had a blast

Nov. 5th, 2013 01:51 pm
saffronhare: (Buns of Steel)
[personal profile] saffronhare
Last night, I got to participate in a Football 101 clinic for women down here in my town. Somebody knew somebody, and then asked somebody else, and -- BAM -- we had former (sorta legendary and entirely fabulous human being) KC Chief Will Shields in da house, along with a bunch of terribly fit and friendly former pro/arena football players, showing us stuff like a 5-2 defense and I-formation offense, running us through drills, and teaching us to hit things real hard. There was a fee for registration, but that was donated to a local nonprofit, so we were all winning in one way or another. (www.68insidesports.com)

There were a bunch of women who were all, oh, we didn't know it'd be such a workout! Pshht. I didn't waste any time with my typical introvert tendencies because the clock was ticking. Mommy doesn't have time to waste, you know? Volunteered for shit right off the bat, stepped up to the front at every opportunity, asked questions, played hard, joked around with lots of strangers, and generally got 100% of what I'd hoped for out of the experience. I even got to talk some smack about whether a defensive lineman could be trusted to count to eleven (answer: NO) and had to admit that I couldn't name one single gorram Chiefs player.*

There was one "coach" who was still in training, which was kind of adorable in that thug-learning-new-things way. Somebody would ask a question, so he'd turn to her and start answering, but the other coach at the station was all, NAW MAN, you gotta restate the question so everyone can hear it and *then* give everybody the answer. They were great when I had to scoot for precisely six minutes to fetch KiraDeara from ballet, and then set her up on the sidelines to watch the last 30 minutes of the clinic (in her pink tights and all). Girl was a great cheering section and I think got her picture taken with one of the coaches.

So many ladies were just wet noodles (why on earth were they even THERE?), but about a dozen of us migrated toward each other and rotated together through the drills & skills segment. I think I was the oldest in that group by about ten years. I managed to catch the only pass thrown at me, praise heaven. Did real well on the footwork and blocking drills. Learned some stuff about stance and starting off the line, which (though very interesting) didn't exactly create what you'd call explosive speed, but hey. I've had coaches try to teach me about exploding off the line since I was 12 years old and nobody's managed it yet.

And then there was the Linebacker station. I could have happily spent the whole night doing this tackling drill. First, Coach Dude taught us about proper "heads up" alignment so nobody would snap their spines in half. Check. After that, we learned how to break down a good tackle -- moving into it low, shoulder first, wrap around, step in and up (lifting), and planting the opponent into the ground. Finally, we lined up about five yards from a tackling dummy which was set at the near end of a long, rectangular squishy mat (the type gymnasts learn to flip onto, maybe 12 feet long?). I wasn't fast enough to be first in line (that sprinting thing again), but managed to go second. I tackled and planted that dummy right off the end of the mat. It was AWESOME. Coach Dude made a NOISE of DELIGHT, because (apparently) that's never happened before. He was all, are you okay? I answered, that is exactly what I came here for. I was very fucking sad that I didn't have time to do it again. Moar tacklez pleeze. SRSLY. I went to the website looking for another clinic and they don't have any more posted right now. PERHAPS ALAS.

At 8:30, they were telling folks to get some water and "bring it in," but I had to leave because FionaPie was returning from her math relays thing and I didn't want her standing all alone at the school. That'd be a Mom Foul. As it happened, we got there just as her bus arrived. WHEW. When the clinic ended, lots of people (including Coach Dudes, but not me) gathered at Austin's here in town to watch the second half of the Packers-Bears game. My buddy, Bad Sherri, posted a pic of her and her daughter with Will at the bar. (We're on a first name basis now, you see.) Sounds like it was a great night for everyone, even those who didn't actually want to work out. :)

*Typical defensive lineups are 5-2 or 4-3 because they only count people who are "in the box." There are eleven players on the field, so everybody else arranges themselves for other coverage of the play. Nobody has to count up to or subtract from eleven.
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