The Von Miller Annual Safeway Youth Football ProCamp in partnership with Tide took place on June 20-21st at Englewood High School. This camp is open to boys and girls in grades 1st-8th and is for athletes of all skill levels. This year there were 550 kids that participated.
In Denver, most know about Von Miller and his excellence on the field. Not only was he the MVP at Super Bowl 50, he has also a 5x Pro Bowl selection, a 5x All-Pro selection, 2011 Defensive Rookie of the Year, and 2x All-American player. Despite all of these achievements that could give him quite the ego, I found him to be really nice, easy to talk with and giving. He enjoys working with kids and teaching others (including newer rookies on the Denver Broncos).
In my one-on-one interview with him, Von said that his favorite part of this camp is the engagement with kids. He said that often sees them as fans at football games, but during the camp he actually has more time to spend with the kids. As he says, it gives him a chance to interact with them and “show them the real Von that I am.” The camp is an opportunity to teach kids football from his perspective.
Von feels it is important to teach the kids how to play the game safely. Teaching kids how to play safe will help them now but it will also make the NFL safer in the future. This is important because head injuries can be very dangerous. The NFL has been doing a lot of ‘teach safe’ techniques. These didn’t exist when Von was growing up. Von tries to use safe techniques when he plays. He said that it doesn’t matter whom he is playing, he tries to “take care of his opponents” by playing hard but also by keeping them safe so that they can continue to play. That makes the game greater for everyone to enjoy.
Von’s mom was a huge influence on his football career. Both his parents were very engaged in his game, however his mom has never missed a game that he played in!! This type of support was very important to him and he feels very lucky to have it. He said that it makes him who he is today.
He is a great player. However he said that even if you are not a great player, or if you do not have dreams of playing in the NFL, there is a lot of benefit to playing sports. Playing sports helps you build several skills for being successful in life. Von said that some of the values you learn are responsibility, how to be a great teammate, how to work with others, and how to be dependable. All things that you need to do and understand in order to be successful at work later in life.
Watching the kids at the camp, I could tell that they were really enjoying it. It looked like it was really well put together, it was not chaotic, it was under control but yet the kids were laughing and smiling and having fun. I watched him running with the kids, showing them what steps to do at the time that I was there. He threw the ball a lot and the kids were running to catch it. You could hear him giving them a lot of encouragement. If you have a chance to sign up next year, I highly recommend it.