Jim Tunney, Tunneyside: Are football camps worth it?

After further review … With the uncertainty of our country’s future, let us hope and pray (now that SCOTUS has backed off a little) that our country can celebrate its Independence Day with some semblance of unity. If we have faith, will we believe that each of us can and will help?

Football camps? We here on the Monterey Peninsula are grateful for camp leaders Ron Johnson, CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Monterey County (as well as a former Philadelphia Eagles’ wide receiver), and Anthony Toney, who was also an Eagles running back. By the way, former NFL player and coach Herm Edwards, who also played at Monterey High and Monterey Peninsula College and is now the head coach at Arizona State, started this camp some 20 years ago. It is not football that is the main emphasis of this camp, but it is teamwork and observance of rules that is emphasized. Yes, there must be rules. Students appreciate orderly classrooms as well as even-handed discipline. We all need them as a moral compass.

Yes, you read correctly, as in the title of the club and the camp, girls are involved in these football camps. Some are even faster than boys. Nearly 350 boys and girls ages 9-14 participated.

In the camp, rules are stressed on and off the field. Being on time and following the camp leaders’ directions are main points the camp counselors emphasize. These camp counselors are all volunteers. The lessons learned on the field carry over to the classrooms as well as into the homes. Oh yes, players do and will complain about fouls called on the field but as an NFL official for 31 years, players are appreciative that we are there to enforce them.

I’ve watched these camps from Edwards to Johnson/Toney and observed how, when a rules violation occurs, a camp counselor will pull the player out of the game and explain what the foul was and why it is important to avoid that infraction for his/her good as well as for the good of the team This is a much better method than just throwing a yellow flag. These are life-long lessons.

Will you enforce rules in a consistent,  ethical and moral manner?

To reach Jim, go to www.jimtunney.com or email jim@jimtunney.com. Jim’s bobblehead is available for $30 and includes one of Jim’s books at no charge. See his website www.jimtunney.com for your choice. Shipping is also free.

Contributed by local news sources

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