When Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer and his family launched the Mike Zimmer Foundation earlier this year, they sought to better the lives of children in need. The foundation is already making a difference for countless families, and now, Zimmer’s players are following his lead.
From June 21-24, Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes and linebacker Eric Kendricks will host an overnight football camp at the University of St. Thomas. They’ll teach both offensive and defensive fundamentals to about 100 players, working on everything from backpedals to proper tackling technique.
The Sports International Football Camp gives Vikings like Rhodes and Kendricks a chance to touch the local community and create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for aspiring players. “I am extremely excited about my football camp this summer and cannot wait to start training these young athletes,” Rhodes said earlier this year.
Kendricks echoed his teammate’s enthusiasm, saying: “I’m excited to work with the local coaches and young athletes. It sounds like it will be a great experience for the kids.” Players ages seven to 18 can sign up for the camp, which was a staple among Vikings players long before Zimmer became head coach in 2014.
Former Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, for example, knows how important it is to provide today’s children with positive role models. “I liked the interaction with the players,” he remembers. “I would recommend the camp to any player because of the great coaching and the chance to work with NFL athletes.”
On a typical day, Rhodes and Kendricks will lead on-field demonstrations and lectures for attendees, who are grouped by age, size, experience, and athletic ability. They’ll teach players Zimmer’s Vikings techniques in a fun, rewarding environment.
Later in the day, campers will have a chance to meet some of their favorite players, including special guest Adam Thielen, for autographs. Then, they’ll take the field again for an evening practice and supervised recreation.
In total, players will receive up to six hours of instruction per day from Kendricks, Rhodes, and volunteer coaches from local high schools and colleges. Speakers from the National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA) will also be in attendance to educate high school campers on the collegiate recruiting process.
The Xavier Rhodes and Eric Kendricks Football Camp will teach attendees more than just proper footwork and alignment; players of all ages will learn the value of teamwork, consideration of others, self discipline, and how to attain their potential in sports and in life. Just like their head coach, Rhodes and Kendricks are making a difference, on and off the field.
Obtain more information and request a camp brochure that includes an application by calling 301-575-9400, or by visiting www.footballcamps.com. Space in the football camp is limited and registrations will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.