Representatives from the U.S. Army, Marines, Navy or Air Force might be available to visit your team and form a partnership that will benefit both parties. Take advantage of these opportunities by scheduling it this summer.
Brendan Curtin prioritized building a strength and conditioning program upon his hire as head coach at Riverside-Brookfield High (Ill.) in 2012. In his second season, Curtin enlisted the services of U.S. Marines Capt. Daniel Kinney and Sgt. Nathan Scheid along with other military personnel to lead the Bulldogs in a challenging “Marine Day” workout.
Curtis has since formed a partnership with local recruiters from the U.S. Army. The seventh-year coach has found several ways to incorporate the military into a strength program.
Attend military presentations at clinics.
Curtis initially met Capt. Kinney and Sgt. Scheid at a Glazier Coaching Clinic when they gave a presentation on leadership and team development.
Host recruiters at practice.
Representatives from the military are always looking for recruiting opportunities, so Curtis offered Kinney and Scheid the opportunity to speak to his players about leadership.
Ask military recruiters to conduct a workout.
“We offer to have them come out to school and put the kids through a workout for an hour,” Curtis said. “It’s grueling.”
“It’s obvious the kids feel a sense of accomplishment and pride working out with the toughest, baddest dudes around,” Curtis said. “They help instill the band of brothers mindset.”
Army recruiters provide Curtis’ team with Player of the Week awards for offense, defense and special teams, as well as a Blood and Guts Unsung Hero. The winners receive dog tags.
Riverside-Brookfield hosts an annual offseason competition, which includes categories for academics, community service, strength gains and attendance.
Military Appreciation Week.
The football team honors the partnership with the U.S. Army by designating a week for military appreciation.
Riverside-Brookfield generated funds for a local hospital for veterans last year.
How to Partner with the Military
Curtin initially connected with the U.S. Marines after the recruiters gave a presentation at the Glazier Coaching Clinics, but he has since called his local U.S. Army recruiting office to establish a partnership with that division of the military.
The local recruiters are always looking for face-to-face time with players, so Curtin will work with them to provide that time in ways that are also beneficial to his program.
As part of the Offseason Competition last year, the U.S. Army representatives arrived at the Riverside-Brookfield campus driving two Humvees for a pushing competition.
“We put them on six-man teams for the competition,” Curtin said. “They brought out two Humvees for the push contest, and it was double-elimination. They had to push it about 130 yards, and it was pitch black because we had just finished a workout. It was a pretty exciting way to cap off the competition.”
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