Campers at the 49ers annual three-day Youth Football Camp were treated to a top-notch experience this week in Santa Clara.
Current players like Delanie Walker and Ian Williams, as well as former 49ers greats Guy McIntyre, Eric Wright, Dennis Brown, J.J. Stokes and Joe Nedney also spent time giving tips to this year’s campers.
“I spent the last 20 years of my life kicking the ball and now that I’m done, teaching other people how to do it is just as fun,” said Nedney, a 15-year NFL veteran who retired last training camp after spending six seasons with the club.
“Knowing that the Niners are having their kids camp today, I was more than happy to come out here and work with them,” added Nedney, who connected on 86.6 percent of his field goals and never missed an extra point during his time in San Francisco.
The San Jose State alum still lives close to the 49ers facility in Santa Clara and jumped at the chance to share his wisdom.
Nedney’s lessons were simple, but important.
“First of all, it’s to have fun. Kids this age don’t need to focus on one specific thing, they need to be trying a little bit of everything out. That’s what’s great about this, they get to learn defense, offense and skilled positions.”
Nedney spent time demonstrating proper kicking form for the campers, who lined up to take turns to hit the ball off a kicking tee.
Currently, Nedney is working with local high school kickers and said one of his students is competing for the kicking job on Cal’s football team. Nedney also told 49ers.com he’s still in touch with longtime teammates Brian Jennings and Andy Lee. Tracking the team’s success in 2011 was especially enjoyable for Nedney.
“It’s fun to be a fan and watch them play,” Nedney said. “To watch them experience what’s it like to become a formidable team, it was really fun.”
[PHOTO: All campers at the 49ers Youth Football Camp are given personalized practice jerseys. The campers are also instructed from day one to learn about “one helmet,” a phrase coined by Youth Football Coordinator Jared Muela. The phrase applies to campers lining up in a straight line at all times so the counselors are only able to see “one helmet” at the front of the line.]
[PHOTO: The 49ers Youth Football Camp shares the same principles as the NFL’s Play 60 campaign, which encourages kids to be active for at least 60 minutes a day.]
[PHOTO: All campers are split up into groups based on age where they can learn the fundamentals of the game. From day one, campers are taught the proper football stance and work on mastering it throughout the three days at the 49ers facility].
[PHOTO: Tight end Delanie Walker was all smiles when meeting the campers on Monday. The feeling was certainly mutual. Walker spent time speaking with the group and signed plenty of autographs.]
[PHOTO: Second-year defensive lineman Ian Williams made sure campers were using proper technique when getting off the ball, something he knows all about.]
Tags: Delanie Walker, Dennis Brown, Eric Wright, Guy McIntyre, Ian Williams, J.J. Stokes. Joe Nedney
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