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Thread: Tomlin addresses youth coaches

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    Default Tomlin addresses youth coaches

    Tomlin addresses youth coaches
    By Teresa Varley –

    [HIGH-LIGHT]The Steelers were recently named the 2010 Pop Warner NFL Team of the Year for their commitment to youth football and that continued when they hosted the annual Steelers/USA Football Coaching School at their practice facility at the UPMC Sports Performance Complex.[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    Youth coaches from the Pittsburgh area and well beyond kicked off the day hearing from Coach Mike Tomlin, who shared his experiences of playing youth football and the guidance he received from coaches along the way, which eventually inspired him to join the coaching ranks.

    “I got into professional coaching because I wanted to go back and help my high school coach,” Tomlin told the group. “I have no idea how I ended up in the National Football League coaching football. When I was in college I loved football. I got into professional coaching simply to go back and help my high school coach.”

    Tomlin let the coaches know how much he appreciates and respects what they do with youth football and the shaping and development of young people and told them to always believe in the kids and have the patience with them that his coaches had with him.

    “Some of the kids you work with are capable of a lot of things,” said Tomlin. “You might be coaching the next head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s just that simple. I was one of those kids. I couldn’t shut up when coach was talking. I just wanted to play ball. Their patience, love and dedication helped cultivate something in me that allows me to do what I do. I can’t thank them enough for that.”

    Among the other guest speakers was North Hills High School Athletic Director Dan Cardone, who spoke about leadership.

    “As leaders you need to teach coaches, players and parents in your organization about respecting the game,” said Cardone. “You are not the first person to put this uniform on and you are not going to be the last. You are not the first person to represent your community when you take the field, but when you do, you better do it to the best of your ability. You better respect the game. That is the lesson you need to teach as leaders in your organizations.”

    The coaches also took part in classroom instruction in the morning, before heading into the indoor facility for some on-field coaching from some of the area's best high school coaches.

    The CoachingSchool is a one-day educational program designed to help high school and youth football coaches continue to develop their skills and improve the quality of coaching at that level.

    Curriculum focused on football skills, on-field offensive and defensive schemes and strategies, coach-player communication, practice planning, and proper equipment fitting. The school combined classroom sessions with on-field demonstrations of technique and practice components.
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    Default Re: Tomlin addresses youth coaches

    Steelers' Tomlin goes back to camp
    Steelers coach replaces Roethlisberger

    Tuesday, June 22, 2010
    By Bill Brink, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    [IMGR][/IMGR]With hundreds of attentive kids sitting cross-legged around him, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin preached the fundamentals of a proper tackle.

    "This is a collision game," he said as Tomlin's volunteer, a small camper whose white camp shirt dwarfed his frame, took aim at a yellow tackling dummy. "If you want contact, play basketball."

    So began the first day of the Old Spice Coach Tomlin Football Camp, a three-day affair from Monday to Wednesday at the Mars Athletic Complex. Twenty-five coaches from local high schools and colleges taught drills to the campers, ages 7 to 14.

    In the corner of the end zone, coaches displayed the proper stance and first step of an offensive lineman. Nearby, campers learned to run a 5-yard hitch route and throw a spiral. Older kids caught flare passes in the opposite end zone and practiced swim moves to help them get to the quarterback.

    The camp attracted all kinds of kids, including hard-core players in athletic shirts and Under Armour cleats to those in Chuck Taylors and jean shorts. But all the kids loved Tomlin, who weaved through the drills and offered insight.

    "What you want is a flat back. That is a beautiful thing right there," he said, commenting on the stance of one particular defensive lineman-in-training.

    "We want to give them value, for their parents' money but, really, for their time," Tomlin said.

    Tomlin, a self-described "camp kid," knows firsthand the value that this type of camp provides.

    He learned the proper way to throw a football from former Maryland coach Bobby Ross at one camp and played for Brian Baker, now the defensive line coach of the Carolina Panthers, at another.

    "Every time I see [Baker] I remind him that he was the coach of my team when I was 11 years old and then he yells at me for reminding him how much older he is than I am," Tomlin said.

    After the drills, the teams played 7-on-7 games. At one point, a rather large camper walked up to a team and asked, "Mind if I play quarterback?"

    That was Steelers tight end Heath Miller, who talked to the kids about everything from the Super Bowl to his favorite color.

    Trey Flythe, a 15-year-old guard and center from Dover, Pa., caught a touchdown pass from Miller during the scrimmages.

    "It felt like I was in a real game," said Flythe, who had never seen an NFL player up close before.

    Chris Mills brought his 10-year-old son, Chase, from Louisville, Ky., for the camp.

    "It's the only one I even considered," Mills said. "I've never been to Pittsburgh, I've been a Pittsburgh fan my whole life."

    Shelley Berbach's son, Luke, tried to attend the Ben Roethlisberger Football Camp last year, but it was full, so she promised him he could go this year.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Roethlisberger asked Tomlin to run his camp this year after the Steelers' quarterback was accused of rape in Georgia in March.[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    He was not charged with a crime.

    Luke, 8, plays soccer and baseball but has never played football before.

    "He's very athletic," Berbach said. "This isn't mommy's choice. He wanted to give it a try, and I thought this would be a great opportunity."

    Trey's dad, Corey, said he would have sent Trey no matter who ran the camp.

    "I would have sent him out regardless," he said. "I wasn't even thinking about that."

    The Post-Gazette is one of a number of sponsors of the camp, including Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Power of Bowser, Bridgestone, Outback Steakhouse, McDonald's and Fifth Third Bank.

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