other towards a common goal.”

And that's what it's all about, isn't it!

Please read the entire CBS Denver article here. It has a terrific video attached. And please read  the Denver Post article here. We want to thank them as well for helping us publicize this annual event that adds so much to these campers' lives.