The 12th year of the Mike Alstott Football Camp is fast approaching. The camp is split between a non-contact youth fundamental camp for grades 9 and below on June 26-28. Helmets and shoulder pads are worn for the senior high camp for grades 10-12 on June 23-25.
Camp cost is $175 per attendee for the three-day training. The Skyway Complex in Tampa is home to Alstott’s camp and is also home to the Tampa Youth Football League. It is located at the intersection of George Road and Independence Parkway close to the Tampa International Airport.
“When Mike and I sat down 12 years ago, we probably did not totally envision what lied ahead for him as a player and the long term future of the camp, but we did establish some very firm cornerstones for the camp at that time that has allowed for his camp to explode every summer. Mike wanted his camp to be: FOOTBALL, FOOTBALL and more FOOTBALL – and not a daycare,” said David Ross, the defensive coordinator at Illinois State University.
In planning the camp, Alstott and Ross made it their highest priority to hire great coaches who have the ability to coach all ages. Ross went on to say,“[We] demand a high energy, high self esteem atmosphere so that when kids checked out of camp they had fun, were coached and most importantly felt good about themselves.”
The career success and eventual retirement of Alstott was never viewed to be the catalyst for him to end his camp.
“Sure, it helps that Mike went on to be a six-time Pro Bowler, an icon in the Tampa Bay community, but that is because even 12 years ago, Mike wanted to be a Buc for life and had the desire to keep the camp going long after he retired.”
Without having to attend off-season training Alstott has even more time to prepare for football camp this year.
Ross is the defensive coordinator at Illinois State University. Previously he was the athletic director and head football coach at Bacone College in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Illinois State head coach Denver Johnson worked with Ross at Oklahoma State in the mid 1980s. This year is the 26th year of coaching for Ross and has directed football camps for 20 years. Ross is familiar with the Tampa/St. Petersburg area from being assigned to recruit that metro area.
After 11 successful football camps the demand for the 12th year was clear. The reason for that is evident to Ross, “What makes this camp so unique is that neither Mike or I do this for a living. Mike ran the football for a living and I coach football for a living. When the number one goal of a camp is all centered around “kids” and not “money”, you have the opportunity to be successful, and the Mike Alstott Football Camp has been and will continue to be a success. How do I equate success…watching the kids walk out of camp with the biggest smile you have ever seen.”
Along with the expertise of Ross and Alstott, the pair has recruited current and former Buccaneers players to assist with coaching. College coaches from all across the nation have participated as well. Those college coaches have worked at: Miami (Fla.), Minnesota State, Florida, South Florida, Purdue, Oklahoma State, Army, Illinois State, Murray State, Nevada, Louisiana-Lafayette and others have participated in the Mike Alstott Football Camp.
“I am so proud of what Mike and I have been able to do over the past 12 years. My son went through this camp and is excelling at the collegiate level, we have numerous success stories, former campers playing in the NFL and more to come and one of our past campers, Matt Grothe, is lighting it up for the South Florida Bulls,” said Ross.
He went on to explain Alstott’s goal, “Mike wants kids to excel, to realize their dreams and instill in them at a young age how hard you have to work to get out of life what you want.”
The 2007 Mike Alstott Football Camp was sold out, so Ross encourages all participants to register early to reserve their spot. Visit Alstottcamp.com for more information.
Pewter Report is a proud sponsor of the Mike Alstott Football Camp.
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