Thursday, July 18, 2013
A former NFL and Clemson star helped the Sertoma Club of Summerville teach kids about football this week.
Woodland High School hosted the first annual Tye Hill Sertoma Youth Football Camp Monday through Wednesday. Members of the Woodland Football coaching staff and representatives of Sertoma Football spent approximately two hours each day running campers through drills designed to teach football fundamentals.
“The camp serves dual purposes,” club president Calvin Linning said. “Number one it introduces football to the kids as well as to some of the parents. Secondly, it provides fundamental skills. It teaches skills to kids new to the sport and for those who play in our league it gives them a chance to brush up on their skills before the season starts. If we can teach them the fundamentals then they will have fun playing football because they will be doing it the right way.”
Hill, a Woodland graduate who went on to become a first-round draft pick out of Clemson and spend five seasons in the NFL, talked to the campers Monday.
“One of the main things I told them is that it is important to listen,” Hill said. “It’s important for them to listen to their coach, to their parents and to their teachers. There are people who can help you achieve if you just listen and I’m hoping some of them will find that if listening helps with football, it can also help them in the classroom.”
Hill held a youth camp at Woodland last summer and Sertoma Football has held a camp at the school every summer since it expanded its football program to include teams from upper Dorchester County. However, this is the first summer Hill has sponsored a Sertoma camp.
“What they do is important,” Hill said. “I didn’t have anything like this when I was coming up, especially for football, and I wish I had. If we can teach these kids how to workout or get them active in a league then they will be a head of the curve when they get to high school and not have to rely just on their natural talent.”
Linning was Hill’s coach when he was in high school so the camp provided the two with an opportunity to catch up.
“It’s always good when you get to spend some time with a former player after they have grown up, but having him here was also good for the kids,” Linning said. “A lot of the kids knew Tye played in the NFL so they were excited about meeting him and what he shared with them carried a lot of weight. One of the things he stressed to them is that he graduated from Woodland so if he went on to have success so can they. Of course, he added that it takes being academically sound, some humility, focus and a willingness to work hard.”
During his NFL career, Hill played for the St. Louis Rams, Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions. These days, he lives in the Atlanta area and is putting his degree in Technology and Human Resource Development to use as a Golden Corral franchise owner.
“Sometimes when I watch a game on Sunday I miss playing but I don’t miss all that preparation that it takes to get ready as a pro football player,” Hill said. “Actually, the things I learned as a football player are really helping me now. Being an athlete is all about accountability and getting results and I’m finding out that running three restaurants also requires you to be accountable and get results. A lot of people don’t think about the NFL being a business but that is exactly what it is. It is a good business and I picked up some things from being around it. One of the good things about sports is they can teach you about how things should be done.”
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