This marks the 15th year of the Nike Football Training Camps, the half-day educational events that have seen thousands of promising prospects learn how to be better athletes and players, and eventually go on to play college football at the highest level and even to the NFL.
The Nike Football Training Camp offers athletes state-of-the-art education in both SPARQ training and position-specific football from respected position coaches and improves each player that attends, and does all of this free of cost to attendees.
The Nike Football Training Camp won't be the end of the road for the best of the best, as top performers by position from the 13 NFTCs nationwide as well as other top prospect evaluated on tape will be invited back to Nike's WHQ in Beaverton, Ore., this July for a chance to compete amongst the nation's top players at the first-ever Nike Elite Week, which will include the Nike Elite 7ON, Nike Elite Linemen and SPARQ Rating National Championship competitions.
Below are some frequently asked questions and answers to give you a better understanding about NFTCs.
Important Note: There is not testing (40-yard dash, vertical jump, etc.) at the Nike Football Training Camps due to NCAA legislation passed four years ago. Any player attending a Nike camp will need to go to a Nike combine first if they want to be tested and get a SPARQ rating, which would then qualify them for the SPARQ Rating National Championship. Click here for more information on the 2011 Nike football combines, including online registration.
Q: Who attends the Nike Football Training Camps (NFTCs) and what is their purpose?
A: The NFTCs are designed to help elite high school players with college potential advance their football and training knowledge in order to maximize their ability. Participants are taught position-specific and athletic performance drills designed by some of the top NFL football players and sports performance specialists in America, and it is all free for the athletes. The players will have an opportunity to work with SPARQ Trainers that have molded stars such as Chris Johnson, Calvin Johnson, Derrick Brooks, Tim Tebow and many more.
Q: What exactly happens at an NFTC?
A: Athletes who come to the NFTC will register, where they will pick up their NFTC Nike Pro jersey, and get their photo taken. After height and weight are measured, the NFTC is broken down into four parts:
1. SPARQ training: After a proper, supervised "dynamic warmup," SPARQ trainers work participants through specific drills designed to improve athletic ability, speed and explosiveness. Here, athletes have the opportunity to tap into the secrets of proper workouts that have helped players make it to the NFL, including cone and ladder drills. This period educates participants on how to improve football-specific speed, agility and quickness movements, and also how to train specifically for the needs and requirements of their individual positions.
2. Position specific drills: Participants are separated into position groups (QBs, RBs, WR/TEs, OLs, DLs, LBs and DBs) to work individually on football skills and techniques with top-notch position coaches with college and NFL experience.
3. Position competitions: The offensive line and defensive line come together for a Lineman Challenge, while the QBs, RBs, WRs, TEs, LBs and DBs participate in half-field, 3-on-4 passing drills.
4. One-on-ones: The NFTC concludes with one-on-one passing and line drills, which many say are the highlight of the camp.
Q: Are there other benefits?
A: Definitely. The NFTC provide the best opportunity for national exposure that a camp can offer. Reports on the top performers in drills are delivered each week to Division I college football programs all over the nation. Video and action photos for ESPN and other national media will be taken. Participants will also be part of the in-depth coverage on ESPN.com and ESPNU, as well as other top recruiting websites. Also the Nike Football Training Camp is a great opportunity to be evaluated and potentially qualify for ESPN RISE's many elite events that take place later in the summer such as the ESPN RISE Elite 11 and Nike 7ON.
Q: How does a player get registered to attend a NFTC?
A: The NFTCs are free and registration information is sent out to top players/recruits who are in the Class of 2011 as well as top underclassmen. Players can be recommended by their coach as a high level recruit to pre-register for the camp. If a recommendation is not possible then a player may send in a five-minute video highlight DVD so he can be evaluated. A third way to get registered is to test well at a Nike Football Combine.
Coaches can send in recommendations as soon as the season is complete; please include 2010 statistics, height, weight, position, honors/accolades, etc. with DVD highlights if possible. Mail DVDs and recommendations to:
ESPN RISE Attn: Nike Camps
23954 Madison St.
Torrance CA 90505
Players whose recommendations are accepted (based upon availability and ability to compete at level of other campers) will be mailed back NFTC registration information.
Currently over 200 NFTC alums currently dot NFL rosters, and that number is sure to grow in the next six months as current college stars that attended a Nike Camp complete their senior seasons and get ready for the NFL Draft. The NFTCs are where the best go to compete and get better.
Bottom line, this is a top-of-the-line, well-organized event that top players can come to compete with and learn from the best. Don't let someone tell you not to go to a NFTC without calling us at 800-660-1334 to put your concerns to rest, as there is a lot of misinformation out there and it's important to go to the source with questions. ESPN RISE always places your best interests first!
For more information regarding the 2011 NFTCs, if you are a coach recommending a player, or to submit an all-state or all-area team with nominees on it, please contact Brian Stumpf -- National (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Greg Biggins -- West (email@example.com) or Michael White -- Midwest/Northeast (firstname.lastname@example.org).