Local kids learn football and life skills from NFL pros at annual football camp

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Nearly 300 kids spent part of Tuesday morning learning football from NFL athletes across the league as part of the annual Pro Football Camp.

“People say it’s a boy’s sport but girls can play too,” said Maya Warriax.

Ten-year-old Warriax isn’t letting the boys have all the fun this summer. She’s just one of a handful of girls taking in everything football.

“I’ve learned on how to block and we picked up a tire which was really fun too,” she said.

For Jaden Hawbaker, this is his first time at the camp. He says learning from the pros is an experience he’s loving.

“They go hard on you, not like a coach,” said Hawbaker. “He doesn’t go as hard as these guys do and they push me and everyone else here at this camp to do their best.”

“I was in the same position as these kids a long time ago and it’s funny just to see myself in them so it makes me want to grasp this a little bit more and show my passion for football,” said Dylan Cole, a linebacker for the Houston Texans.

On top of learning the fundamental physical skills of the game, kiddos are also gaining character skills. The word for today’s practice — fearless.

“We picked that as a word just because like we wanted them to know in life things will get hard,” said Robert Thomas, a defensive tackle for the New York Giants. “There’s going to be ups and down’s, that’s kind of how things go. It’s just like in sports, there’s going to be high roller coaster times when you’re on top of the world and then there’s going to be lobs that you take and is going to bring you back down and humble you.”

Getting to learn the game and life lessons from the pros is something these kids aren’t taking for granted.

“It means a lot because they’ve taken out their time, their only free time just to come hang out and teach kids football,” said Hawbaker.

The camp runs until Thursday morning at Vista Ridge High School.

If you’re interested in participating in the camp, the organization says they will accept kids who show up as walk-ins.


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