Former National Football League players Henri Crockett and his brother Zachary Crockett returned to their hometown roots this past Saturday and put on their annual football clinic at the Four Fields Complex in Pompano Beach.
Henri Crockett, 40, who played linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos and the Minnesota Vikings, along with his brother Zachary, 42, a former fullback for the Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys, treated nearly 300 local children to football drills and lunches during a USA Football FUNdamentals clinic.
Both men grew up in Pompano Beach, and graduated from Blanche Ely High School, before they both played at Florida State University in their path to the NFL.
The free, one-day clinic is designed to introduce children, ages 6-16, to football by teaching basic skills in a fun and energetic environment and is supported through a grant from the NFL Foundation.
FUNdamentals incorporates a series of drills to teach passing, catching and running skills in a non-contact setting. All skills and drills selected are based on USA Football’s Player Progression Development Model, ensuring children are learning in an age-appropriate manner, based on their cognitive and physical maturity.
The event marked the 10th time that the Crockett Foundation hosted its annual Life Skills & Football Camp in partnership with USA Football FUNdamentals. USA Football is the official youth football development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams.
“We took a couple of years off because we were competing with the camps by Clint Sessions and Patrick Peterson,” said Henri Crockett, who lives in Cooper City. “My brother and I had been doing this so long that we just wanted to step back and give the guys that are playing in the NFL now a chance to give back and do their thing.
“The city asked us if we could do one of these this year and it was important for us to do this because they are the future,” Henri said. “It is important for us to come out here and show them that we care. This is really important. They are not all going to make it to the NFL or the NBA and we understand that. That’s why we call this a life skills camp and not just a football camp. We talk to them about life. It is important for them to not only have a back-up plan, but to have a plan.”
Zachary Crockett, of Miami Shores, agreed: “We are teaching them the fundamentals about life skills, telling the kids to stay away from conflict and to be able to get it done in both the classroom and the field.
“You have to have a foundation in everything you do. We took some time off to let the other guys get their camps established and now we are doing things with our reading center. We want kids to know it is going to take more than football to get to the next level. We (Henri and I) had to get it done in the classroom too, and your character is also important. At the end of the day, there is no ‘I’ in team and the game is bigger than you.”