In the past few months we’ve seen a number of examples of the OSU coaching staff reaching out to Buckeye fans in a number of ways. Most impressively was the inclusion of the students in the spring practices, and the active and exciting demonstration of drills with students. It seems to be hallmark of this team to be ever more involved in the larger aspects of the OSU family, and that new tradition took another step forward this weekend.
On Saturday, the Ohio State Football team invited women to participate in a football clinic. The purpose of the clinic was two-fold, to help raise money for the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research, and to give the fairer members of the OSU fanbase a chance to gain a better understanding of the game. Over 700 women flocked to the event, which was clearly an instant hit.
Luckily for us, close blog friend Margaret participated in the clinic and willingly agreed to talk about the experience and share a few pictures with us.
tBBC: What was the purpose of the camp?
Margaret: The primary purpose of the camp was to raise money for the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research. So we not only learned football but we also heard from a cancer researcher, dietician and chef from the James Cancer Hospital. In their brief talks they did get the point across that diet and weight control / healthy lifestyle is important to keeping cancer at bay.
tBBC: What did you hope to get out of attending?
M: To learn more about football. People tell me I already know a lot but I never really thought I did, especially when in discussions with my husband and son. I wanted to know some of the finer details.
tBBC: What activities did they have you do?
M: There was a silent auction during the morning and a live auction after lunch to raise additional money for the Stephanie Spielman fund (part of our sign up fee went to the fund). The morning was pictures with Coach Meyer. Coach Drayton MC’d the day with help from his wife. The were very entertaining and a lot of fun. The morning consisted of various talks. Coach Fickell explained the basics of defense, Coach Herman explained offense (4 – 3 offense) and there also was an explanation on special teams. They used attendees to explain the positions and who stands where.
Coach Marotti was responsible for our energy level and teaching us football cheers or more like noise used to pump up the players. My throat will be sore for several days as well as my legs for being taught the proper football stance and having to hold it for a while several times durning the morning. I’m pretty sure Coach Marotti was trying to hurt us so that we would never forget him. After lunch was the live auction and then the Graduate Assistants put a show on called Buckeyes got talent. Each one had picked a song to dance to and each one had chosen audience members to help out with the dance. That was fun very fun. Kirk Barton and Chris Carter (defense) had the best group in my opinion.
After the talent show half the group was touring the Woody Hayes Athletic Center while the other half was outside on the 100 degree practice field. There were stations with the various coaches to take us through a taste of what the different drills the players have to do. I must say defense is way more fun than offense (read: I’m not good on offense). We practiced creating fumbles, recovering fumbles, tackling, blocking, passing. One of the passing drills was to catch the ball, run to the 20 (end zone) and do a TD dance (I spiked the ball). So they worked fun into the drills for us.
They also made sure we drank plenty of water to keep us hydrated because of the heat. We certainly got a feel for what the players will be going through come August and we were thankful our day didn’t include the uniform with all that heat. We used the same equipment the players use while they are going through the drills. Coach Fickel taught me how to tackle and Coach Varbell taught me how to rush the quarterback. There were many other drills I did but I don’t recall who the coach was or the specifics of the drill. As long as I was hitting the dummies I was good!
After my group went in we got to tour the facility – which is an awesome place. They have made sure the players have a comfortable place to study and hang out besides to workout and practice. The weight room was impressive. FYI if you are ever in there do not step on the Ohio logo in the center of the room. Our tour guide let us know that will get us 10 push ups and him 20. Chris Carter should get special mention for putting up with all of us crazy ladies wanting to have our pictures with him by his locker. The hall way that contains the coaching offices has the most impressive display of OSU football history including Woody Hayes chalkboard. The day wrapped up with more cheers, races by age group and a surprise visit from the athletic band.
tBBC: Which coaches participated in the camp? Who were you most excited to meet/get coached by?
M: All of the coaches and grad assistants were there. They seemed to be having as much fun as the participants. I don’t think there was anyone I was hoping to meet but I was excited that they were all there and seemly happy to be there. I expected that Urban Meyer would say his opening remarks and then disappear but he was there for the whole day and was outside with the groups in the afternoon. He stayed involved all day. The coaches wives were also there and did get up on stage in the morning to introduce themselves and answer any questions.
tBBC: We’ve seen video of the coaches demonstrating drills to a crowd of fans and demonstrating a high energy and excitable personality. Were they similarly high energy with the camp?
M: Oh my gosh, these coaches are so high energy it is unbelievable. They have chemistry and energy. The work well together and seem to enjoy working together. If the players aren’t emotionally ready for a game it is the fault of the player not the coaches. These coaches are about excellence, winning and energy. They wanted us loud and pumped up. The rules for the day were: the M word is NEVER used, it is the school up north. No walking, hustle between stations or if called up to the stage.
tBBC: What was your favorite activity?
M: There was a very entertaining demonstration on the football uniform by Kirk Barton and Coach Drayton with help from Chris Carter. After Kirk put the uniform on then an audience member got to put one one. Cleats and helmet included.
tBBC: Did you have a good time? Would you do it again?
M: I had a blast. My throat is sore (yelling) and my legs are sore (football stance) but I would do it again in a heart beat! There was a lot of information, a lot of activity and I’m sure I’m forgetting more than what I’m remembering but what I do know is that it was beyond fun. No regrets not even the heat and I do hate heat but the day more than made up for that. My husband isn’t so sure about me going when I demonstrated a proper block on him.