Wednesday, August 17, 2016

2016 Football Camp-- First 5 Days-- the Difference is on Display!

What makes the football program at Lake Forest College different than many others around the country?

Look at the first five days of our training camp. At many institutions the football takes the 100% priority and nothing else matters during training camp.

At Lake Forest, we take a balanced approach, and it is not just lip service. By no means does this mean we take football less serious, it just means that we understand the need for our players to be able to balance all parts of their life together. Why should we discourage this for the duration of our preseason training camp.

Beyond the easing into the team on the first day with a family Pig Roast, we spent time just getting to know each other the first day. No playbooks were issued, we focused on the "Jimmy's and Joe's" not the "X's and O's."

Once we got into the first day of work, we jumped in with both feet, but not until after we made sure that we took precautions to be able to best evaluate the health of our players. Concussion screenings, orthopedic screenings, etc. these are just the baselines, we make sure that the protocols for injuries, treatment, and therapy are completely understood. We practiced for the first time, conditioned, and got ourselves ready.

During the first five days, we saw our team work with the Navy Seals in the early mornings for some team building, have a community service packing food at Feed My Starving Children, have a Yoga and a Mobility Session to recover from the training, had a Cookout with several of our Gridiron Gang Parents, and have our first Life Skill Development Sessions.

In the LSD Sessions, a new program this year that replaced our Winners Manual Series, we have invited experts in different fields to meet with our players about topics specific to their class in school. We are fortunate to be associated with so many great people. Without giving away our secrets, here are the topics that were covered on the first Tuesday this year.

Senior Program: Financial Literacy and Preparedness- Rod Pompey, Primerica Inc, and Parent of RJ Pompey '17
Junior Program: Career Networking Skills- Joe Chmura, Career Advancement Center, Former VP of HR for Baxter Pharm.
Sophomore Program: Self Reliance vs. Selfishness in Performance- Dr. Jennifer Fast, Director of the LFC Counseling Center
Freshman Program: 1st Steps of Academic Success at LFC- Dr. Dawn Abt-Perkins and Julia Berkowitz. Directors of the Writing Center and Quantitative Resource Center

We will be having several more classed during camp and throughout the school year. The response to these programs has been outstanding.

Most importantly, we get to play football, but we make sure that we keep our commitment to the Liberal Arts, and total growth at the center of our approach to the "development of college football players."