Starting out they all line up in the groups they've been put in. Start with stretching and warm-ups.
T.J. is the one wearing navy blue shorts with green lines and white on the top of the sides and brown shirt.
Next running. They didn't run laps as much the first day.
Then they broke off into rotations. They spend 10 minutes at 8 different rotations and are graded on how well they can perform each task. This will determine what team they will be put on. That's Jared watching on the side lines. We found out to be a coach we had to register back in March and go through major back ground checks and classes. So hopefully once the teams are picked, he can be an assistant this year.
T.J. taking on a big kid while learning how to block. He did really well.
Blocking again. T.J.'s definitely going to be a line backer.
T.J. placed in the top 3 in the bear crawl!!! Very good for his first year.
Weighing in and height measurement. T.J. weighed in at 120.8 lbs with pads.
Cherie and Jim came to see T.J.
Learning to block.
At the end of practice they all line up to do ladders.
Jared and T.J.. My two football boys.
2nd day of practice. Stretches again. The head coach this year is married to Jared's old babysitter. And he's Jared's Uncle Dave's cousin. He has twins in T.J.'s class. T.J. really likes them. And their dad's a good guy. Kind of confusing, I know.
Jumping Jacks. T.J. doesn't like those very much.
Today after warm-ups they ran a lap around the field, grabbed their water and went right back into the same groups for more rotations.
Playing intense capture the flag to learn how to know your surroundings.
Practicing running and catching the football.
Cody and Hunter thought they were smart and stole this cause it wasn't being used. Hunter's smirk on his face says it all.
More sprints. This time from a 3-point stance.
Hunter decided to race with them. He'd line up next to them and run. That kid never tires of running.
I loved this coach! He gathered them all together and told the kids 'It doesn't matter if this is your first year or third. What matters is that you are teachable. We've had the best athletics who were dumber then a post cause they wouldn't listen.' He was really pushing self esteem in these kids. And he was really good with T.J. the first day. Especially when he found out it was his first year but still made the top 3 in the bear crawl.
Gathering in afterwards to listen to the head coach for instructions. I love watching this part at the end.
T.J. and his best friend Brodie. Look at these cute little men. We hope they get on the same team this year.
3rd day of tryouts. This time they had to wear full gear... pads, mouth guard, etc. We had to buy T.J. a new jersey because his other one was really tight with the pads on. So today he is 76.
There's T.J. in the front. They got put into new groups. They based them more on their levels and build today.
Learning to pass the ball quickly.
Hunter found Savanna to play with. Her brothers are playing, too. Just on different leagues.
Cody watching practice with Jamie's glasses he stole. She came to watch tryouts today.
This drill was fun to watch. They get in their 3 point stance and then try to guard the other person when the whistle blows.
T.J. did really well. He held this kid back for a while then finally lost a bit of ground. But the second time, he won!
Practicing catching the ball again.
Day 3 was a harder practice for T.J.. He's not used to wearing the pads like that yet. Plus his neck was sore from just wearing his helmet for first two days. Before practice Jared told T.J. it's ok if your arms get cut up a little bit, that's normal. So T.J. was a little nervous for that. Then during day 3 of tryouts (first day of full gear) they had to have 3 different ambulances come for 3 different kids. One broke his leg, one broke his arm from getting hit hard with a helmet (they couldn't reach the boys parents so that's why they had to call the ambulance) and we aren't sure what happened with the third boy. All 3 injuries were with older kids at tryouts. Jared was surprised they were already doing full gear by the 3rd day and starting to hit and guard. When he played they did two weeks of conditioning before pads. T.J. has had a hard time since tryouts last night. Seeing those ambulances come got some anxiety running. Plus, Jared is gone the rest of the week with a scout camp and T.J. is pretty lost without him during this football week. T.J. was pretty sick to his stomach this morning with nerves. Jared found T.J. out by the garden by himself crying. Jared talked to him for a bit and then gave him a blessing for some peace. That helped some. T.J. is such a good kid. He's worried about getting hurt but also hurting others. He's one tough kid but also a teddy bear inside. His emotions run close. We reminded him how we've been getting him ready for this. We started sprints about 4 weeks ago and then Jared's started him lifting weights and running. So he's got some conditioning in already. Hopefully the rest of the week goes better without injuries so he gets more confident again.
It's so cute to hear they draft these kids at this age. It's like a mini NFL. As much as we'd like him to be on the top team, we'd like him to start a bit lower so he can learn more. Can't wait to see where he ends up!
I can't believe it's already time for him to start football. It's seems like it was just yesterday when he was 6 years old and asking how long until he could play. These last 3 days have been so fun to watch T.J. tryout, learn new drills, and such. I kept hearing the song by Kenney Chesney "The Boys of Fall" playing in my head. Almost made me want to cry. I'm excited for this fall and our days of football to begin. T.J. is growing up way too fast.