Over 500 children were on site at Battleground Academy in Franklin, Tennessee yesterday for Chris Johnson’s Annual Youth Football Camp. Myself along with a staff of 30+ coaches had our hands full all day as we instructed campers in every aspect of fundamental football, how to stay in shape, and eat healthy. This is my first camp hosted by a professional player but I must definitely tip my hat off to procamps and Chris Johnson for organizing a camp that was very much in depth as far as knowledge and promoting fitness in todays youth. I would also like to say that I have been around a lot of football players on all levels and without a doubt was impressed by the way that Chris handles himself and what he expects from not only the coaches but from the kids as well, before a team picture he walked right up to me and said “Coach Wilson, thank you for coming out today, I greatly appreciate you taking time out of your day to come out and show these young kids how to play the game and show them that with the right attitude and work that they can play football.” as he shook my hand. CJ has never been known for being articulate but he gets the point across and he did so in fine fashion all day as he was seen walking from station to station and interacting with the kids, whether it was playing all time QB during the 7-7 games, or if it holding a tackling dummy and embellishing a kids tackle to boost the little man’s confidence.
I also had the unique opportunity to be taught a lesson in humility. Many who know me have heard my opinions on
Lendale White and what I thought of his performance during his years as a Titan and lately with the latest news on his releasing from the Seahawks and 4 game suspension. The lord indeed has a sense of humor, and during the lunch that was catered by O’Charleys, Lendale walked right up to me and shook my hand and says “Coach, I had Coach Beasley tell me that you were a Navy Veteran and served a few tours in Iraq and wanted to make sure I got over here and thanked you for your service and thank you for coming out and coaching these kids up, I’m sure this will be an experience they remember for the rest of their lives and with coaches like you they will most definitely be better players after today.” Well Lendale White, I must issue a great big apology, I am sorry for all of the uneducated and uninformed words that I harshly threw your way and admit that you sir are indeed a man and a gentleman. I judged you prematurely and I will forever be a fan and supporter of Lendale White, not because of what he said, but where his words came from.
Other players on site later in day were none other then Vince Young, Michael Griffin, Ahmard Hall (OOOOOoooRAAAHHh) and Ryan Mouton. Campers that won the Camper of the Day award, the Distance Camper of the Day (awarded to the camper who traveled the farthest, in this case it was 2 kids from Texas who flew in for the camp) and the Fastest Camper Award were given a an autographed Chris Johnson Jersey and a picture taken with CJ and the rest of the Titans crew that showed up. Every camper was given a free Chris Johnson Camp t-shirt, a bag full of football goodies, free lunch, and an autographed camper team photo with Chris. I was also impressed by how well procamps was able to coordinate 500+ campers to getting into their teams, taking the pictures, having the photo center print and frame the photos and then Chris Johnson single handily signed all 500+ photos. I will most definitely be working with procamps again in the future and recommend that if there is a camp in your area that is sponsored by these guys that you get involved in it. The whole day was about the kids and making sure they get outside, have fun and get active in physical fitness.
Overall it was most definitely a positive experience that I will cherish for a lifetime. During the coaches meeting we were all informed of just how much CJ appreciates his coaching staff as we were each given a Tiger Words Pro Golf Polo that is priced at a hundred dollars per shirt and he payed for the coaches luncheon out his pocket even after O’Charleys offered to cater for free for publicity. Every coach was made to feel appreciated and welcome and every child left feeling the same way. PAY THE MAN!!! and I Hope everyone has a safe and happy Fathers Day. Take Care