If you don’t know from our previous posts about ProCamps, it is a well organized machine widely due to the man in charge: Coach Rod Huber, head football coach for College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has the most amazing capability to move, organize and motivate several hundred kids at once. I’ve taken care of kids before, and moving just one is a challenge, let alone a few hundred! On the 22nd and 23rd of June, Coach Huber was on the UC San Diego football field for Philip Rivers’ third annual football camp. It is a sight to behold. Over 300 kids ages 7-14 running around in “organized chaos” as Coach Huber calls it. With quick, simple commands Huber and his staff gets these kids to pay attention and participate.
Prior to attending the camp, I had an inkling that the Philip Rivers I had seen during games would be profoundly different than the Philip Rivers I would see around kids. His on the field antics of yelling at fans, refs and sometimes to no one in particular were, of course, no where to be found. Married to his junior high school sweetheart, and with six kids of his own, he had a great rapport with all of the campers. He threw to all of them, and I mean ALL 300 of them. He gave specific coaching tips to the kids throwing, explaining how to not throw off of their front foot and how to move in the pocket. His favorite drill is the “wave drill” which Procamps has adopted at all of its camps. The QB takes the snap and scrambles/moves in four or more directions (front, right, left and back) before releasing it, all in the direction that the coach calls.
One of Rivers’ messages of the day is one that I’m sure he will try to live by come the beginning of the season: “Let’s all get better, it might just be one thing to get better, but get better. Tomorrow you will not be the same…tomorrow, let’s get better.” After a career high 20 interceptions last season, taking care of the ball would be the one thing that I’m sure Rivers wants to make better. It was the first time in four years he had a passer rating below 100. Rivers is well aware that Peyton Manning is now in his division so there will be even less margin for error, not to mention the notable development of the Rams D. All of San Diego is banking on the Chargers getting better.
Finally Rivers told the campers to “Thank whoever brought you to the camp today. Whoever it was that drove you here, thank them, they didn’t have to do that. You’re one of 300 kids…and you’re here because someone loves you.”